Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Old Cartridges, iPods & Cell Phones Add Up

Did you know that our non-profit organization can benefit from your old cell phones, PDAs, laptops, iPods and depleted HP and Dell printer cartridges? You can drop these items off at our front desk and we'll not only send them off for recycling/reuse, but we'll convert them into merchandise credits or cash donations for Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. Printer cartridges must be HP or Dell brand.

We'll also be collecting printer cartridges, mobile phones, iPods and laptops at our July 25 Shredding Day. Thanks for recycling and rethinking how easy it is to make a difference to a worthy cause!

Food for thought: more than 1.1 billion inkjet cartridges are used annually around the world - laid end to end this would be 129 times as long as the Great Wall of China!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Children Reading to Adopt Owl

The potential “adoption” of a Great Horned Owl from Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is motivating children to read this summer. The Bay Village branch of the Cuyahoga County Library kicked off its Summer Reading Program this month, with a variety of incentives to keep kids turning pages over the summer, including the promise of an “Adopt An Animal” certificate in their name.

For every 400 hours the children read, the Bay Friends of the Library group has pledged to donate money to “adopt” the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center’s Great Horned Owl for one month. Librarians are urging the kids to read enough to push the adoption to a year!

Activities to kick off the library’s “Eco Quest” Summer Reading Program, included a June 14 visit from Lake Erie Nature & Science Center Wildlife Director Dave Wolf and a live, Great Horned Owl! We hope a look into those great golden eyes will keep the kids’ eyes focused on lots of great books over the summer! If you missed that bit of inspiration, you can visit our Great Horned Owls during normal operating hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. , seven days a week! Find out more about our Adopt An Animal program at this link.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

NASA Explorer School

Representatives from schools across the country who’ve been chosen as NASA Explorer schools paid a visit to Lake Erie Nature & Science Center’s Schuele Planetarium this month as part of their enrichment activities.
NASA Explorer Schools program is designed to bring engaging mathematics, science and technology learning to a select group of educators each year. Teams of teachers and education administrators from diverse communities across the country work with education specialists from NASA centers, including NASA Glenn, in an effort to encourage innovative science and mathematics instruction for 4th - 9th graders.

Here at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, two-dozen Explorer School participants enjoyed an interactive star show and heard first-hand how hands-on, informal science education can make a difference in bringing complex concepts to life. Schuele Planetarium Director Jay Reynolds, Planetarium Specialist Jessica Mazzola and three NASA representatives led the workshop.
For more on how you can enjoy a planetarium program, visit the Schuele Planetarium online. For more information about the Explorer Schools program visit http://explorerschools.nasa.gov/.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Seldom Seen Weasel In & Out Of Rehab

We had a brief appearance today by an animal we don't often see in our Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Program. An animal control officer brought us this cute (but strong smelling!) Least Weasel. Seems a homeowner trapped it and thought it was someone's escaped pet Ferret. Turns out, it is from the same animal family, but different species.

We ID'd it as a Least Weasel, based on the size and lack of a black tip of the tail. The Least Weasel has a mostly brown summer coat, which turns all white in the winter to match the snowy surroundings. Because they blend so well, are super quick and most active at night, Least Weasels are rarely spotted.As the smallest carnivores in the world, their sleek bodies allow them to follow mice into burrows but they can also climb trees and swim! As our staff discovered today, these weasels also put out a strong "musk" odor when alarmed!

Regardless of the type of weasel we had on our hands, our advice was to have the officer return this healthy-appearing wild animal back to its' natural habitat. In this case, that meant the "wild" backyard woods of suburban Westlake, where weasels can actually be beneficial in controlling the rodent population.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Register To ReConnect at Our Reunion!

Has Lake Erie Nature & Science Center played a special part in your life? It doesn’t matter if you volunteered in the era of Elberta Fleming’s VW bus… or worked at the Center in more recent times, we want to invite you to reConnect and reDiscover your place at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center!

We’re making plans to gather up former NAs, volunteers, Board Members, Women’s Board members, curators and staffers for our first-ever Legacy Reunion on Saturday, November 14! We’ll fill you in on details as plans for our legacy celebration evolve.

To receive an invitation, please submit your contact information using Lake Erie Nature & Science Center’s online contact form. Write “Legacy Reunion” in the Comments section. We encourage you to pass along reunion information to others who have a history with Lake Erie Nature & Science Center.
It’s going to be an exciting day of sharing memories and seeing old friends! ReConnect... reDiscover Lake Erie Nature & Science Center!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Celebrating People Power

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center celebrated the impact of “people power” on Saturday, as we recognized 300 volunteers for an astounding 11,400 service hours in 2008.

A number of volunteers were singled out for special recognition on Saturday including 2008 Adult Volunteer of the Year, Kristi Latham, who served in leadership roles for the Center’s annual Family Fun Fest and for the Center’s Annual Benefit Auction. The 2008 Student Volunteer of the Year, Sean Waitkus, was honored for tireless hours spent as a weekend Naturalist Assistant. Waitkus was also the only volunteer to reach the top, “Gold Level” in The President's Volunteer Service Awards, logging more than 250 hours in a single calendar year.

A number of other teenagers involved in the Naturalist Assistants Program were honored as well, including seven graduating High School Seniors who received scholarships from the Women’s Board and others who achieved Silver and Bronze Level President's Service Awards. Service is acknowledged at three thresholds of annual hours logged, in two age categories.

We know the gift of time is precious, and we appreciate the tremendous contributions our volunteers make to the non profit mission of Lake Erie Nature & Science Center!

Ready to help? We are currently recruiting volunteers to help children at Wild Summer Reading Camp in July and August. The Center's website lists our current volunteer opportunties and you can fill out a volunteer application online as well.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Bay 6th Graders Add To Spring Challenge

More wonderful area students are fueling the 2009 Spring Appeal to benefit our non-profit organization. Students on the 6th Grade Student Council from the Bay Village Middle School, who raised funds through candy cane sales and "Penny Wars," voted to donate $240 to Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. The amount goes into the growing 2009 Spring Appeal fund kicked off by some other local students from Glenview School, who challenged everyone to follow their charitable example. In fact, this is the second year, the 6th Grade Council from Bay Middle School has donated to our Center.
Thanks to all these terrific young people for leading the way and giving back to their community!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Limited Edition T-shirts On Sale

We kicked off sales of our official 2009 Lake Erie Nature & Science Center limited edition t-shirt at Family Fun Fest. Sales continue at our front desk with a range of child and adult sizes available. The t-shirt design is based on original art by Bay Middle School student Emily Jaster, who won our art contest earlier this year.

We're selling these 50/50 cotton blend shirts for $10 each. All proceeds benefit our non-profit mission. Stop by and pick one up for everyone in the family and "wear your passion" for wildlife, nature, science and our Center!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Family Fun Fest

Thank you to everyone who turned out to support Family Fun Fest and The Great Duck Race on Sunday! A special thanks goes out to our sponsors and donors. If you love our Center and our mission, please show your gratitude to the community-minded businesses that donated Duck Race prizes and to this year's corporate sponsors: Hyland Software, Faber-Castell/Creativity for Kids, Bay Furnace, Orthodontist Charles P Canepa, D.D.S., M.S., Huntington Bank and Meritech, plus our media sponsor, Mimi Vanderhaven.

This event is not possible without a host of volunteers, led by event chair Courtney McGurer. Follow this YouTube Link to see video of the start of The Great Duck Race, chaired by Becca Huntington. Thanks to again to all our committee chairs, volunteers, sponsors, donors and guests! See you at the 2010 Family Fun Fest!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Countdown to Family Fun Fest

Hey, did you catch us "Kickin' It With Kenny" on Fox 8 TV this morning? We took our beautiful Barred Owl, rubber duck racers, cool crafts and more this morning to Kenny Crumpton's live broadcast from the Rock Hall. We were only able to share just a little taste of all that we have going on Sunday at Family Fun Fest. You won't want to miss it.
We're setting up tents and finalizing all the details for our big event today! Find Family Fun Fest details here. Buy activity tickets any time from now through the event. Duck sponsorships on sale until 1:30 p.m. of race day or until they sell out!See you Sunday!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Injured Baby Hawk Re-Nested

An injured baby Red-Shouldered Hawk, hurt in a fall out of a high nest in Berea, was returned to its “treehouse” and the care of its natural mom with the aid of a bucket lift on Friday. A group of maintenance workers found the injured baby below a big tree last week. The bird was very weak and flies had laid eggs in its feathers.
Staffers from the Kenneth A. Scott Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Program cleaned the feathers up, rehydrated and fed it a few times, quickly enabling the young hawk to regain its strength. The best option for this baby was to return to the wild to continue growing up in the wild under its parents care.

For Lake Erie Nature & Science Center Wildlife Director, Dave Wolf, that meant donning a hard hat, joining one of the rescuers in a bucket lift and after some maneuvering, getting just close enough to place the bird safely and gently back into the nest. You can watch a short video clip of the final hand-off below.
One of our wildlife volunteers has since been back to Berea to check and she observed both mom and dad at the nest! That said, Wildlife Rehab does not offer guarantees, but we do our best to give injured wildlife a chance at survival back in the wild. We're glad this situation appears to be working out beautifully!