Tuesday, March 29, 2011

March Meeting Updates

We were joined at this month's meeting by Amy Roskilly of the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conversation District and Suzanne Krippel and Jill Lis from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health to review a grant that they have received from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to conduct a study of the Huntington Beach water shed. The goal of the study is to improve the water quality at Huntington Beach by reducing pathogen inputs (e-coli) from the surrounding water shed (Porter Creek). The contamination sources will be identified, and an action plan to address them (possibly with future grants) will be developed. The study covers 2 years and will look at e-coli levels in the water. In the first year, the storm sewer fall outs that contribute the most contamination will be identified and samples will be taken, particularly when it rains. The University of Toledo will be doing an in-depth study of the samples. In the second year, the surface water where there are a lot of impervious surfaces will be sampled. The results of the study will be published under the Great Lakes Accountability Systems (GLAS).

Amy and Suzanne are also involved in the education of residents around storm water management. There are simple steps that individuals can take to reduce storm water run off, including rain barrels (make one at our upcoming workshop), rain gardens, reduce impervious surfaces on driveways, wash your car on the lawn, plant trees, etc.

After the presentation, the Green Team discussed the fact that there is a volume problem with storm water, even without the contamination. Case in point—the significant flooding that occurred on Porter Creek in February and early March. The development that replaces trees and soil with impervious surfaces (concrete) is a large contributor to the volume problems with the water shed.

Cornelia Ryan provided information on the native plants of the year, from the Lake Erie Allegheny Partnership for Biodiversity. Invasive species pose some of the greatest threats to the biodiversity of our region. By planting native plants, you will see many benefits, including: Attract native wildlife, reduce erosion, less fertilizer and watering, and connect people to nature. The native plants featured for 2011 are: Blazing Star (Liatris spicata), Allegheny Serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis), and Common Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)

Mark your calendar for these BVGT Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, April 13---7-8:30 PMCompost Seminar—Bay Community House

Saturday, April 16---9 AM-5 PMHabitat for Humanity Drop Off—Police Station

Wednesday, April 27---7-8:30 PMRain Barrel Workshop—Bay Community House

Saturday, May 21---9 AM-5 PMHabitat for Humanity Drop Off—Police Station

Saturday, May 21---10:30 AM-2 PMAnnual Waterway Cleanup

For a complete set of Minutes from the March 8th meeting email us at bayvillagegreenteam@gmail.com. Join us at our next regular GT meeting on Tuesday, April 12th, 6:30 PM, at the Bay Community House.

Make a difference, get involved!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Composting Seminar at Bay Community House

Spring is a great time to start a compost pile. All you need is a sunny spot in the backyard and you’ll be able to create a compost pile using a mix of “brown” and “green” materials.

Backyard composting is a key to reducing the waste that goes to the land fill. When the organic matter such as kitchen and yard waste go to the landfill, the nutrients are not returned to the soil. Through composting, you reuse valuable materials by returning the nutrients from the food you eat and the plant material in your yard back to the soil. According to the EPA, nearly 25% of all waste that goes to the land fills is compostable.

What can be composted?

The compost process adds 1-2 parts GREEN materials with 2-3 parts BROWN materials.

· Green (organic) materials include: Plant clippings, vegetable scraps, fruit scraps, flowers, grass clippings, coffee grounds, tea bags

· Brown (organic) materials include: Dead leaves, straw, sawdust, wood chips, shredded newspaper, dryer/vacuum lint, nut shells

A properly maintained compost pile will have an “earthy” smell and will provide you with a free source of valuable organic soil amendments to use in place of fertilizers.

Compost Seminar:

Come and join Kathy Rocco of the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District on Wednesday, April 13, 7-8:30 PM to learn all about backyard composting. The Seminar will be held at the Bay Community House, 303 Cahoon Road, in Bay Village and is open to the public. The seminar is free and there will be two styles of outdoor compost bins available for purchase at a discounted price of $50 each. There is also a compost scrap pail for $5. (Cash or check only).

To register:

Contact Warren Remein wlremein@yahoo.com

Sunday, March 6, 2011

News on the Community Garden

The Bay Village Community Garden will be opening in early to mid April, weather permitting. The garden is located at the corner of Forestview & Wolf Roads and affords residents the opportunity to learn and practice sustainable, organic gardening methods.
Sponsored for Bay residents in a partnership that includes the BVGT, the City and the BV School Board, the community garden is all about sustainability. Not only does the garden allow residents and service organizations to grow healthy, organic, local food, but a technique called
square foot gardening is used to maximize the crops produced in the 4'x8' plots.
With square foot gardening, you plant within each square foot, not in rows. The many "green" advantages by this type of planting includes less land and water usage (as the crops are close together), and fewer weeds.

A public meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 22nd beginning at 6:30 PM at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, 28728 Wolf Road, to discuss the upcoming year and answer questions from Community Garden renters and potential renters.

Plots for the 2011 growing season (April-November) are available on a first come, first serve basis to Bay residents, so sign up early by contacting Bob Shields at:
bobshields@oh.rr.com if you are interested in renting a plot or if you have any questions.

See you at the garden!