I was pleased to have witnessed first hand on May 4th a great event the Portage Lakes Advisory Council organized at the Portage Lakes Kiwanis.
The Council invited Clearwater systems that was assisting citizens with testing their water samples from their lakes as well as homes and providing feedback on whether they found any problems.
Here’s a few pictures of them in action:
City of Green’s Steese Road Educational Wetland
Next, I learned about the Steese Road Education Wetland that the City of Green is creating in the Hightower Neighborhood. Here’s a picture I took of their informational board:
The wetland will be accessible by students to learn about various communities (places they have designed and will maintain year round) as they’ve highlighted in the map above:
- American Burreed
- Common Arrowhead
- Sweet Flag
Emergent Wetland Community:
- Pickerel Weed
- Marsh Marigold
- Swamp Rose Mallow
- Water Plantain
- Swamp Loosestrife
Sedge Meadow Community:
- White Turtlehead
- Cardinal Flower
- Obedient Plant
- Number of Sedges
Wet Meadow Community:
- Monkey Flower
- Swamp Milkweed
- Green-headed Coneflower
- Queen of the Prairie
- A variety of Asters
Mesic Meadow Community:
- Native grasses
- Blazing Star
- Blue False Indigo
- Mountain Mint
- Joe Pye Weed
Upland Prairie Community:
- Black-eyed Susans
- Various Native Grasses
That’s not all. There’s going to be:
- Many other aquatic creatures
- Colorful plants
- Parking which provides access to the general public, a gazebo and signage!
Looking forward to this project to complete so I can take a few pictures when its nice and clear out!!! Not to mention that even adults that don’t know some of the names above, can actually reference them live in person at the site.
Ohio Lake Management Society
Next, I met up with friends from the Ohio Lake Management Society – Dana, Lynn and Ken.
I have been a participant of their water quality testing effort for a few years. Here’s a few pictures from their booth:
During this visit, I was able to video tape some material that I hope they can reuse and share with the general public and promote volunteer reports of water quality from all water bodies in North-East Ohio which they maintain on a website maintained by Kent State University.
I have to emphasize the work that volunteers do to maintain and consistently mail/fax/email results to this team. In fact, when I showed the local organizer of Code for America the data set, she got so impressed that she and I might work on getting some software written one day as part of a civic hacking effort, that adds value to citizens life. I’ll be blogging about this more when I have my thoughts refined. Until then, I can keep collecting data points for the team!
If you’ve been reading the newspapers in or around Portage Lakes, you’ll be familiar with artist Dale Warren. He was kind enough to help out Coventry township promote water conservation. How?
Well he did something he does best: he painted a Rain Barrel.
Here are a few great photos I took of his work on display there:
Truly inspirational work!
I should tell the fine folks at Summit Art Space in downtown Akron about the rain barrels next time I visit them, lots of students can benefit from learning to paint on a curved surface like the barrels provide.
Portage Lakes Purple Martin Association
I met Larry Hunter, and boy was it great to learn about this man’s accomplishment. It all started with a problem I learned – too many insects around the lake shore. Larry started researching and found that Purple Martin birds are well suited to eat the insects surrounding lake bodies. Soon, he got to work like Johnny Appleseed, providing Purple Martins a way to stay at the Portage Lakes as well as lay their eggs in the provided man-made nests (They’re actually called Gourd homes 🙂 ).
One of the most exciting things Larry let me know was that in the fall his organization allows citizens to witness 10,000 Purple Martins swirling around on the lake. Please visit their website I linked below for more information.
Operation Orphan Wildlife Rehabilitation, Inc.
I learned earlier that there were going to be a few animals at the event. My family joined me later to witness them in person. During our visit I learned about the Director of the Operation Orphan Wildlife Rehab Inc – Fran Kitchen. She provides for abandoned or injured animals not too far from where I live. I hope to visit her some day and dedicate a separate blog post for her non-profit. Here’s a few pictures I took of the animals she brought for the day:
A few other fantastic people I met during the visit I don’t know the names of, but as I meet them again, I’m sure I’ll be updating my blog post here.
In the meantime here’s a few more informational poster boards:
Looking forward to the event next year!
Thanks to the sponsors and the organizers of the event.