Two Case Western Reserve students joined five Brooklyn Centre Naturalists today to pick up trash, cut down Japanese Knotweed, prune plants, rake leaves and much, much more.
I have a friend who says that the people who show up are the right people, when it’s over it’s over and what happened is the right thing.
Well, today was the test of all that and more. Our work crew cleaned the trash in the alley behind the garden, cleaned out the storm drains, pulled baby thistles until there were no more, set two large rocks at the alley entrance to the garden and ran out of work before the set finish time.
While we worked, we listened to the birds chirping, singing and scolding. Many of them were unhappy that we had invaded their native habitat. One young lady uncovered colony after colony of pill bugs and other insects still burrowed in the soil to defend themselves against the cold.
When we turned around to survey our work before departing, we saw American Robins searching the disturbed soil for worms, we heard cardinals singing back and forth to each other and a downy woodpecker pecking at a tree eating insects for lunch. But more than anything, the smell of good, rich soil exemplifies how this former junk filled lot has become a beautiful garden and sanctuary for the Brooklyn Centre community.
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Here are the locations for BIRD WALKS throughout our area SUNDAYS, April 13 through May 18 begin bright and early at 7:30 am.
Cosponsored by Cleveland MetroParks, The Audubon Society of Greater Cleveland, The Cleveland Museum of Natural History and other local park districts.
There is much for Bird Watchers to do in NEO in the Spring!
Brooklyn Centre Naturalists
81st Annual Series of Spring Bird Walks Last three Sundays in April and first three Sundays in May, 7:30 a.m. Watch the spring migrants return or travel through to their summer breeding grounds during the 81st Annual Series of Spring Bird Walks. Cosponsored by Cleveland Metroparks, The Audubon Society of Greater Cleveland, The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and other local park districts, walks will be held on Sundays, April 13 through May 18 at 7:30 a.m. at the following locations:
Aurora Sanctuary - Audubon Society of Greater Cleveland Sanctuary, parking lot east of Page Rd. on E. Pioneer Trail, east of routes 306 and 43, Aurora 440-543-6399
Bedford Reservation - Hemlock Creek Picnic Area parking lot, off Button Rd., Bedford 440-734-6660
Big Creek Reservation - Lake Isaac, Big Creek Parkway, Middleburg Heights 440-734-6660
Brecksville Reservation - Parking area at Station Rd. Bridge Trailhead, off Riverview Rd. south of route 82, Brecksville 440-526-1012
Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve - Lakefront Reservation Ranger Headquarters building at Gordon Park (exit Shoreway at Martin Luther King Blvd., go north; park entrance on left) 440-734-6660
2. Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society Field trip to Sandy Ridge Reservation, Lorain Metro Parks Saturday March 8, 2014 at 9 a.m. Leader: Josh Michalski Target species: Waterfowl, American Woodcock, Sand hill Crane, Eastern Meadowlark Water birds return in spring to Northeast Ohio's ponds, lakes and wetlands. Sandy Ridge has some of the best habitat in Northeast Ohio. In addition to the species above, there is a good possibility to see Bald Eagles and Eastern Bluebirds. Meet at the Johnson Wetland Center, 6195 Otten Road, North Ridgeville, OH 44039. Find directions and a map at: http://www.wcasohio.org/sandy_ridge_reservation.htm
Sunday, March 9th
BCN member Tom Romito in his role as president of WCAS leads the program: The Lost Bird Project” and Saving Species from Extinction at the Metroparks Zoo auditorium from 2 – 4 pm.
Maria suggests heading over to their event, taking fliers, and giving a short pitch. Maybe someone planning to attend their event could check out the Phragmites and report back to us as well as letting everyone know what we are planning. I know Bob Gardin has been taking it forward as has Greg Cznadel to FOBC. Contact Maria at email@example.com if you want to help.
Bob Gardin has informed us they will be meeting in the Brooklyn Fire Station Community Room after the hike for Irish Stew and other Irish goodies.
Monday, March 17, Saint Patrick’s Day
BCN Member Maria Dimengo has an idea see below. If anyone wants to help her organize an event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since March 17 - 24 is the kickoff for National Wildlife Week, and people in Cleveland love St. Patrick's Day....
Why don't we plan a BCN gathering where there is going to be a crowd for St. Patrick's Day (in the 44109 area code), bring some of those Wildlife certification pamphlets and try and get as many people to sign them?
As people drink, we could be talking about Phragmites ... make it real informal, but with a purpose.
We could call it our final drive -- let's reach our goal by the first of spring!
We could find a place that sells really good corned beef and cold beer???
Saturday, April 5th
9:30 am to 12:30 pm
BCN Work Day at 36th Street Commons Join us when we work with a Baldwin Wallace work crew to get the garden at 3848 West 36th Street ready for spring. Pruning, mulching, trash pickup.
Just a quick note to let you know that the February Kirtland Bird Club will be this Wednesday, Feb 12. Tom Romito will be speaking!! This in from our friends at Kirtland Bird Club.
Come and listen to Tom Romito!!!
The Kirtland Bird Club will be having our monthly meeting this Wednesday February 12th 2014 at 7:30pm in the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Our speaker, Tom Romito, will detail the results and methodology of the Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society’s 5 year survey of the Rocky River watershed. Also, bring some money or a checkbook if you would like to help KBC become a presence in the Project SnowStorm – a plan to band and track snowy owls visiting Northern Ohio. It will take place in classroom B. Admission to the meeting and the museum is free for both members and non-members as always! Hope to see you soon! Cleveland Museum of Natural History 1 Wade Oval, University Circle, Cleveland, Ohio 44106 View Map · Get Directions
OPERATION SNOWSTORM: a plan to band and track Snowy Owls visiting Northern Ohio.
The February 2014 issue of Old Brooklyn News published this article announcing the rolling launch of Wildlife Nation by the National Wildlife Federation.
Brooklyn Centre Naturalists now part of Wildlife Nation
by Gloria Ferris
Brooklyn Centre Naturalist
The National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF’s) mission is to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future. In an ongoing effort to connect today’s youth with wildlife, NWF has initiated www.wildlifenation.org.
Brooklyn Centre Naturalists (BCN) is proud to announce that they are a “seed” team for the NWF launch of Wildlife Nation. They are one of sixteen founding teams representing the states of Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia and Vermont.
Since 1982 the Great Lakes Regional Center has been working with people in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin to protect the Great Lakes (the largest freshwater ecosystem on earth); connect kids with wildlife; and confront the challenges for wildlife in a warming climate.
Last spring, BCN members Sharon Martyn and Gloria Ferris met with NWF’s Great Lakes Regional Director Becky Lentz and accepted her invitation for BCN to be part of Wildlife Nation. It is an on-line community which connects on-the-ground wildlife communities so that they can support and learn from each other and share stories celebrating the connection between kids and wildlife.
Ms. Lentz explained, “We started Wildlife Nation because we can’t imagine a world where nature and wildlife are not a part of kids’ lives. Our goal is to create a community where we all help each other so that kids today can enjoy the wonders of wildlife whether they live in a large city, a suburb or a rural community."
Brooklyn Centre and Old Brooklyn residents, groups and organizations are a natural fit for this on-line community –-
We live on the banks of Big Creek, an urbanized stream which flows into the Cuyahoga River which flows into Lake Erie.
We live adjacent to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, the center of the Emerald Necklace.
Our Metroparks join the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, one of the most visited parks in the United States.
We live in an area which knows the importance of our connection to nature.
Now we have a way to share our stories on Wildlife Nation. In the words of Julia Liljegren, Great Lakes Regional Education Manager, “We view Wildlife Nation as a kind of ‘niche Facebook’ for adults who care about wildlife and want to pass that sense of caring on to the kids in their lives – whether those are their own kids, grandkids, or the kids at their school, church or down the block."
Many of us grew up in a time when exploring the woods behind our houses, or playing in a babbling brook down the street, or taking a hike with our friends was what we did after school or all summer long.
Today that is often not the case. Increasingly children are spending more time indoors passively enjoying electronic devices.
Wildlife Nation intends to help reverse this trend by inspiring kids and the adults in their lives to get outdoors every day to enjoy the beauty and wonder which exist around them, thus creating a generation of happier, healthier children with more awareness and connection to the natural world.
"Wildlife Nation is open to adults who want to help create a future in which kids develop and retain a wonder, respect and appreciation for wildlife," said Ms. Lentz. "There is no one right way to get kids outdoors. We’re forming a community that is helping grow the next generation of wildlife stewards.”
What an opportunity for Brooklyn Centre and Old Brooklyn residents, groups, and organizations to become part of the future of wildlife stewardship!
Given the nature of this on-line community and its reach, most of the groups are private and therefore by invitation only. You can join the Brooklyn Centre Naturalists group on Wildlife Nation by emailing bcnaturalistsATgmail. com or calling Gloria Ferris at 216-351-0254. BCN will be sending out invitations to members and friends shortly.
Thanks to those of you who have supported BCN’s certification effort by becoming backyard habitats. The magic number of additional yards still needed is now down to 18 from 24.
Article reprinted with the permission of Old Brooklyn News
BCNWC: Brooklyn Centre National Wildlife Community
4020 Denison Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44109
SUBJECT: Saturday, January 18th BCN meeting at the Carnegie Library across from Riverside Cemetery
Happy New Year to all our Neighbors!
Usually, Brooklyn Centre Naturalists (BCN) end each year with our strategic planning meeting. Since this is a VERY important planning meeting for us this year, we have decided to kick it off in 2014--and we would like to invite you to
attend. WHAT: Final Stretch to Become a Certified National Wildlife Community WHEN: Saturday, January 18, 2014 10:00 a.m. to Noon WHERE: Brooklyn Branch Cleveland Public Library 3706 Pearl Road
(Parking is available in the Brooklyn Centre Shopping center and on Mapledale)
Tom Romito, facilitator, will walk us through our strategy to cross the finish line to Certification of our National Wildlife Community.
Planning will include final numbers, celebration and next steps for BCN. See our blog at www.brooklyncentrenaturalists.net for an idea of what we have done in prior years.
Come join us for a robust and energetic conversation and planning session!
At last report US EPA plans to cap Reed Park and remove most of the trees. Reasons given at the public meeting on August 26, 2013 and subsequent conversations included: * It would cost money to save them. * If a tree blows down, exposing the roots, subsurface contamination would also be exposed * The roots of trees only extend 8” below the surface, and putting two feet of fill above the roots of the trees to cap the soil would deprive them of oxygen and eventually kill them * Only a few people at public meetings focused on saving the trees * Many of the trees are old * Some trees are sick or dead * Some species of trees are undesirable * Some of the trees are not structurally sound and could fall on children
Most of the above rationales could be applied to trees throughout the city, etc. As a result it looked like the government was going beyond what is reasonable to try to justify the removal of most trees from the park to try to make their removal as part of the proposed remedial action more acceptable. That approach backfired.
A previous brownfields study in the park showed concentrations of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) above those acceptable for direct human contact in the fill material sampled to depths of 2’ or 4’ in most of the park. Three to six inches of grassy topsoil has been covering most of the surface of the park and subsurface fill material for about 50 years or more. Portions of the park are also covered with concrete or sand (in the baseball diamond). The topsoil was never separately sampled and analyzed to determine if it presents a significant risk from direct contact. Fungus and other microorganisms in grassy topsoil are known to destroy PAHs at a rate of 0.2% to 17% per month. Microorganisms associated with tree roots can also destroy PAHs. For details, see
Given the amount of time that has passed and natural removal mechanisms, it is reasonable to assume that the current surface topsoil (0-3” to 0-6”) have PAH levels at equilibrium with contaminant transport mechanisms from subsurface soil due to natural bioremediation. Until the topsoil, etc. are sampled and analyzed, no significant risk from direct contact with the soil at the surface of the park has been proven. Under the circumstances, sampling the top 3” of topsoil is needed to determine if direct contact poses a threat to public health, as alleged.
Yesterday, I spoke with Partners Environmental—the contractor that did the Phase II investigation of Reed Park (upon which US EPA has been basing its planning for remediation of Reed Park). He told me that at meetings with the City of Cleveland, the health department, attorneys, etc. Partners Environmental, informed them that Reed Park presented no immediate danger to public health. (This is in sharp contrast to what the City has been telling US EPA based on the Phase II study results) However the Phase II investigation did show a need to remove and rebury or treat contaminated subsurface fill material if excavated, where and when the City does any construction in most of the park. Partners Environmental proposed to the City of Cleveland that it provide a Remedial Action Plan (RAP) and to help with specifications and bidding for the development of the park. They were not selected. Partners Environmental still has the key staff who were responsible for the Phase II investigation, and their experience could help EPA and their contractors avoid re-inventing the wheel in the development of an appropriate remedial action plan for the Park if hired to help in this work.
Under the circumstances, it would be appropriate to consider the configuration, past use, and plans for Reed Park and nearby areas: • Divide it into appropriate operable units (including separate units for the baseball diamond, clusters of trees and major single trees in the park, areas where the City is planning construction within the park, homes on W 15 St, etc.) • Take and analyze composite surface (0-3:or 0-4” from the surface) soil samples within appropriate operable units within the park and in nearby neighborhoods (subsurface sampling in nearby neighborhoods would also be appropriate) • Determine where surface soil contamination levels are acceptable for residential land use in the park and release those areas for renewed public access and recreational land use • Use EPA emergency response funding to remediate in those operable units where there is a significant hazard if the land use remains as is • Remediate contaminated subsurface soil only o Where surface soil contamination presents a significant risk to public health and the subsurface soil is significantly contaminated o When and where excavation takes place in contaminated soil For more details, see: