Friday, February 27, 2009

Member Summer Camp Sign-ups Tomorrow!

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center's Member Summer Camp Registration begins tomorrow at 10 a.m.! You can sign up for membership during early registration and immediately take advantage of member discounts! Just fill out our membership form and bring it with you.
Take a look at our summer program menu through out Summer Camp Guide (pdf) and Quick Reference Camp Flyer (pdf). Follow this link to the registration page on our website for everything you need to map out a great summer for your kids!
Here's to a fantastic and fun summer in the Great Outdoors! We are sooo ready!

New Bay Village Eagle Photo

We have an even better photo to share now of the Bald Eagle that's apparantly been using the Lake Erie shoreline in Bay Village as a spring hunting ground. Thanks again to Stephen Watterson who shared this picture of the majestic bird standing on the ground in his back yard. See our earlier post below for more eagle details!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bald Eagle Sighting In Bay Village

The road Eagle Cliff in Bay Village, just a few blocks from Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, is living up to its name with the periodic appearances of Bald Eagles. The picture at left was taken and shared with us by Lake Road resident Stephen Watterson who has been marveling at these awesome creatures who've been visiting his backyard.

This is the time of year when Bald Eagle activity becomes more pronounced as their breeding activities take place. Pairs from last year are actively reinforcing their pair bond in preparation for nest building and egg laying. And lone Bald Eagles are trying to impress a bird of the opposite sex to form new breeding pairs.

Last year, there were 184 breeding pairs of Eagles in the state of Ohio, up from 164 pairs the previous year. The only Cuyahoga County nest site in recent history has been in Brecksville, in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, but with the rapidly increasing number of Ohio Eagles, it's only a matter of time before more nesting pairs establish themselves... maybe in your own backyard.

We have also recently received an unconfirmed report of Bald Eagles in the trees by Clague and I-90 in Westlake. So, during your local commutes, keep your eyes to the skies and you might catch sight of these majestic Birds of Prey. -Dave Wolf, Director of Wildlife
P.S. You can read about our resident Bald Eagle at this Kids Corner link.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kiwanis Make Over the Critter Corner

Have you and your kids discovered the fun new items in Lake Erie Nature & Science Center's Critter Corner? This popular play area is sporting a whole new look thanks to the 2008 Bay Village Kiwanis Club. A generous donation from the club is funding the ongoing purchase of new, nature and wildlife themed toys and activities. The initial purchases include a “tree house” and a colorful puppet theatre stocked with animal puppets that mimic our collection of live animals including a fox, bald eagle and raccoon.

If you haven't discovered the Critter Corner yet, it's situated next to a cozy fireplace in the main Exhibit Hall and is a favorite spot for families who want to unwind and connect with friends after touring the indoor and outdoor live animal exhibits or attending a planetarium show. It’s also a no-cost escape in the cold of winter or the heat of summer. As an independent, non-profit organization, (nope, contrary to popular misconception, we're NOT funded by the Metroparks budget!) we couldn't have made these improvements to the free play area without donor support!
The Kiwanis Club of Bay Village is part of Kiwanis International, “a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world, one community and one child at a time.” The local group welcomes new members interested in performing community service and helping children in Bay Village. You can learn more about the club on their website at

Thanks Bay Kiwanis!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Follow Us on Twitter

If you Twitter, you can follow us now at It's our on-the-go feed of timely and bite-sized information that includes Lake Erie Nature & Science Center news, happenings and links.
Wondering what Twitter is all about? "Twitter is a unique approach to communication and networking based on the simple concept of status. What are you doing? What are your friends doing—right now? With Twitter, you may answer this question over SMS or the Web and the responses are shared between contacts."

Comic Strip Features Our Center

In Sunday papers all over the world yesterday, Lake Erie Nature & Science Center got a tip of the hat thanks to award-winning Lakewood cartoonist Chip Sansom. The Sunday, February 22, The Born Loser features two girls catching snowflakes with a Lake Erie Nature & Science Center sign in the background. Another panel points to the "deer barn." A 2003 bio of Sansom says he likes to include details from greater Cleveland in his comic art.

The Born Loser is syndicated by United Media to more than 1300 newspapers in 35 countries around the globe! That means "Lake Erie Nature & Science Center" was translated into 9 languages for this strip. Chip, we thank you for the "shout out!"

Friday, February 20, 2009

Visions of Nature

Our Women's Board is looking forward to welcoming Hal Mitcheltree to present Visions of Nature tomorrow. West Shore Sun Reporter Alison Meaney has a nice preview feature on Hal's method for capturing nature in photographs and music on and in this week's print edition of the Sun. We hope to see you at the Center tomorrow for Hal's program which begins at 3 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door.

Program Notes and Changes

With Summer Registration for members coming up in just about a week and our Spring Session starting in March, we wanted to spread the word about some changes and corrections to our Spring Session and our 2009 Summer Program Guide offerings.

  • Summer - The age range for the Wanderers Overnight Camp was misprinted in the original 2009 Summer Program Guide. The grade range is correct, but the ages should read 11 -14 and NOT 14 and up. (This pdf version has been corrected.)
  • Summer - We regret that we will not be able to offer the Critter Club Camp or the Adopt A Beach Clean-up as listed in our 2009 Summer Program Guide. Both of these programs have been canceled.
  • Spring - Our After School Adventures schedule has been changed for the Spring Session that starts in March. Grades 1 - 2 will meet in the Porter Creek Room on Tuesdays from 4 - 5 p.m.; Grades 3 - 4 will gather on Mondays from 4 - 5 p.m. in the Rocky River Room. Bev Walborn will be teaching both.
  • Spring - Friday Family Fun - Going Green has been canceled.

There are lots of great spring and summer programs to get your kids off the couch and into the great outdoors! Spring sign-ups are ongoing.

Summer Registration for members, begins in person on Saturday, February 28 at 10 a.m.. You can sign up for membership during early registration and immediately take advantage of member discounts! Non-members are welcome to register beginning on Tuesday, March 10.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Muskrat Love

This week, we received an animal not often seen around Northeast Ohio. A Muskrat was brought in to our Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Program from Macedonia, OH. She was dehydrated, emaciated and showed signs of neurological damage. We have been able to re-hydrate her and she is eating. However, the neurological damage does not seem to be improving. We are continuing to hold out hope for her recovery but if her symptoms do not improve soon we may need to euthanize her.

Although Muskrats often go unseen, they can be found through most of North America. They tend to be elusive because they are nocturnal and mostly aquatic animals that live in marshes, rivers, ponds and lakes. They are excellent swimmers and can stay under water for up to 15 minutes. The majority of their diet is aquatic plant material but they will also eat some small animals like crayfish and frogs.

Muskrats have been trapped for centuries for their fur, which is extremely soft. However the biggest threat to their population is habitat loss. - Amy LeMonds, Wildlife Rehabilitation Specialist

Monday, February 16, 2009

Volunteer Contributions Are Key

Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart. ~Elizabeth Andrews

As Lake Erie Nature & Science Center strives to do more with less, we are more grateful than ever for our dedicated volunteers, who serve in virtually every aspect of our operation. We’re currently seeking more people who have the heart for our mission and are willing to invest their time in it.
How do volunteers help? They are the enthusiastic animal handlers who provide hands-on animal experiences for our visitors and off-site guests. They are the smiling faces and cheerful voices at our welcome desk. They are the creative and energetic teams behind fantastic special events like our Annual Benefit and Family Fun Fest. They also make up a dedicated animal care corps - adults and teens who clean cages and feed wildlife without compensation or complaint. They are the generous parents who offer to help out in a classroom or camp. They are members of our Board of Directors and Women’s Board who provide expertise and support in countless ways. We have a variety of current needs and opportunities.

It doesn’t matter if you have a little or a lot to give, you can make a difference!
“It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can.” ~Sydney Smith

You can contact our Volunteer Coordinator Julie Mistur at (440) 871-2900 x215 or fill out an online application to join our team! By the way, we’ll be celebrating our great volunteers during Volunteer Appreciation Week in April. Watch for details coming soon.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Join Us On Facebook

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is now on Facebook. You can become a fan, check out our photos and videos and upload your own, receive event updates or connect with other fansand supporters of our non-profit. We also hope to use the page to help plan reunions of some of our old volunteers and friends. So, become a fan and invite others to join our online community.
If you're searching for us, remember to use the ampersand ("&") in our name. Our "official" page is the one with the owl eyes! See you on Facebook!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Camp Correction

We want to make a correction to the Wanderer's Camp listing on page 4 of our 2009 Summer Camp Guide (this pdf has been corrected). This is a great new overnight camp option for middle schoolers in grades 6 - 8 and who are ages 11 - 14. Our program Guide erroneously lists the age requirement as 14 & up which obviously would make some very old 6th, 7th and 8th graders!

Tweens and teens in this camp will canoe the Huron River, hike forests and visit wildlife rehab facilities. They'll spend the night in a national park, field station observatory and historic train depot. Check out the details on our website! Our apologies for the error.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Summer Camp 2009!

The snow mounds are still a mile high, but use your imagination and conjur up the warm and wonderful days of summer! We've already imagined a summer where kids ages 3 - 13 will be combing the beach at Lake Erie, hiking the woods and meadows, discovering the stars, feeling the heartbeat of a live animal and launching a real rocket at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center's 2009 summer camps!

This year's day camp choices will include: Walk on the Wild Side, Wonders of Water, Space Camps, Log Cabin Kindercamps, Nature Nuts preschool camps, Back to Nature Girl Scout Camp, plus a new overnight option for middle schoolers. New this year: older campers (approximately age 9 & up) will tap technology in their exploration, using cool tools like video-cams and GPS units.
Take a look at all the possibilities in our hot-off-the-presses, 2009 Summer Program Guide (pdf). Use our one-page, Camps-At-A-Glance flyer (pdf), sorted by date and age, to chart your summer fun. Refer back to the Program Guide for complete descriptions and additional activities like our Family Camp-out Night, Weekend Explorers and Planetarium Programs.
Keep in mind that our most popular camps fill quickly so reserve your child's spot as soon as possible! We start the registration process later this month, with members-only early, discounted sign-ups beginning on February 28.
You can become a member before or during registration and begin taking advantage of member benefits right away.
By the way, it's also not too late to sign up for Spring Session preschool, Kindergarten enrichment or other programs that begin on March 12! Questions? Call (440) 871-2900.