Environment

BGSU plans Earth Week celebrations

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University will celebrate Earth Week 2019 April 22-28 with a series of free events intended to raise awareness of environmental matters. Two events will be held April 22 to kick off the week, including a tree planting service project and the Earth Week speaker, Channel 11 WTOL Meteorologist Chris Vickers. The tree planting service project will be held at 1:30 p.m. in front of the Oaks Dining Center entrance. Everyone is invited to grab a shovel and help add to BGSU’s native tree population. Trees reduce carbon dioxide, produce oxygen and help lower our carbon footprints. Tools and gloves will be provided; no open-toed shoes. Vickers’ lecture, “Climate Change: Today and Our Future,” will begin at 6 p.m. in 206 Bowen-Thompson Student Union. He will discuss how extreme weather events in northwest Ohio are related to climate change and what to expect in the short- and long-term. Events continue throughout the week, demonstrating the University’s commitment to sustainability, one of the reasons it was named among the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges, according to the 2018 Princeton Review Guide to 399 Green Colleges. On April 23, the campus-wide reuse and waste reduction initiative, “When You Move Out, Don’t Throw It Out,” begins. Collection boxes will be located in all residence hall lobbies, Greek townhouses, the Bowen-Thompson Student Union and Outtakes locations for nonperishable food and still-usable items such as clothing, shoes, school supplies and books, and personal items. The popular Eco Fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 24 in the Union Oval. Environmental and sustainability-related organizations, both on and off campus, will have information to share. Participants can view electric and hybrid vehicles, meet live animals and birds from Back to the Wild, pick up a tree seedling and plants, grab a reusable bag and learn about involvement opportunities. In the event of rain, the fair will be held in the Union Multipurpose Room (Room 228). Environmental Action Group members will demonstrate how much we throw away, its impact on us and how to reduce that impact during the Trash Audit from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. April 25 at the Union Oval. The week will once again include a tour of the DG AMP Solar Field on Carter Road, which is the largest solar field in the state. Participants will learn about solar technology and how it is produced and used in Bowling Green. Prior registration for the April 26 tour is required by visiting bgsu.edu/solartour. At 6:30 p.m. April 26, students will come together to turn off lights in selected buildings to save energy, thus reducing BGSU’s carbon-based emissions, and money. Volunteers should meet in 206 Union; they will receive Earth Week treats. Later that evening, at 8, two bands will participate in an Earth Week Concert at Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St. The free concert will also include an open mic. Donations will go to local nonprofit environmental organizations. The concert is sponsored by the Environmental Action Group. The week culminates with the 10th annual Community Earth Day Celebration at the Montessori School of Bowling Green. BGSU’s Campus Sustainability and Department of Environment and Sustainability classes will join with other community and municipal groups for this outdoor, family-friendly event. Guests can plant a sunflower, ride an energy-producing bike, see river-dwelling critters and chase the Earth Ball across a field, among many other activities. The Office of Campus Sustainability and the Department of the Environment and Sustainability co-sponsor Earth Week; events are free and open to the public. More information is available at bgsu.edu/earthweek. In 2012, BGSU…

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Debate over plastic bag ban or fee has many layers

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News Bowling Green City Council Chambers was packed Tuesday evening with people who have disdain for single-use plastic bags, and people who rely on them to do their jobs. The hearing was held by City Council’s Community Improvement Committee, made up of Mark Hollenbaugh, Bill Herald and John Zanfardino. Hollenbaugh explained the city is exploring a myriad of options for single-use plastic bags. Nine citizens voiced their support or opposition to possible plastic bag regulation in the city. Seven were in support, and two were against. Another hearing will be held March 4, at 6 p.m., in city council chambers, to give more citizens a chance to share their feelings. James Egan suggested that any fees raised be used to track the effect of a ban, since little data is available. Madi Stump said the plastic bag debate is a sustainability issue, and communities can learn to adapt to changes in their consumer cultures. Joe DeMare estimated that 150 municipalities across the nation have banned or charge fees for single-use plastic. The problem may seem overwhelming, but that doesn’t mean that communities should give up. “Plastic bags can be at the top of the list,” DeMare said. He mentioned the problem with blowing plastic bags at the Wood County Landfill, west of Bowling Green. An ordinance on bags can be an attempt to deal with a highly visible part of the overall problem. “Eventually, we’re going to have to deal with the entire iceberg,” DeMare said. Zanfardino said he was glad to see places like Cuyahoga County tackling the plastic bag problem. “I’m heartened to see other cities looking at this in Ohio,” he said. Tom Klein’s only reservation on the possible plastic bag ordinance is that it doesn’t go far enough. “We’re drowning in waste,” Klein said. And banning plastic bags makes people feel as if they are solving a problem. “They’re deceptive. They make us feel like we’re dealing with the problem.” But Robin Belleville, owner of BG Frosty Fare, said her business relies on the bags to send food orders home with customers. “I come to you urging a ‘no’ vote,” she said. A five or 10 cent fee per sale would have a “huge impact” on her business. “Each and every sale matters to my bottom line,” Belleville said, saying a fee would make her reconsider operating a business in Bowling Green. She mentioned that her husband’s family business, Belleville Brothers, also relies on plastic bags. When customers bring in their own bags, there are sanitary concerns to consider, she said. “They don’t want to put meat back into a bag,” that has already been used, she said. “I think you really need to hear the businesses across town,” Belleville said. “You really need to go out and talk to the businesses.” Belleville also took advantage of her time at the podium to criticize the number of city vehicles and city employees she sees around the community. Zanfardino said that he was considering a regulation that affected just the big box stores in the city. “Stores that can easily absorb this,” Zanfardino said. “I’m not thinking small businesses.” The other voice against plastic bag regulation came from Todd Sayler, a volunteer with the First United Methodist food pantry and Bowling Green Christian Food Pantry. A ban or fee would hurt low income clients who use the bags to carry home frozen meat, bread, fruits and vegetables, he said. Sayler suggested the city consider the effects on non-profit groups. Herald noted the many layers to the issue. Would any ordinance involve…


Toledo Museum to host National Geographic Live speaker series

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART National Geographic Live, National Geographic’s touring speaker series, and the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) are proud to announce an inaugural three-part speaker series that will take place the Peristyle Theater throughout 2019.   “We are excited to see the Peristyle stage come alive through a combination of first-hand accounts from National Geographic Explorers and their amazing imagery,” said Brian Kennedy, the Museum’s Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey director. “We believe the National Geographic Live series provides an engaging format for the community to learn about the world around them.” The three events for the inaugural series are: Birds of Paradise Revealed Saturday, April 27: 7 p.m., Peristyle Tim Laman, a renowned photographer and forest canopy researcher, and ornithologist Ed Scholes, authors of the major National Geographic book, “Birds of Paradise Revealed,” will take visitors deep into New Guinea to observe these astonishing avian creatures. Evolved to attract mates with their extraordinarily colorful feathers, which they display in dances executed with ballerina-like grace, these birds are a living laboratory of evolution. Meet all 39 species and enjoy their secret lives, bizarre displays, and dazzling courtship antics in breathtaking visuals. When Women Ruled the World Thursday, May 30: 7 p.m., Peristyle Dr. Kara Cooney, professor of Egyptology, explores the reigns of powerful ancient queens to illuminate a time when women ruled the world. Often neglected in the history books, these strong female leaders were considered exceptions to the rule, but their power and influence is undeniable. Standing at Water’s Edge Saturday, July 27: 7 p.m., Peristyle Cristina Mittermeier learned the concept of responsible earth stewardship from her indigenous nanny as a child growing up in Mexico, and she explores that calling through the ways of life of four communities and their individual relationships with water—the Kayapó in the Amazon, the Inuit of Greenland, the First Nations people of British Columbia, and native Hawaiians. “We are thrilled to be bringing some of National Geographic’s most dynamic and entertaining explorers to TMA,” said Yulia Petrossian Boyle, Senior Vice President for Global Media and Experiences at National Geographic. “National Geographic Live events are a unique opportunity for people in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan to meet these visionary individuals in person, and to be inspired by the fascinating stories and breathtaking images they will share from their expeditions to the far corners of our planet.” The National Geographic Live series appearance at the Toledo Museum of Art is sponsored in part by The Boeschenstein Family Foundation and Kingston HealthCare with additional support from Metroparks Toledo and Toledo Lucas County Public Library. Ticket pricing for the series and individual events: Museum members (13+): $18 per event, $45 for the series Museum members (12 and younger): $5 per event, $12.50 for series Nonmember adult: $25 per event, $62.50 for series Nonmember senior (62+): $20 per talk, $50 for series Nonmember student (13+ and college): $20 per talk, $50 for series Nonmember military (with ID): $20 per talk, $50 for series Nonmember child (12 and younger): $10 per talk, $25 for series National Geographic Live is the live events division of National Geographic. With a broad roster of talent including renowned photographers, scientists, authors, filmmakers and adventurers, National Geographic Live’s critically acclaimed programs have connected with audiences worldwide for over a century. Currently, National Geographic Live events are held in a variety of cities around the world, including, Seattle, Tampa, Los Angeles, and Calgary. In each of these cities, speakers share behind-the-scenes stories from the front lines of exploration onstage alongside stunning imagery and gripping footage. For more information, visit natgeolive.com. For tickets and information, please call (419)…


Picture book author Lindsay Moore lets young readers travel along with polar bear

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Drawing cadavers might not seem like the way to become a children’s author. For Lindsay Moore, though, medical and scientific illustration helped her hone the drawing skills needed to produce her first children’s book, “Sea Bear.” Lindsay Moore Moore, of Bowling Green, will mark the publication of “Sea Bear” on Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins, with an appearance at the Wood County District Public Library, Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m. The book for ages 4-8 follows the journey of polar bear through the Arctic.  Her inspiration came from a visit to the Toledo Zoo with her three children. Moore found herself fascinated by learning how far a polar bear travels along the edge of ice and sea to keep itself alive. “I thought that was very remarkable.” That was in 2014.  While her background was in medical and scientific illustration, writing children’s books seemed a good fit for her life as a stay-at-home mother. Moore, 35, has children 5, 6, and 8 years old. She moved to Bowling Green with her husband, Tim Davis, who teaches in the biology department and is a lead researcher in the Lake Erie Center for Fresh Waters and Human Health.  “Sea Bear” was not her first foray into writing for children. Her first book about a lobster made the rounds publishers with no success. But she gained experience and insight from the effort. In writing “Sea Bear,” which has the subtitle “A Journey for Survival,” she wanted to present the facts, but keep the story from getting too dark for your readers. So image of the carcass of the seal pup was taken out. Writing about animals, she said, requires care to make it possible for people to relate to them without giving them human traits. “We don’t know why they do certain things,” she said. Moore said she’s been pleased with the early reviews of the book. Moore grew up in northern Michigan. When she was in third grade, a teacher “pulled me aside and told me ‘I think you could be a writer.’” Moore believed her. She loved the work of Madeleine L’Engle. Then as a teenager she learned about how hard it was for even this great author to get her first work published. So Moore redirected her efforts into art and science. She double majored in fine art and marine biology. But she couldn’t see herself creating art for art’s sake, and as much as she loved science, she admits, “I was a disaster in the lab.” Scientific illustration, though, drew on her interests in both, so she headed to Medical College of Georgia, where the art students took the same courses as medical students. In art school, the students were concerned about creating beauty; in medical school, they wanted the drawings to tell a story, a story about pathology. Moore’s marriage to Davis, whom she’d met at Stony Brook University, where he worked in the harmful algae bloom lab, has taken her around the world, and back to the Midwest. Before Bowling Green, Davis worked for NOAA in Ann Arbor. Even before he took a position at BGSU, he was collaborating with his future colleagues in Bowling Green who are also studying harmful algae blooms. Once after he’d been away from home on a long trip, he suggested turning business trip to Bowling Green into a family vacation. Moore admitted she was not convinced that Bowling Green was a vacation spot, but the family came along. On the advice from someone at the hotel they were staying at, she and the…


Parks district offers winter activities

From WOOD COUNTY PARK DISTRICT The Wood County Parks District is offering a full slate of programs to help young and old to get the most out of winter. Polar Parks Mini-Camp Wednesday – Friday, January 2 – 4; 9:00 am – noon W.W. Knight Nature Preserve 25930 White Road, Perrysburg Experience a wild Wood County winter through this 3-day mini-camp! Each day highlights a different educational theme and seeks to explore through hands-on and outdoor activities. Cost: $12/$10 FWCP per day, or $30/$25 FWCP for all three days. Ages 8-13. The registration deadline is one week before the beginning of the camp day. Leaders: Jim Witter and Craig Spicer Register at www.wcparks.org, or call (419) 353-1897 Introduction to Orienteering Sunday, January 6; 1:00 – 3:00 pm Bradner Interpretive Center 11491 Fostoria Road, Bradner Find out what else the magnetic compass can do besides show you which way is north. This reliable low-tech tool can help you get from point A to point B. We will learn the basics indoors and then take it outside on a short orienteering course. Leader: Bill Hoefflin Register at www.wcparks.org, or call (419) 353-1897 EcoLit Book Group Meeting Thursday, January 10; 7:00 – 9:00 pm W.W. Knight Nature Preserve: Hankison Great Room 29530 White Road, Perrysburg For this meeting, please read The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen. Discussion leader: Cheryl Lachowski, Senior Lecturer, BGSU English Dept. and Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist (OCVN) Register at www.wcparks.org, or call (419) 353-1897 Homeschoolers: Project Feederwatch Friday, January 11; 10:00 – 11:00 am Bradner Interpretive Center 11491 Fostoria Road, Bradner Learn how Wood County Park’s volunteers count birds at our windows on wildlife and how you can help scientists learn about bird populations in Wood County. Leader: Jim Witter Register at www.wcparks.org, or call (419) 353-1897 Native American Moccasin Making Workshop Series Saturdays, January 12, January 26, February 9, February 23; 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Carter Historic Farm 18331 Carter Road, Bowling Green Learn the skill of making authentic Native American moccasins over the course of four sessions. The Plains two-piece style will be featured. Cost for series: $30. Leader: Stewart Orr Register at www.wcparks.org, or call (419) 353-1897 Arctic Open Archery Saturday, January 12; 12:30 – 3:00 pm Arrowwood Archery Range 11126 Linwood Road, Bowling Green Arrows fly in the crisp winter air! Arrive anytime between 12:30 and 3:00 to give this cool archery a shot. Leader: Craig Spicer This is an open program. There is no need to register. Ice Age Mammals of Ohio Tuesday, January 15; 6:30 – 8:00 pm W.W. Knight Nature Preserve: Hankison Great Room 29530 White Road, Perrysburg An impressive array of extinct animals used to call Ohio home following the retreat of the last glacier. Discover these megafauna and learn about some of the theories behind their extinction.  Leader: Bill HoefflinRegister at www.wcparks.org, or call (419) 353-1897 A Stitch in Time Saves Nine Thursday, January 17; 7:00 – 8:30 pm Carter Historic Farm 18331 Carter Road, Bowling Green Explore the lost art of mending, a time-honored skill of the Depression Era homemaker. Bring an item to mend, thread, needle, and a willingness to learn! Leader: Virginia Dean Register at www.wcparks.org, or call (419) 353-1897 Wild Skills: Fire-Building Friday, January 18; 6:30 – 8:00 pm Wood County Historical Center: Adam Phillips Shelter 13660 County Home Road, Bowling Green Fire is one of the best tools to have on your adventures, providing clean water, heat for cooking and a positive attitude. Learn hands-on how to start and maintain one safely and successfully in a variety of different situations. Leader: Craig Spicer Register…


Wintergarden in winter light

One of the joys of favorite parks is experiencing them throughout the year. The foliage buds, then blooms, then fades, and dries. The light changes throughout the day and the year. Here’s scenes from Wintergarden/St. John’s Preserve during a recent Christmas Week walk in the afternoon.  Those looking to do more walking in the new year need not look any further than the parks in our own backyard. — David Dupont


Panel dips its toe into water options for northern Wood County

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News No one brought a dowser’s rod to the meeting on finding a solution to regional water needs Tuesday night. PowerPoint presentations were the tool of choice. The Northwestern Water and Sewer District hosted the Regional Water Informational Meeting at the Holiday Inn French Quartet in Perrysburg to inform officials and residents of some of the possibilities being considered to provide water to the district’s 6,500 water users in northern Wood County. Three options were discussed, though several others exist. Audience members included citizens concerned about tapping into the Michindoh Aquifer. The district’s search was prompted by the Toledo water crisis in summer of 2014, and then by the upcoming end in 2024  of the district’s contract with the City of Toledo to provide water. Toledo is undertaking a massive rebuild of its water treatment system. It has invested $500 million already with another $300 million in planned spending, explained Rex Huffman, the district’s legal counsel. Huffman discussed the ongoing negotiations about forming a Toledo Water Commission. The commission idea hatched in the wake of Toledo City Council’s rejection of another proposed joint entity the Toledo Area Water Authority. The authority, which would have included Toledo and eight largest entities, would have taken control of Toledo’s water system. City officials balked at the authority because of that, and fear that those who buy Toledo water would have too much control over the rates. Under the commission, Toledo retains ownership of the plant and is responsibility for financing improvements as well as retaining ultimate control over rates. However, as Huffman explained, the commission would establish the rates, and then Toledo City Council would have final say. But in order to overturn the commission’s action it would take a super majority. That arrangement, Huffman said, would result in uniform rates, long-term stability, and a regional approach to emergency management of water resources. Commission would also provide a forum to explore redundancy in the water sources, so entities would not be left high and dry in the event of another water crisis. “The dialogue between the city and the suburbs has never been better,” Huffman said. That was demonstrated by the overwhelming support for the commission by Toledo voters in November, he said. Theodore Bennett, an engineer with Jones & Henry, discussed the possibility of Maumee, Perrysburg and northern Wood County communities getting their water from Bowling Green.  Bowling Green already sells water to Waterville. To extend it to the other 6,500 customers would more than double the demand on its water treatment plant. The current demand is for 7 million gallons per day. The new entities would have a demand of 11 million gallons per day. The plant’s capacity is 11 million, so an addition or new plant would have to be built.  New pipeline, including across the Maumee, would also have to be run to service these new areas, Bennett said. The entire project cost would be between $95 million and $130 million.  But how this would be structured would have to be decided. Would Bowling Green expand the plant, pay for it, and pass the costs along to the new customers? Or would the district fund new treatment facilities? The initial feasibility study is scheduled to begin in January, he said. Maumee and Perrysburg are also involved in the early stages of looking at the possibility of tapping into the groundwater in the Michindoh Aquifer, which extends under the western part of northern Ohio and into Indiana. Tom Borck, an engineer with Poggemeyer Design Group, said that the interest in groundwater came from increased concerns…