Category Archives: Glen Echo Clean-Up

It Takes A Community…To Create A Mural

Saturday morning, Pete and I headed down to the underpass in Glen Echo, the one that will turn into the beautiful bird mural. The purpose of our trip was to help prime the bridge for the painting that Clint Davidson, the artist, would hopefully begin today. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what kind of a turnout there would be and got a little worried as we approached, not hearing any voices. Well, I needn’t have worried (the bridge apparently acts like a huge sound absorber!) as once we got closer, there were plenty of people already working. There was food donated from great businesses in Clintonville, including Mozart’s Cafe, Pattycake Bakery, Clintonville Community Market, and Crimson Cup Coffee (thanks, everyone!). Kids in the neighbors had a lemonade stand with all the proceeds going to help pay for the mural. It really made me glad to see so many people coming together to do something so wonderful. We also had a lot of people just walking through the park stop by and ask us what we were doing.

The job went much faster than I ever thought possible. But I must admit, the painting was quite different from any I’ve ever done — and not the sort my very neat and clean painter mom would condone! There were no drop cloths, no painter’s tape, no worries about drips and runs. It all went very well with the exception of a few millipedes who were hiding in the crevices that managed to get some paint on them. Pete, of course, rescued them all. We even had several kids helping out, one who was rather creative in his technique for keeping the paint off of his fingers! The worst part was trying to paint in the parts that were filled with dirt; we just did our best!

In the end, we had a lovely blank canvas for Clint to begin drawing in the sketches of the various resident or migratory birds. I can’t thank you all enough for the help and support you’ve shown to make this mural happen! And I can’t wait to post updates on how the mural is progressing. I know it will be beautiful to see.

Until next time!

Ravine Clean-up Update and Other Things

I just wanted to let everyone know how the ravine clean-up last Saturday went. I could only stay for about an hour as my allergies would get the best of me had I stayed longer. As it was, I was very stuffy all of Sunday!

Anyway, the day went better than expected as far as the amount of invasives that were removed.I wasn’t surprised on the number of people who showed up to volunteer. A big thanks to everyone who turned out: members of Friends of the Ravine, Lower Olentangy Urban Arboretum, interested neighbors, Boy Scouts, too many groups to name them all. And a really big shout out to Carl and Tyrone from the City of Columbus. They brought a huge chipper and a chainsaw that made short work of all of the honeysuckle. Carl then went back to paint all the stumps with herbicide so they wouldn’t grow back. Pete took me to see the part of the work that was done at the western edge of the ravine by the Xenos School. Unbelievable. What had once been a forest of invasive honeysuckle was now clear, the way it was meant to be. The squirrels were wondering around, looking as if they didn’t recognize their home anymore. I don’t blame them – the change was nothing short of miraculous!

It was finally nice enough today for me to walk to work again, although I doubt I’ll be able to do so for the rest of the week. As I walked, I found a beautiful cardinal feather, such a vibrant red. It seems odd to me that with all the birds flying about, there wouldn’t be more feathers! I did miss walking through the Oval and the trees, but my walking route doesn’t take me that far.

When I came home, Pete had planted our Swamp Oak in the backyard. We’ll be certain to keep it well watered this week with the high temperatures. It’s such a lovely tree, with its bi-colored leaves. The undersides are a beautiful silver color and the tops are a dark, verdant green. As we stood admiring it, a female hummingbird came to sit on the clothesline, just a few feet from where we were standing. I’ve named her Hannah. The funniest thing to hear is the squeaking noise she makes as she moves around. Hannah is very inquisitive and very territorial. Should another hummingbird enter her territory, she’s off in a blur to chase it away. I guess she doesn’t want anyone else sipping from the jewel weed, pineapple sage or other bright red flowers we have in the yard. Such a tiny little bundle of fierceness!

Until next time!

May 21st Clean-Up in Glen Echo Ravine

Sorry for the delay with a new post. Between the electrical storms (computer shut down), and a mad dash to clean for my mom’s visit Thursday, I’ve been remiss in putting anything up on the web. My apologies!

We had another very successful clean-up on May 21st in Glen Echo Ravine. Pete had nearly 30 volunteers that came to help remove honeysuckle. About 1/2 acre was cleared of approximately 100 honeysuckle bushes. Here’s what it looked like before work was started:

Before

Quite a lot of honeysuckle to be seen, choking out the native plants.

Here’s what it looked like after everyone left:

After

What a difference! This will allow more native wildflowers and plants to thrive. Pete will also now be able to plant some spice bush and a few trees in this cleared area. To really see the difference, here is a composite before and after:

You can really see how much honeysuckle was removed. We owe a big thanks to all of the volunteers from Columbus State and Ohio State, and to all the others who came to work in the ravine. We couldn’t make this happen without your help!

Slowly but surely, we are making a difference. We also have some new information about garlic mustard (another wicked invasive), which is growing voraciously in the eastern part of the ravine, just before the bridge. Pete heard that wild ginger, once established, will fend off garlic mustard. So we are going to try and establish more colonies of the wild ginger.

In case you are wondering what it looks like, here’s a picture of garlic mustard. It’s all over Columbus, even in people’s yards in Clintonville. It’s easily removed as the roots are never very deep in the soil. Unfortunately, garlic mustard is

Garlic Mustard

very good at reproducing, casting hundreds of seeds over the ground. For more information about this invasive, you can go to the Ohio Department of Natural Resource page about the plant. The scary part about this plant is how tenacious this plant is: A plant can produce seeds after it has been pulled up and seeds are viable for at least 7 years. If you see this plant, pull it out and dispose of it properly. The ODNR site has some tips.

Until next time!