Category Archives: Resources

Arboretum Tree Walks

As I mentioned in my last post, there are now maps for the two walks on the Arboretum: the Indianola (a shorter walk) and the Glen Echo (a longer walk). These maps can be found in the brochure boxes on the kiosk. Since the tree markers that we ordered haven’t come in yet, I wanted to let you know what to look for to identify each tree on the walks:

These are the temporary markers that are in front of the tree that is described in the tree walk. The number on the tag matches the number on the map. The real markers that we are waiting on will contain a lot more information about the tree itself: common name, scientific name, etc.

So until those come in, we will be using these little lovelies, all hand-created by me! They aren’t too hard to miss at about 10 inches. You can see below about how tall they are.

When you take either of these walks, please send me a comment. We want the walks to be enjoyable, and should there be anything that we can do to make them better, we’d appreciate any suggestions!

Until next time!

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Summertime, and the Living is Easy

Well, it’s not exactly summertime, although it certainly feels like it! We have the windows open, and all the cats are fighting over who shall sit where. Windows in the bedroom are prime at night. With four cats and three windows, well, you do the math. There’s always one cat who is unhappy!

This warmer weather combined with all the rain makes me think of mosquitoes. I haven’t seen any of the Asian tigers just yet; those are the ones with the lovely black and white striped legs that don’t mind that it’s not dark outside. They will find you and bite you in the daylight. So unfair! As a kid, I would always spend time at my grandma’s in the summer. Her house was old, and the window screens had small holes in them. No matter how they were patched, the holes would come back. So at night, I would inevitably hear that ever so annoying whining in my ear as a mosquito flew around, looking for a place to land and have a feast. The worst part was when the buzzing stopped; that meant the creature had landed somewhere on me. I’d get up and try and find the insect. Never could see the dang thing, and I’d end up with bites every morning.

So with all the rain we’ve been having, I thought it would be good to go over a few tips on how to keep mosquitoes from breeding in your yard. All mosquitoes need water at some point in their life cycle. Some will search out water to lay eggs in while others will lay eggs in areas that will eventually get filled with water, then the eggs will hatch. To cut down on breeding areas:

  • Empty, drain, remove, cover or turn upside down things that can hold water.
  • Empty any small plastic wading pools weekly. Store it indoors when not in use.
  • Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets.
  • Don’t let runoff water from your air conditioner collect in shady areas.
  • Clean debris from rain gutters and unclog obstructed downspouts.
  • Scrub and change the water in bird baths weekly.
  • Empty and refill outdoor pets’ water pans daily.

Remember: mosquitoes only need a small amount of water in which to breed or to hatch their eggs. Remove the water, and you remove the potential biters.  Although there are natural predators out there that will eat mosquitoes (bats, birds, dragonflies and the like), they are not the best way to reduce the population. The best way is to not allow the mosquitoes to breed in the first place.

And a reminder that our kiosk ribbon cutting is on:
Saturday, May 12, 2012
11am
Parking lot across from Indianola Informal K-8
251 East Weber Road
(Between Calumet and Druid)
Tree walk to follow!

Until next time!

Rain Barrels and Storm Water Run-Off

With all of the rain that central Ohio has been receiving (although it’s hard to remember the cold, damp, rainy days of a few weeks ago with the temperatures now in the 90’s outside), there has been an increased amount of stormwater getting into our streams, rivers, and sewer systems. Unfortunately, this water contains many contaminants: pesticides, road salt, oil, gas, sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorous. These pollutants come from a variety of sources, including pet waste, lawn fertilizers, cars, construction sites, and pesticide application. All of this means that the health of our waterways suffers.

An easy and simple way to cut down the amount of stormwater getting into our waterways and sewers is to use rain barrels to collect run-off from roofs. Pete rain-barreland I have two connected rain barrels at our house and are contemplating a third barrel. We seem to have run out of downspouts to use! One of our downspouts  is emptying into our rain garden that we’ve created in part of our backyard. (We’ll have more on rain gardens in another post.) These barrels are wonderful for watering our indoor plants, and my cottage garden, which is made up of a mix of native and non-native plants.  It’s the non-natives that require more water.  On top of all of that, rain water is pure; it doesn’t contain dissolved substances (like salt) that can be found in city water. Salt water is fine for boiling pasta but not so good for plants. And we save money, too, on our water bill.

The Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District and FLOW (Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed) have teamed up to help homeowners get rain barrels.  FCSWD has a lot of information about installing rain barrels as does FLOW.

In addition to rain barrels, one of the benefits of trees is that they are very helpful in keeping stormwater out of our sewer systems and streams and rivers. Their roots help to drive water deep into the soil, and their canopies help to store rain water to later release into the atmosphere. Trees additionally provide other benefits: lower temperatures in the summer, lowering cooling costs, better air quality, habitat for wildlife and birds, not to mention that they are beautiful to look at!

Until next time!