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Spring: Rays of Hope Are Around the Corner

I am thrilled because the sun is shining today, during this last week of February. The days are getting longer and warmer. Winter is ebbing and spring is only days away. This fills me with a wonderful sense of hope.

What is not to like about Spring? It is a time of rebirth and rejuvenation. Festivals and celebrations are held around the world. Some, like Passover, Easter, Holi, and Ramadan are religious based. The Songkran Water Festival in Thailand and Carnival in many countries are just two of the many cultural events held around our world.

With last year in hindsight. There is no question that we will have more fun in 2021, especially because the Cuyahoga SWCD staff has Spring by the lapels. We are enthusiastic about the 2021 Work Plan, which includes some fantastic reimagined and new initiatives. We will be shaking it down, sending it out, picking it up and celebrating Spring in many ways.

Our longstanding tree initiatives continue to grow. We are active participants on the Cuyahoga County’s Healthy Urban Tree Canopy grant program, the annual native plant and tree sale is going well, and the Board of Supervisors approved initiating a Memorial Tree Donation Fund. The applications for the Conservation Action Grants and Scholarship Fund are coming in and the Rocky River Backyard Buffers program is getting a lot of attention. Staff is actively engaged with the Cleveland Arbor Day Task Force event planning for Arbor Day.

Please join us for the NPAA - Native Plant Are Awesome March Madness! Then in April check out Native Plant of the Day postings on the SWCD’s Facebook page. What is your favorite native plant? I bet its Cardinal Flower. For the second year in a row, the native seed and plant sales are going like crazy because people want to grow like crazy.

Keep watch later this year for the NEO PIPE’s Native Plant calendar (Oct 2021 - Dec 2022) that will brighten up all our days.

Sadly, spring rains initially leave a sodden and dirty looking landscape. We get our worst erosion during the spring months—along streambanks and on construction sites. The watershed program and stormwater program staff have this covered as well. Perhaps the worst part of early spring, is the ungodly amounts of litter and trash strewn around our county and in your neighborhood. No worries, we have an app for that: Litterati.

Caring for our environment is an equity matter. It is usually the poorest among us that deal with polluted environments and face dire consequence stemming from climate change. Caring for the environment gives us hope, so choose your Individual Act(s) of Conservation and let us have fun in 2021!

Blog author: Janine Rybka, Director

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