Friday, December 17, 2010

Variety of Water Birds Seen In Rehab

This week’s intense wintry weather brought an influx of injured water birds into our Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Program. It’s common for us to see quite a few of these birds each winter, but we don’t always encounter such variety of species at once.

Wildlife Rehabilitation Coordinator Amy LeMonds identified the birds sharing rehab quarters this week as 2 Pied-bill Grebes and 2 Horned Grebes, along with a Canvasback duck and 2 Ruddy ducks.

The grebes have legs that are set far back on their bodies, ideal for propelling them through the water and diving for dinner but not for walking.

This body arrangement also means that they cannot take flight without paddling across the surface of water.This time of year, grebes can get stuck on snow-covered frozen lakes or in shallow puddles that collect on land. Often, all that is required of us is that we get them to open water to restore their ability to take flight.

We were already able to return 3 of the grebes and 2 of the ducks to Lake Erie this week, in the warm open water near the Avon Lake power plant.

Monday, December 13, 2010

2011 Board Leadership Named

Charles V. Aquino
The Board of Directors at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center has elected officers to provide leadership and support for the Bay Village nonprofit organization in 2011. Charles V. Aquino, Director at Western Reserve Partners LLC, will serve a second term as President. Mr. Aquino, a Northeast Ohio native and Fairview Park resident, has served on the board for six years and brings an investment banking background to his leadership role.

“I am honored to serve a second term as President of the Board,” said Mr. Aquino. “I work with exemplary professionals, both my colleagues on the Board and in Center management. It’s a privilege to coordinate the many talents of our Board to benefit a great nonprofit organization. Collectively, we share a passion for the Center’s mission and a responsibility to see that this Northeast Ohio treasure thrives now and in the future.”

Also re-elected are Vice President Colleen Lowmiller, Senior Actuarial Consultant at Findley Davies, Inc., and Secretary Corryn Firis, Staff Attorney at the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. Jerry Rudowsky, Senior Manager, Assurance Services at Ernst & Young LLP, will take over as Treasurer. In addition to officer elections, Steve Koliha, Client Executive at IBM Corporation, was elected to the Board.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Unwrapping Your Year-end Gifts To Nature

 Amy LeMonds prepares to return a owl to the wild.
Just three weeks left in 2010! We hope you've included your favorite charities on your gift list. Year-end support is crucial to the good work of so many valuable nonprofit organizations like Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. 

Imagine in your mind's eye that 180,000 children and adults will be "unwrapping" your gift in 2011... with magical moments during free visits to our live animals and free advice and help for injured backyard animals through our respected Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Program. Now, that's truly a gift that keeps on giving and puts warmth in your heart and a smile on your face all year long!

Give a gift today and start spreading the joy of nature and wildlife. Thanks for your support and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

CSI + Carousel + Shredding = Busy Saturday!

Carousel, Shredding and CSI all contributed to an incredible, successful Saturday for Lake Erie Nature & Science Center.

More than 100 area residents took advantage of our latest residential Shredding Day, saving more than 55 trees by recycling 3.25 tons of paper. The Shredding Network of Wickliffe, which donated use of the mobile shredder for the morning, also estimates this single morning of recycling efforts kept 9.75 cubic yards of landfill out of the trash, stopped 195 pounds of air pollutants and saved 65 gallons of water.

Meanwhile, at Bay High School, the volunteer Women's Board of Lake Erie Nature & Science Center staged another successful Christmas
Carousel Holiday Festival to support our nonprofit mission. The long-running Carousel attracts artists, crafters and quality vendors, including the great twinkling holiday bottles and cork wreaths using recycled materials pictured above left. The other photo features Women's Board members Doris Kurz, Nancy Black, who was Carousel Cafe Chair, and Deb Barnum.

Back at the Center, we welcomed 550 Girls Scouts representing 75 troops from across Northeast Ohio for CSI: The Case of the Missing Thin Mints. This fun forensic science program was just one of the special offerings we have for scouts throughout the year!

Oh, and we also kicked off Winter Session Program Registration for Members and conducted most of our popular planetarium programs.

Quite a Saturday! Thanks to everyone involved!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Center Wins CAC Grant for the First Time!

For the first time, Lake Erie Nature & Science Center has received a 2-year grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC), the community partnership and granting agency funded by revenues from a county-wide cigarette excise tax. Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is one of 67 organizations receiving a general operating grant in the 2011 funding cycle and one of only a handful of new recipients.

Our Executive Director, Catherine Timko, had this reaction to the news: “This is truly the result of a team effort involving many people on our staff and board. Most of all, this award is a reflection of the powerful impact of our mission on people across Northeast Ohio and beyond, and our staff members’ ability, skill and enthusiasm to educate and inspire.”

The CAC Board approved a grant of $99,095 for 2011 and 2012 to fund the mission of Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. Key factors in the rigorous application and panel review process included an assessment of cultural excellence, strength of management practices and strength of community engagement measured by both donor support and program participation.

Catherine says that news of the award “energizes Lake Erie Nature & Science Center in a number of ways including confirmation of the value of our mission and affirmation of our distinction as one of Cuyahoga County’s most effective organizations. We look forward to fulfilling the charge of the grant award – delivering meaningful and impactful learning experiences to our visitors and program participants while maintaining sound management – in 2011, 2012 and beyond.”

CAC is a sub-division of the State of Ohio, which collects a dedicated tax on cigarettes sold in Cuyahoga County, to fund local arts and culture organizations. Voters approved the 10-year tax on cigarettes to fund the CAC in November of 2006.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Family Hayride Night!

The first of our two Fall Family Hayride Nights took place on Friday night with ideal, crisp, clear autumn weather. Pizza and pasta, planetarium shows and live animals, crafts and a haywagon ride through Huntington Reservation were part of the evening's activities for families.

Our Halloween Hayride night on the 29th is nearing capacity. So, if you have your heart set on attending, sign up as soon as you can to avoid disaopointment!

Bay Village Bicentennial

It took a lot of people to pull it off, but we had a great time creating a fun Bay Bicentennial Parade entry for Lake Erie Nature & Science Center yesterday.
Led by the creator of our borrowed 100-foot python, Larry Bell, nearly two dozen volunteers, expertly carried the giant snake along the parade route, hissing and doing the wave all the way! Our Executive Director Catherine Timko and her husband, Marty, procured use of the snake and transported it to and from Bay Village.

We also had volunteers showing off live animals from the open doors of our van and handing out woodland animal and reptile silly bandz.
On Saturday we hosted free crafts and a historical Meet An Animal program put on by expert live animal Volunteer, Rob Catalano.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fall Brings Wild Babies, too

Calls and assistance are picking up again as our Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Program handles another round of wildlife baby season. Although we usually think “spring” is when we encounter baby wildlife, many animals produce a second wave of offspring in the late summer or early fall.

Whenever a wild baby is healthy and active, we advise that the best course of action for the animal is to return them back to the wild. Better yet, we hope you'll call us before you interfere (440-871.2900 ext. 204!)

Infant Eastern Cottontail
Eastern Cottontails are among the wildlife still reproducing in the autumn. Baby bunnies are almost never abandoned, even when they are all alone.In order to minimize the risk of attracting predators, females only come to their nest at dusk and dawn to feed and groom their babies. A young rabbit, chipmunk-sized or bigger, is completely independent of its mother and should be left alone.

 Cottontails have a very low tolerance for stress and when kept in captivity, they very often die. Nests are often in the middle of the yard in what seems like a “bad” place but do not move the rabbits, as the mother probably won’t be able to find them. Cottontails regularly survive growing up in a typical suburban yard even with dangers like cats, kids and even dogs.
Infant Eastern Fox Squirrel

In the case of baby squirrels, which are also among the wildlife offspring you'll see in the fall, it’s not uncommon for young squirrels to show a lack of fear of humans. Even if they run right up to you, this doesn’t mean they need your help! Let them continue learning to be wild. You can help them learn a necessary and healthy fear of humans by clapping or making other loud noises to send them on their way. In fact, “What to do about friendly baby squirrels?” is Number 5 on our Frequently Asked Wildlife Rehab Questions list.

If a squirrel’s eyes are not open yet, you can secure an artificial nest to the tree using a tupperware container with holes in the bottom. Mom is able to retrieve her babies and take them back to the nest. An artificial nest can help protect the baby until it can be located by mom.

-Amy LeMonds, Wildlife Rehabilitation Coordinator

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Celebrate the Bay Bicentenial With Us!

As Bay Village prepares to celebrate its Bicentennial on October 10, 2010, Lake Erie Nature & Science Center (which has been an important nonprofit resource in the community for 60 of those 200 years) will showcase the natural history of the area with a variety of fun events. Our own history will be on display throughout the Bicentennial weekend through photos and mementos.

Activities at the Center also include a guided, adult History Hike through Huntington Reservation at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, October 6 (which requires pre-registration at $5 per adult) and a free, family-friendly live animal program focusing on the history of wildlife in the area on Saturday, October 9 at 3 p.m.

We plan to make a big splash in the Sunday, October 10, Bicentennial Parade, entering a 100-foot snake that takes 20 people to march down the street. Families are invited to drop in on Saturday, October 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to enjoy free crafts including animal masks that they can wear in the parade.

Visitors to the Center can also enter the Women’s Board raffle to win a handcrafted Bicentennial Dollhouse. The 1810-2010 Dollhouse is on display and raffle tickets are sale at the Center’s Welcome Desk from now until the drawing on Sunday, October 10.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Discover the Cosmos Sparkles in Spite of Showers

In spite of early evening showers, the stars were shining on Saturday night at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. Our 20th Annual Benefit  invited guests to Discover the Cosmos and more than 300 guests did just that, greeted with sparkling out-of-this-world d├ęcor, an astronaut photo favor station and their first signature Cosmo of the night inside the Center’s planetarium.

Guests dined on an amazing array of heavy tapas from around the world by Constantino’s Market and desserts from a host of local bakeries and eateries: Delightful Bites, Fragapane, Great Scott’s, Java Bay, Kathy’s Kolacke Shop, Lucy’s Sweet Surrender, Mojo’s, Nature’s Bin, Seballos and Sweet Melissa’s. A stellar silent auction and the cool, cosmic sounds of live music trio Bob Blankenburg, David Bruns and Tom Demis rounded out the entertainment.

Benefit Committee Amanda DiBenedetto, Corryn Firis,
Marianna Orro (Co-chair), Chris Herbruck & Alison Muth (Co-chair)
Discover the Cosmos!, our nonprofit Center’s biggest fundraising event of the year, was co-chaired by Alison Muth and Marianna Orro, with committee support from Amanda DiBenedetto, Corryn Firis and Christopher Herbruck. DiBenedetto was the force behind the decorations that included silver candlelit trees adorned with crystal ornaments and thousands of twinkle lights inside and out. She also pulled together artists of all ages to interpret our Solar System in a variety of media, with 20% of the sales benefiting the Center. Firis headed up a live auction that featured more than 85 exciting packages from great getaways and sports tickets to spa treatments and an archaeological dig. Herbruck led the Board’s goal-topping underwriting efforts.

Partygoers also participated in raffles to win two Continental Airlines round trip tickets, Sterling silver Chamilia charm bracelet from Charles S. Rivchun and Sons, a “Wild for Nature” quilt handmade by Dale Pizer Williams and Viva Pizer, plus two wheelbarrows full of beer, wine and spirits donated by Center staff and Board.

The evening raises funds to support AND focuses attention on the mission of the Center -- the planetarium, live wildlife and nature and science educational programs --and is all made possible through the generosity of invidividuals and businesses who give time and financial support.

Thanks to everyone!! Check out our Facebook album for 38 additional photos of the event.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Future Naturalists, Leaders & Philanthropists?

We are always thrilled to see children making the connection to nature, understanding how all living things are interrelated and developing a heart for the natural world. Lauren Heba, age 8,  Lauren Sparow, age 8, and Juliana Sparow, age 9, (pictured left to right in the photo below) dropped by recently to show us the posters they created to promote the protection of wild animals and nature. We thought we'd share their message to a wider audience by posting a photo of them with their handiwork in this space.

By the way, the girls are regular visitors to Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, thanks to their grandmother Pat Morriss of Lakewood. Nice job ladies!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A rare opportunity to experience one of Cleveland’s hidden treasures is coming up next month. “Nature in the Neighborhood" --the annnual "Open House" at the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve (at Dike 14)-- will take place Saturday, September 25 during prime fall migration.

The Preserve, located near the Cleveland Lakefront State Park, will be open for self-guided hikes from 7:30 am to 2:00 p.m. Enjoy birds, butterflies and stunning views of Cleveland’s skyline and Lake Erie along a one-mile trail. You're asked to aarrive 15 minutes before you want to begin your walk to sign a waiver and receive additional information.

Need Directions and help parking? Exit #177 from I-90. Parking is available at Gordon State Park. Entrances from North Marginal at E. 72nd Street, from North Marginal between E. 72nd and MLK, and park office entrance from Lakeshore Boulevard east of MLK. Additional space at E. 55th State Park (Exit SR 2).

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is a member of the sponsoring Dike 14 Environmental Education Collaborative. If you can't make it to Nature in the Neighborhood and/or would like to enjoy a guided experience for families, check out our Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve Family Day coming up on October 17. This 2-hour, hands-on experience for families with children ages 5 and up requires pre-registration and a fee. Call 440-871-2900.

The photo above was taken on a past Preserve tour by our Junior Naturalists and families.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Travel Teaches About Nature, Wildlife & More!

This is Naturalist Assistant Matt Grisnik's account of the NA's trip to  Costa Rica, where they learned about much more than the fascinating natural environment....

La Fortuna waterfall
I was given the opportunity to travel with a handful of fellow NAs to Costa Rica, one of the most bio diverse places in the world. This trip provided me with many valuable experiences and lessons, ranging from zip lining through jungle canopies, to learning to be thankful for what I have.

Our trip took us all over the country starting in the capitol, San Jose, and ending in Guanacaste, on the pacific side of the country. During the time spent in San Jose, we got a look at how other people live in less fortunate areas. This led to me realizing how well off we are here in Bay Village.

Traveling around the country we got to expeience many amazing things. One of these was La Fortuna waterfall. The waterfall was around 200 feet tall, and to get to the bottom you had to climb down some 400 steps. All the way down the view of the waterfall was awesome and the descent was well worth it. At the base of the waterfall we were able to get in and swim, although the water was rather cold I had no problem getting in and swimming. It was really a neat thing to be able to swim right next to a 200-foot waterfall in the middle of the rainforest.

Matt with an example of Costa Rica's wildlife
Another amazing experience was the boat ride to our second hotel in Tortuguero. The whole ride seemed unreal; it was like something off of the National Geographic Channel. On the way we saw the basilisk, which is a lizard that can run on water; we saw tons of birds as well, including a rufescent tiger heron and quite a few toucans. Tortuguero was probably my favorite part of the trip mainly due to the presence of all the wildlife surrounding the area. At night, we were able to spot caimans off the dock that we used to get to the hotel, and we saw many other reptiles and amphibians including a young boa.

The abundance of wildlife in Costa Rica was just incredible. It was really cool to be able to see many of the things I have read about in books and learned about in school. I am extremely thankful to have had this incredible opportunity and I know that the experiences that were afforded to me by this trip will, without a doubt, stay with me for the rest of my life.

-Matt Grisnik
Lake Erie Nature & Science Center Naturalist Assistant &
2009 Student Volunteer of the Year

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Thoughts on Costa Rica

Naturalist Assistant and our 2008 Student Volunteer of the Year, Sean Waitkus, shares more details on the this summer's NA trip to Costa Rica.

Our Itinerary: Day 1 – San Jose; Days 2 & 3– Tortuguero; Day 4 – Sarapiqui; Days 5 & 6 – Arenal Region/La Fortuna; Day 7 – Monteverde; Days 8 & 9– Guanacaste

“Biodiversity levels were massive; looking out a window you’d see more wildlife than you’d see during a week-long trek in Ohio”

Species seen: marine toad, dink frog, gladiator frog, glass frog, blue-jean frog/strawberry poison-dart frog, spectacled caiman, American crocodile, central American coral snake, emerald basilisk, house gecko, green iguana, ctenosaur, ground anole, slender anole, barred whiptail, central American whiptail, magnificent frigate bird, olivaceous cormorant, roseate spoonbill, boat-billed heron, snowy egret, tricolored heron, tiger heron, green heron, rufescent tiger heron, Muscovy duck, turkey vulture, black vulture, crested caracara, black hawk, black and white owl, kingfisher, keel-billed toucan, clay-colored robin, montezuma’s orpendola, boat-tailed grackle/great-tailed grackle, scarlet rumped tanager, blue-gray tanager, opossum (unknown kind), central american spider monkey, mantled howler monkey, nine-banded armadillo, three-toed sloth, variegated squirrel, white-tailed deer, scarlet macaw, blue-and-yellow macaw, military macaw, feral domestic cat, feral domestic dog.

“Life is much simpler there. They have a fraction of our resources yet they seem much happier and more content.”

“The people were very kind and peaceful. Granted, we primarily traveled to popular tourist locations. However, we saw a major difference I general mood as we left the city of San Jose and moved into the surrounding country.”

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wildlife Rehab Update - Kingfisher Release

We hope you caught the Westlake-Bay Observe story about the three feathered "fishermen" who rehabbed with us this summer. When our talented Communications Intern, Katie Ferman, originally wrote the story, the Kingfisher patient was doing well but not yet ready to return to the wild. We thought we'd let you know that we wound up with a "three for three" success rate in this particular case.

Before the Kingfisher was released, it was banded. You can read about the benefits of bird banding here. The photos here of the Kingfisher preparing to feast on goldfish were taken by our Seasonal Wildlife Specialist Tim Jasinski.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Follow-up: Good News From Shaker Hawk Re-Nesting

We've had some encouraging reports on that baby hawk our Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Program staff attempted to returned to its family in Shaker Heights using an artificial nest. You'll recall the baby hawk had fallen from a high nest, was rescued by a passerby and brought to us for evaluation and care. We went up in a city bucket truck to get the baby and an artificial nest as close to its original nest (and sibling) as possible.

This past week, the homeowner's neighbors spotted BOTH youngsters up in the branches... a sighting that's a very positive sign that the re-nesting worked and the baby has joined its sibling as a "branchling." 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Beyond Cleaning Cages – NAs in Costa Rica

We asked Wildlife Specialist and supervisor of Lake Erie Nature & Science Center’s Naturalist Assistant volunteer program, Derek Skapes, to share highlights from the “life-changing trip” that a group of our hard-working NAs enjoyed this summer. Photos by NA Sean Waitkus.

I recently had the very fortunate opportunity of taking some our NAs to Costa Rica for a fun filled, educational, eye-opening, life changing trip. Our international travel endeavor included excursions throughout the entire country of Costa Rica. The idea of the trip was to provide an experience that would not only be educational, but also beneficial to their development as a young adult. A travel experience is always one where an individual can discover themselves and expand their horizons in all aspects of life.

During this trip through Costa Rica, the students were guided by a renowned Costa Rican guide. We explored volcanoes, hot springs, forest canopies, volcanic sulfur springs, tropical forests, canals, rivers, cultural marketplaces, large cities and towns, night hikes (reptiles and amphibians were most prominent during these) and multiple beaches.

The opportunity to see a different, less fortunate country and the people that live there was a also beneficial. To be exposed to another culture and in a different country is a broadening experience that would only give the students a new outlook on their lives.

Of course, the chance to explore, study, and learn about a tropical rainforest in one of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet is also something that the students will likely carry on for the rest of their lives. As you might expect, the nature experiences were a highlight for our students because we are a nature/wildlife/science organization. They were able to study and learn from first hand experience in a biological hotspot, with a well-respected guide to educate them as well.

The reactions of the students were incredible and very heart-warming. Multiple students thanked me and our organization for giving them “the time of their lives.” To those of you who supported our fundraising leading up to the trip, we all say a huge thank-you to you as well!
-Derek Skapes, Wildlife Specialist

Monday, July 12, 2010

Naturalist Assistants Rainforest Adventures

Our teen Naturalist Assistants (NAs) work hard caring for our wildlife on the weekends, but it's not all work and no play. This group of  volunteer NAs took a field trip to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo yesterday.
Some of our NAs recently returned from a "field trip" that had them traveling a much greater distance... all the way to Costa Rica. Watch this space for photos and a travelogue on their adventures down south.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Schuele Star Shows Canceled Through Friday

Please help us get the word out! All Schuele Planetarium programs Wednesday - Friday, (July 7 - 9, 2010) are CANCELED due to Summer Camp. We'll resume our normal star show schedule on Saturday, July 10. Thanks for your understanding and we apologize for any inconvenience!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Baby Hawk Re-Nested With Bucket Truck

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center wildlife staff returned a baby red-tailed hawk back to nature in Shaker Heights today using a bucket truck from the City of Shaker Heights Public Works Department. The hawk fell from its nest and was spotted by a passerby who contacted our Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Program. Rehab staff had been caring for the unharmed bird since June 14.

To return the young hawk to its wild family, Wildlife Rehabilitation Coordinator Amy LeMonds determined where the bird was found, contacted the homeowners and worked with the City of Shaker Heights on a re-nesting plan. LeMonds fashioned an artificial nest out of a laundry basket, attaching rough matting to the top edges to provide traction for the bird’s talons. Artificial nests are often successful in reuniting a baby bird back with its natural parent caretakers when the original nest cannot be reached or is destroyed. In this case, the hawk nest was beyond the reach of the bucket truck.

This morning, a City of Shaker Heights Public Works Wildlife crew attached the artificial nest to the tree below the natural nest using a ratcheting strap. Wildlife Director Dave Wolf then made the bucket trip back up and placed the baby into the secured basket. The hawk is now reaching ‘branchling’ stage, when it will be hopping from branch to branch, strengthening its muscles and learning to fly, still under the care of mom and dad. The baby appeared to be in great shape after being placed in the basket, almost immediately eating the food supplied by the rehab staff.
The parents have been observed tending to a sibling in the original nest.

Center rehab staff often teaches would-be baby bird “rescuers” to place displaced birds back in their original nests or to use the artificial nest method. For small birds, a milk carton makes an excellent hanging artificial nest.

The nonprofit Lake Erie Nature & Science  relies on donations to fund our Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Program, which provides services at no charge to the public. To donate or for more information, stop by 28728 Wolf Road in Bay Village, call 440-871-2900, email or visit online.

These photos provided by the City of Shaker Heights. Visit our Facebook page for a full album of photos!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Veteran Rocky River Teacher Joins Center Staff

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is fortunate to have excellent, experienced instructors leading our education programming and we'll soon add another respected educator to our staff. Veteran teacher Anne Hart will inspire children in our Log Cabin Kindergarten programs starting this fall. Anne spent 15 years teaching Kindergarten in the Rocky River school system, where she also taught Safety Town and Intramurals and served as an instructor for popular enrichment programs like Family Science and Math Nights.
Anne is enthusiastic about her new role. "My family and I have enjoyed the treasures of Lake Erie Nature & Science Center for years. I am so excited and honored to join this wonderful organization,” she told us.

Anne earned a BS in Education from University of Dayton and a Master of Education from Cleveland State, where she specialized in Early Childhood Education. She and her family reside in Bay Village where she is active as a PTA and classroom volunteer, soccer team manager and member of the Family Advisory Council at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.

Anne takes over Log Cabin Explorers Club and Discoveries from Bev Walborn, who is transitioning to a new role that includes expanding our family and adult programming. Make sure you look for the great new programs Bev is spearheading on pages 5 and 6 of our all new 2010 Fall Program Guide, including a Lake Erie Family Day and a Bay Bicentennial History Hike.

We’re confident both of these experienced, passionate educators will provide the interactive inspiration you’ve come to expect from Lake Erie Nature & Science Center.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Have Your Say On the Huntington Reservation Shoreline Plan

We wanted to share with you/remind you about an opportunity for anyone who loves Huntington Reservation to offer input into the Cleveland Metroparks planning process for the park. The Metroparks will host a public meeting seeking input on the first phase of Huntington Reservation Shoreline Management Plan on Tuesday, June 29 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Huntington Playhouse in Bay Village.

In a news release, the The Park District said it is "currently preparing a study of the reservation, focusing primarily on the area adjacent to Lake Road, as part of an effort to update Cleveland Metroparks overall master plan."

"Huntington Reservation, particularly the area north of Lake Road, is facing a myriad of challenges over the next several years. These include concerns from both, natural processes (coastal erosion, bluff instability and an influx of invasive species) and human intervention (increased visitation rates, increased need for storm water management and deteriorating infrastructure)."

"With the help of a Coastal Management Assistance Grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Cleveland Metroparks will focus on shore protection, bluff stabilization, ecological restoration, public access, and site and facility improvements."

Huntington Playhouse is a hop and skip from Lake Erie Nature & Science Center on the other side of the park at 28601 Lake Road. For more information on the meeting, call 216-635-3200.

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is a proud Metroparks Affiliate and independently-funded nonprofit organization.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rehab Story: Nestling Red-tail Hawk

A fuzzy, young Red-tailed Hawk that fell from a high nest in Greater Cleveland is one of many current animal patients that Lake Erie Nature & Science Center ’s Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Department is working to return to the wild.

Our rehab staff is coordinating with city local officials to find a way to reunite this nestling hawk with its parents. The nest has been located (with a sibling inside) but it is very high up in the tree. If we’re not able to reach the nest with a bucket truck, we hope to be able to reunite this young bird with its wild parents as a branchling. The bird is almost to this branchling stage, where it leaves the nest, but remains on a nearby branches where mom and dad continue to offer food and to teach their offspring the skills necessary to survive in the wild, including how to hunt.

Red-tailed hawks can fly at 9 weeks but still depend on their parents for food. At 15 weeks, they are capable of being on their own but will continue to hang around parents. They don't actually get their red tail until they are a year old.

Our Rehab has been especially busy in recent weeks… so busy, we haven’t been able to pause and tell many of our stories here. Our Community Relations staff is taking time to shadow us to help keep you posted our busy season activities. So, watch our Blog and Social Media sites for more rehab stories in the coming days and weeks.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pink Pepto and Dawn Tools In Oiled Wildlife Rehab

How do wildlife rehabbers help birds affected by the oil in the Gulf of Mexico? Pink Pepto and Dawn Detergent are two of the tools. Lake Erie Nature & Science Center Wildlife Director Dave Wolf and Wildlife Rehabilitation Coordinator Amy LeMonds gave a step by step demonstration of the stabilization and cleaning process yesterday on WKYC-TV Channel 3.
Watch the full segment from yesterday's Good Company program at this this Channel 3 website link.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wildlife Response to Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

We've had a number of questions to our Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Program about wildlife rehab for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, Wildlife Rehabilitation Coordinator Amy LeMonds was interviewed for a report on WKYC-Channel 3 this morning.

We're referring callers to Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research of Delaware, an organization leading the wildlife rescue efforts following the Deepwater Horizon incident. Tri-State's oil spill response team has been on the Gulf Coast since the last week in April and is working with their West Coast colleagues, International Bird Rescue Research Center, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to manage the rehabilitation of oiled wildlife.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Farewell and Best Wishes

Staff and friends of Lake Erie Nature & Science Center gathered to say farewell and best wishes to our longtime Director of Development and Community Relations last night. Renee Burslem and her family are relocating to Lake Placid, New York where Renee's husband Scott has accepted a wonderful new job and the whole family will have the opportunity to ski, hike, golf and fish in a beautiful area of the country.
Renee leaves an incredible legacy of achievement here, leading impressive growth in the financial support that fuels the mission of our nonprofit Center. At the goodbye gathering last night, tributes included a proclamation from Bay Village Mayor Debbie Sutherland and "gifts" aimed at Renee's ever-present sense of humor. We know there's another organization in her new home that will benefit from Renee's considerable talents and we're happy to have had her here for 9 years!
Best wishes Renee and family! As the Women's Board said, we'll miss your smiling face!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Striking Red Bird Fends Off Reflection

We had a perfect example of a bird protecting its territory from its own reflection right in the parking lot of Lake Erie Nature & Science Center today. A gorgeous Scarlet Tanager was battling itself in the reflected morning light on a front windshield.

If you're curious about the phenonmenon, head over to our website where Questions # 2 on our Wildlife FAQ's explains: Check our Facebook Page, too. We'll be posting some still photos of this striking black-winged red bird there, in addition to the LENSC-tube video clip.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

We Applaud Our Volunteers

We want to give one more "shout out" to our wonderful volunteers corps following our week of  Volunteer Appreciation Week activities and our weekend Volunteer Appreciation Brunch. At Saturday's event, we had a number of multiple award winners. Our 2009 Volunteer of the Year, Matt Grisnik, was also one of two recipients of the William and Shirley Snider Family Scholarship Award. Hillary Stradtman picked up the other scholarship. Our 2009 Adult Volunteers of the Year, Mike and Sue Clark were both givers and receivers of recognition since they  are the generous funders the Snider Family Scholarship. The group photo above shows the Clarks with Matt and Hillary.

2009 Special Recognition Volunteers included Trish Binder, Rob Catalano, Kathy Haas, Mary Haymond, Gary Houk, Karen Huhndorff, Jim Sparks, Jo Theis and Phyllis Wiggenhorn.
Another group of volunteers received our new Milestone Award, which tracks volunteers hours since 2007. One volunteer, Sean Waitkus, has already reached Gold Level status during that time, logging more than 1,000 hours! Matt Grisnik and George Moskwa achieved Silver Level status serving 500- 999 hours and 34 volunteers have given the Bronze Level of 150 - 499 hours.

For The President's Service Award, which is presented for annual volunteer thresholds, Sean Waitkus was singled out again for 2009 Gold Level status, with 8 volunteers giving Silver Level hours in '09 - Frank Colosimo, Matt Grisnik, Kathy Haas, Gary Houk, Madison Maher, George Moskwa, Michael Restifo and Hillary Stradtman - and 20 more wonderful volunteers achieving Bronze Level recognition.

Volunteer Coordinator Julie Mistur and Executive Director Catherine Timko were on hand to applaud the award winners. We appreciate ALL of our 200+ volunteers who are a key part of our making our mission happen. Thank you volunteers!

Want to join them? Check out the Volunteer pages of our Website.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Nests Pop Up In All Shapes, Sizes & Locations

Many of you are seeing nests of different shapes and sizes in all kinds of places around your house this time of year. We’re no different here at the Center, where we’ve observed a robin nesting on an exterior light and a flicker using a nearby hollow tree as a nest site.

Cavity, cup, platform, and mounds are among the many types of nests that birds build and we’ve seen two types under construction near the Center this spring. "Our" robin built a cup shaped nest out a variety of materials, including some shiny white gift bag stuffing that you can see in the photo.

The male flicker is responsible for picking the nest site and excavating a cavity nest. Wildlife Rehabilitation Coordinator Amy LeMonds observed a Flicker excavating the nest in a rotting tree near us for 10 - 14 days. Both the male and female incubate the eggs for about 14 days and both feed their babies for about 25 days before they fledge or leave the nest.

“Our” baby robins should be hatching any day. The normal cycle calls for the mom to incubate her sky blue eggs for about 14 days and then share the responsibility of feeding the nestlings with her male partner for 14 days before they fledge.

The photos of these two birds at their nesting sites were taken by Seasonal Wildlife Specialist Tim Jasinski.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Duck, Nest Projects Tackled By Cargill Volunteers

A big thank-you to a group of volunteers from Cargill who spent a day with us last week supporting our nonprofit work in a variety of ways. They helped us to get 1,000 rubber ducks ready for our upcoming Great Duck Race and painted new dates (Sunday, June 6!) on the colorful duck signs that advertise Family Fun Fest and The Great Duck Race.

The group also created a supply of artificial bird nests out of cardboard milk cartons and plastic jugs for use in our Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Program.

According to the Cargill website, company-sponsored volunteer opportunities focus on nutrition and health, education and environmental stewardship.

It just so happens that the Cargill volunteer visit coincided with our celebration of Volunteer Appreciation Week, where we tip our hats to many, many wonderful people who power our organization with the gift of their time, talents and sweat! For more information about volunteering at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, you can visit the volunteer pages of our website.