Just a few things to talk about this month. Everything seems to have slowed down as we all hold our breath for spring to get here!
Education, Steve McIntosh, Chair
So sorry our Trivia Contest had to be cancelled. Hopefully, we can do that later in the year. But we are continuing on…
APRIL 27, 7:00 P.M. via Zoom - Dr. Roy Larick on "Using Apps to Improve our Homes and Watershed" This how-to presentation will show attendees how they can use on automated tools such as i-Tree Design, Arbor Day Community Canopy tree calculator, etc. to understand residential parcels in the larger watershed context and to place and size homeowner conservation aids such as trees and rain gardens. A Special Walkabout! We are planning a Wild Flower Hunt on April 18 a.m. in Euclid Creek Reservation. Very limited, mark your calendars, we will keep you posted! Working on an exciting Calendar of Events for the last 6 months of the year.
Marketing, Jim Juknialis, Chair
Post Card announcement for Rain Barrel drawing goes out on March 16. Thanks to Natalie Keyerleber for her design!
Membership, Natalie Keyerleber, Chair
Now is your chance to win a hand-painted rain barrel! Just sign up to become a member of Friends of Euclid Creek by April 30. HOME | Friends of Euclid Creek
Conservation, Esther Trepal, Chair
We installed 8 bluebird boxes in the Dusty! Anna Julnes (Koslenko) has graciously volunteered to monitor them for activity. See attached picture of Anna with boxes.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ESTHER TREPAL AND NEIL BARRETT! Esther and Neil are getting married this month! We are so happy for our superstar conservation volunteers. Best wishes for them and may the bluebirds of happiness in the Dusty follow them around!
Save our bugs!
We have been having interesting conversations on Facebook as many posts warn gardeners to NOT clean up their yard yet. I know so many people can't stand the winter mess and want to get outside and clean up (me too!). Looks like every season holds human activities that can cause a lot of problems for our environment and the creatures that surround us. In the winter, we warn about using too much ice melt. In the fall, it's about dumping yard waste into waterways. So here are the spring problems: 1) Cleaning up the yard before late April. In those leaves and stems are many larvae that won't wake up until then, i.e., bees and butterflies. If you really can't stand the mess - gently move it off to a remote place in the yard unbagged. 2) Applying chemicals in the yard and garden. Those herbicides and pesticides and fertilizers kill yard bugs and then roll off to the storm drains to kill beneficial insects in our waterways. Below is an excerpt from an article I wrote last year:
The Importance of Being a Bug
The famous biologist, E.O. Wilson, called insects “…the little things that run the world.” And indeed they do. Without insects the entire balance of nature would collapse. They are the base of the food chain. A study published in the Journal of Biological Conservation suggested …”40 percent of all insect species are in decline …” Anyone who is of an age has seen that decline from when they were children chasing fireflies to being lucky to see them today. Each insect performs a vital service to the creatures around it including us.
They are food: Insects are a critical food source for birds, frogs, turtles and reptiles. Think spring when birds are searching for bugs in the debris to feed their babies.
They pollinate: Most of us know that pollinators are important for the growth of flowers, vegetables and fruits. We need them for our food supply. Pollinators are more than the bees we see in yards or in large hives. They can be bees, butterflies, ants, moths, beetles, birds and even bats.
They are scavengers: Think of them as ground composters. They are removing dead plant and animal material from the environment preventing a serious mess.
Some kill bad bugs: Beneficial insects are critical to growers to fight the bugs that eat crops.
They move seeds: Many plants depend on insects to scatter their seeds so they can disperse and grow.
March Nature Scoop - https://mailchi.mp/26d7ffc2e882/nature-scoop-march-2021
News from Sustainable Cleveland - Black Sustainability Leaders: Making Cleveland a Thriving City on a Blue Lake (mailchi.mp)
Watershed Stream Maintenance Recording (4) Watershed-Friendly Stream Maintenance for Communities
OSU Entomology Lectures - Welcome Spring! Authors Speaker Series | Partners for Pollinators (osu.edu)
Wetland Vernal Pools Lectures - Ohio Wetlands Association Events | Eventbrite
Euclid Creek Watershed Progam - March Update
There are several Cleveland Metroparks reservations in the Euclid Creek Watershed - Emerald Necklace Publication | Cleveland Metroparks
I hope you can take advantage of some of these awesome environmental education opportunities. If not, please pass them on to anyone interested.
Let's Stay Environmental,
Kelly Butauski, President
Friends of Euclid Creek