Take action on Earth Day, April 22, and everyday to preserve and protect our natural environment and its animals. Picking up litter, removing invasive plants, cleaning up parks and roads, recycling programs and simply encouraging friends, family and youth to get outside to experience nature are just some of the efforts you can take to make a difference for the planet. As an individual, family or group, you can get involved in numerous ways to protect and preserve our planet and its animals.
Volunteer: Volunteers are individuals who want to give back to our community, parents who want to be good stewards of the land and set examples for their children, retired people willing to share their wealth of knowledge, concerned citizens of all ages who want to learn more about conservation, and passionate people who enjoy the outdoors and want to spread the word about our natural treasures. Get active by joining a group, adopting a highway or cleaning up a park, river or creek.
Pickup Litter: Don’t litter. Trash tossed carelessly outside washes into storm drains or creeks, which empty into rivers that eventually flow to the oceans. Trash negatively affects the habitat of aquatic environments causing death and injury to birds, fish, mammals, turtles and other species through swallowing and entanglement. Common litter includes plastic bags, paper, candy wrappers, fastfood packaging, bottle caps, glass bottles, plastic six-pack rings and plastic straws. Spend one hour picking up litter. Organize a team of family, friends, or co-workers to pickup litter. Enjoy making a difference, getting exercise, working with others and having cleaner surroundings.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Recycling turns materials that would otherwise become waste into valuable resources. Collecting used bottles, cans and newspapers and taking them to a collection site is just the first in a series of steps that generates a host of financial, environmental and social returns. Reuse glass and plastic bottles. Coffee cans and buckets can be used as plant containers. Milk jugs with holes punched in the bottom can keep newly planted trees watered. Newspaper can be used to wrap gifts or as packaging material when shipping. Old clothes can be used as rags. Reuse plastic bags to line trashcans or to pickup animal waste. Avoid purchasing items that are over packaged. Use a reusable shopping tote to reduce plastic waste. Opt for a reusable water bottle as opposed to one-time-use plastic bottles. Reuse “disposable” food containers. Refuse to buy products that are not environmentally responsible.
Go Outside: Reconnecting with nature encourages a healthier lifestyle and helps to ensure future generations appreciate the natural world around them. Get outside and enjoy nature and wildlife. Experiencing nature can be as simple as visiting a park, bird watching in your own backyard, hiking in a forest, or watching for wildlife in a nature preserve. Watching wildlife is an extremely easy, fun and free way to enjoy the environment, spend family time or just to relax. Don’t pick flowers or collect wild creatures for pets. Leave animals and plants where you find them.
Plant Native: How ‘green’ is your garden? Ensure that it is truly sustainable by planting seeds of wildflowers native to your region for low-maintenance blooms next spring and all summer long. Not only will they thrive — they’ll support native birds, insects and other pollinators that depend on familiar, home-grown species for a healthy ecosystem. Plant native fruit and ornamental trees. Look for native and/or heirloom plants and seeds when planting a garden.
Create a Habitat: Habitat is the collective term for the food, water, shelter and nursery areas that all wildlife need to survive. The loss of habitat is one of the greatest threats facing wildlife today. Many habitat features can be added to an existing property, such as a garden, wetland pond, or nesting boxes.
Prevent Stormwater Runoff: Poor water quality can harm fish, wildlife and their habitat. Many things are known to cause poor water quality, including sedimentation, runoff, erosion and pesticides. All vehicle fluids are toxic and extremely harmful to the environment. Recycle used oil in a clean, sealed, plastic container. Keep litter, animal waste and leaves out of storm drains, ditches and creeks. Deliver old paint, pesticides, solvents and batteries to a hazardous waste drop off facility. Pouring hazardous substances down a storm drain, onto the ground or into a creek creates a danger to all, as well as animals and the environment. Yard waste, such as grass clippings, tree trimmings and leaves, can be composted and used for fertilizer around your property.
Protect Pollinators: Many pollinators are in decline. There are simple things you can do at home to encourage pollinator diversity and abundance, such as planting a pollinator garden. Choose native plants that flower at different times of the year to provide nectar and pollen sources throughout the growing season. Plant in clumps, rather than single plants, to better attract pollinators. Provide a variety of flower colors and shapes to attract different pollinators.
Reduce Bird Strikes: As many as 1 billion birds die each year due to collisions with windows in homes and office buildings. The primary cause of birds colliding with glass is due to reflection. Objects or ornaments hanging in windows will reduce the reflection by breaking it up. Hang ribbons or other material in strips on the outside of windows for the full width of the glass. Keep houseplants away from windows as they can appear like trees.
Clean Up Animal Waste: Clean up after your animals to reduce pollution in creeks and rivers. Poor water quality harms fish, wildlife and their habitat. Waste may be washed into waterways by rain or melting snow carrying disease causing organisms.
While supplies last, stop by Ritter Public Library and get a copy of the Lake Erie Coastal Atlas, produced by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. These big, beautiful books are full of valuable information about our lake, and copies are going fast!
The Ohio Coastal Atlas is a suite of mapping resources developed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Office of Coastal Management. Maps and text illustrate and discuss many of Lake Erie’s historical, cultural, physical and natural resources. The Ohio Coastal Atlas is a valuable educational tool for coastal and community decision makers, resource managers, professionals, nonprofits, educators, researchers, students, citizen scientists, residents, recreationalists and all stakeholders with a vested interest in Lake Erie and its natural resources.
Lake Erie is vitally important to Ohio. Understanding how human interactions and economic activities affect the Lake Erie environment makes it possible to build greater awareness, make informed decisions and become better coastal stewards. The concerted efforts of all who share a stake in the conservation, protection and restoration of Ohio’s Lake Erie coastal region will help ensure long-term sustainability, quality of life and economic vitality for future generations.
The updated Ohio Coastal Atlas Third Edition publication features detailed information on the Lake Erie Watershed; Lake Erie’s role in western expansion and settlement of Ohio; transportation and waterborne commerce; land use; protected lands, outdoor recreation and public access; the Lake Erie ecosystem and habitat types; coastal processes, bathymetry and geomorphology; soils; geology and the formation of Lake Erie; and water resources among many other topics.
Ritter Public Library is located at 5680 Liberty Avenue in downtown Vermilion, Ohio.
Dick Goddard, Fox 8 and the Vermilion Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce the 2019 Woollybear Festival in downtown Vermilion, Ohio will be held on Sunday, October 6, 2019.
The Vermilion Fox 8 Woollybear Festival is the largest one day festival in the state of Ohio. Be a part of the fun as the annual Woollybear Parade & Festival takes over Vermilion, Ohio. The festival is held every year around October 1 on a Sunday on which the Cleveland Browns have an away game. The 2019 Woollybear Festival in downtown Vermilion, Ohio will be held on Sunday, October 6, 2019.
Festivities begin at 9 am with music at the stage and the YMCA World’s Greatest Kid’s Footrace at Vermilion High School. The Caterpillar 500 Race starts at 10 am. A Kids & Pets Woollybear Costume Contest starts at 11 am. At 1:30 pm the spectacular parade features 20 marching bands, hundreds of animals, 2,000 marchers and many area personalities. Live entertainment takes place on stage at 3:45 pm. At 5 pm the Woollybear Race Finals and Woollybear Winter Prediction takes place.
Vermilion, Ohio's Woollybear Parade
Vermilion’s Woollybear Parade is one of the largest parades in the state of Ohio. It starts at 1:30 pm and lasts approximately 2 hours. It features many radio and television personalities. Parade participants include Woollybear kids and pets, riding hay wagons, over 20 marching bands with nearly 2,000 musicians, radio and TV personalities, vintage automobiles, animals, festival queens, floats, clowns and much more! The parade heads east on Liberty Ave., starting at Grand St., then turns right onto Sandusky St., then right onto South St., ending at S. Decatur St.
The History Of Woollybear
The woollybear wackiness all started more than three decades ago. Northeast Ohio TV weatherman Dick Goddard of Fox8 TV in Cleveland talked with some friends and co-workers about his idea of a celebration built around using the woollybear to forecast what kind of winter is ahead.
In 1972 the newly-elected officers of the Parent Teachers Association at the Firelands-Florence Township Elementary School in the tiny community of Birmingham in Erie County were looking around for a vehicle to raise funds. They heard about Goddard’s idea of a Woollybear Festival. They contacted him and offered to stage the festival with his help.
The first Woollybear Festival was held in Birmingham and attracted perhaps 2,000 people. The parade was short—just the Firelands High School Band, some boy scouts and the local fire department, along with personalities from TV8—and they decided to go around the parade route twice, just to make it look longer.
After eight years in Birmingham, the crowd at the event had grown to an estimated 15,000 and was causing gridlock on the highways into the tiny community, so it was decided to move it to a larger city. Thirteen towns and cities around northern Ohio expressed interest in hosting the ever-growing family-oriented event. Goddard and a committee of the original founders finally settled on the pretty resort city of Vermilion, only nine miles north of where the festival was born in Birmingham.
And the rest is history...
Woollybear Festival Area
There are two Woollybear Festival areas in the center of historic downtown Vermilion, Ohio. One is at Victory Park on Rt. 60 (S. Main St.) north of Ohio St. The second is in Exchange Park at the corner of Rt. 60 (N. Main St.) and Rt. 6 (Liberty Ave.). The Woollybear Festival areas consist of entertainment, food booths, craft booths, and merchant sales. Woollybear T-shirts, Woollybear sweatshirts, and Woollybear hats will be available at the Vermilion Chamber of Commerce stand. Various entertainers are at the main stage throughout the day.
Restrooms are located throughout the downtown area. Numerous temporary restrooms are placed at the south side of Victory Park, on Ohio St. between Main St. and Exchange St. A permanent restroom facility is in the red building at Exchange Park at the northeast corner of Liberty Ave. and Main St.
Two temporary restrooms are in front of the police station at the corner of Liberty Ave. and Decatur St.
A temporary restroom is placed on Liberty Ave. west of Decatur St.
Woollybear Festival Parking
The main parking area for the Woollybear Festival is at Sailorway Middle School, located at Rt. 60 and Sailorway Dr. Shuttle buses provide transportation from the parking lot to the festival area, as well as back to the parking lot. The cost is $5.00 (including shuttle). Parking is also available on Rt. 6 (E. Liberty Ave.), east of the Vermilion River, at the South Shore Shopping Center. Parking for the handicapped is available at the old Post Office parking lot, at 5463 Liberty Ave. You must arrive early. Additional parking areas are located around town as fundraising projects for many organizations and clubs.
World's Greatest Kids Race
This free event is a series of races for kids age 1-12. Events range from 5 yards (for 1 year old crawlers) to 550 yards (for 12 year olds). The races are held at the Vermilion High School track on Sailorway Drive. Registration begins at 8 am. Races are held from 9 am – 11 am. The event is sponsored by the Vermilion YMCA.
Queen's Festival Breakfast
Miss Vermilion and her court host area queens and festival royalty at a breakfast prior to the parade. Letters of invitation were sent to participants with details on this event. The location of the breakfast is German's Villa, 3330 Liberty Ave. (on Rt. 6, ½ mile west of Sunnyside Rd.). After the breakfast, the Vermilion Police will escort the queens in their parade cars or floats, as a group, from German's Villa to the parade line-up. No other cars will be allowed in the police escort. Families and friends of queens must park in public parking.
WOOLLY BEAR FACTS
The common moth Pyrrharctia isabella is known by different common names at its two main life stages. The adult is the Isabella tiger moth and the larva is called the banded woolly bear. The larvae of many species of Arctiid moths are called "woolly bears" ("wooly bears", "woollybears") because of their long, thick, furlike setae. This species is black at both ends with a band of coppery red in the middle. The adult moth is dull yellow to orange with a robust, furry thorax and small head. Its wings have sparse black spotting and the proximal segments on its first pair of legs are bright reddish-orange.
The banded woolly bear larva emerges from the egg in the fall and overwinters in its caterpillar form. It survives winter freezes by producing a cryoprotectant in its tissues. Once the weather warms, the larva devours all the grass and weeds it can, pupates, and becomes an adult, which then lives through the summer. It is the larvae of this species which are the subject of common folklore, which has it that the forthcoming severity of a winter can be predicted by the amount of black on the caterpillar; this is the most familiar woolly bear in North America.
The setae of the woolly bear are not urticant, but they will play dead if picked up or disturbed.
Brought to you by the Vermilion Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call (440) 967-4477, [email protected] or visit www.vermilionohio.com.
To celebrate the home entertainment release of the hit movie Storm Boy, @gooddeedent is donating a portion of the profits to the World Animal Foundation from April 18 to April 22, in honor of #EarthDay! Join #StormBoy in helping wild pelicans thrive by purchasing a DVD or Digital Download of the film, or by adopting a pelican through World Animal Foundation.
Storm Boy is adapted from the 1976 Australian novella by a Colin Thiele. Storm Boy tells the story of the young, lonely Michael 'Storm Boy' Kingley who rescues a trio of orphaned pelican hatchlings, forming a loving bond with the birds which enriches all of their lives as well as those around them in their small Australian town.
The World Animal Foundation (WAF) is a non-profit organization, based in Vermilion, Ohio, dedicated to the preservation and protection of the planet and the animals that inhabit it. WAF works through public education, research, investigations, animal rescue, legislation, special events, and direct action. WAF is an all volunteer organization. The organization has no paid officers and uses all donations towards animal and environmental programs.
Storm Boy is a beautiful and contemporary retelling of Colin Thiele's classic Australian tale. 'Storm Boy' has grown up to be Michael Kingley, a successful retired businessman and grandfather. When Kingley starts to see images from his past that he can't explain, he is forced to remember his long-forgotten childhood, growing up on an isolated coastline with his father. He recounts to his grand-daughter the story of how, as a boy, he rescued and raised an extraordinary orphaned pelican, Mr Percival. Their remarkable adventures and very special bond has a profound effect on all their lives. Based on the beloved book, Storm Boy is a timeless story of an unusual and unconditional friendship.
Colin Thiele’s novella Storm Boy, which tells the story of a young boy and his extraordinary friendship with an orphaned pelican on South Australia’s remote Coorong National Park, has enchanted and moved Australians for over half a century.
Sydney based producer Matthew Street (TOMORROW, WHEN THE WAR BEGAN, THE BANK JOB, W, THE MESSENGER) had studied the book in primary school, as many Australian school children still do, a memory that drew him in 2013 to take notice of a new stage adaptation.
“The Barking Gecko Theatre Company from Western Australia was staging the play in partnership with the Sydney Theatre Company,” recalls Street. “I tried to book tickets for myself and my 11-year-old son, but it was sold out. I returned to the Ambience Entertainment office and told my producing partner Michael Boughen.”
Boughen (TOMORROW, WHEN THE WAR BEGAN, THE LOVED ONES, KILLER ELITE) continues: “I said to Matthew, ‘I didn’t know it was a play’ and he said, ‘Yes, and the season is fully booked out’. That started me thinking about the Storm Boy phenomenon. I started to explore the possibilities, spoke to the publishers and within about a month Ambience had secured the film adaptation rights.”
Street and Boughen had both seen the 1976 film adaptation and strongly recalled the emotional connection they had with it.
“I was probably the age of Storm Boy at the time, maybe a little younger,” says Street, “and the film was dealing with life issues that were relatable to me, as a kid, but to adults as well.”
The producers recognized that the themes of Thiele’s 1963 book are just as relevant, and in some ways more so, today.
“The themes are universal,” says Boughen. “The story deals with friendship, with love, with family, loss and hope. It also deals with ecological issues. It's not overplayed, but there is a message in it that we need to look after what we hold dear, for ourselves and for future generations.”
From the outset, the producers wanted to ensure that the new film would have at its centre the spirit of what makes people want to read Thiele’s book more than 50 years after its first publication.
However, Storm Boy would not be a remake of the 1976 film. As such, Boughen and Street decided to remain true to Thiele’s original setting; the late 1950s. Additionally, Storm Boy’s tale would be set within a contemporary framework, an additional layer that would give the story and its lessons a new resonance and relevance. This new storyline would imagine Storm Boy as a grandfather and extend the exploration of issues around land and the conservation of the environment.
Screenwriter Justin Monjo (THE SECRET DAUGHTER, SPEAR) was brought in to work on the adaptation, a process that would continue through the next several years.
“Our Storm Boy is a complex story in many ways,” says Michael Boughen. “We spent the next three years writing the script, physically engaging with it, working out the nuances, understanding the journey of each character.”
With an early draft script in hand, the producers began looking at possible directors, wanting to find someone who was passionate about the story and who would be able to draw out the delicate emotional nuances required of the performances and the storytelling.
Shawn Seet (TWO FISTS ONE HEART; DEEP WATER; THE CODE) came up early in discussions because of his body of work and his ability to work with actors to create complex performances.
“From the day I met Shawn, my thoughts and Matthew Street’s thoughts never changed; he was the right person,” recalls Boughen. “The film charts a difficult emotional journey, which would feature a child in the lead, as well as animals, but Shawn understands performers and what they need. He was someone whom we knew could blend all the complex elements together and maintain the focus of the story. From day one, we shared the same vision and never strayed from that vision.”
The producers were particularly taken with Seet’s deep and long-standing connection with the story. “When Michael Boughen asked me to come into the office and told me what the project was, it hit me like lightning,” says Seet.
“I was born in Australia but grew up in Malaysia and came back when I was 12 to live with my mother’s family. My uncle educated me by taking me to see Australian films and one of the first he took me to was Storm Boy. It was the era of the film renaissance in Australia, and there was a great optimism and pride in local films. I still have the film poster at home, so when Michael told me he wanted to make this film, I felt it was meant to be.”
On reading the book again, as well as the draft screenplay, Seet was struck by the ways in which the story allows for a very intimate and individual experience.
“A lot of what resonated for me was the simplicity of their life, the respect for nature and the father and son story,” says Seet. “Moving back to a simpler life are issues and themes that resonate now. We are in a hurly burly world of phones and computers and I think there’s a great desire in people to return to a greater harmony with nature. That’s something I really wanted to capture in this telling of the story.”
Sitting alongside Storm Boy and his father Hideaway Tom is the character of Fingerbone Bill, a Ngarrindjeri man. The participation and involvement of the Ngarrindjeri would be vital, as the film is set on their land, and represents their heritage and culture. The pelican (Nori) is a totem of the Ngarrindjeri.
“The film touches on land rights issues and that’s incredibly relevant today, when I think we’ve still got a long way to go in terms of our relationship with Indigenous people,” says Seet. “We wanted to make the Indigenous aspects in the film absolutely accurate. It’s a sacred place to the Ngarrindjeri and the story has come out of that. To tell a story about unconditional love and living in harmony with the land and with nature could not be told without their help.”
Street continues: “It was very important to us to connect with the Ngarrindjeri people and for them to be actively involved and grant permission for us to film on the Coorong. I think they knew that we would be very respectful to their ways and beliefs.”
“The Ngarrindjeri people assisted us, consulted with us on script, on language and on custom,” adds Boughen. “We wove all of that in to create a more fully formed and truthful story, beyond what was already a great script by Justin Monjo.”
In Thiele’s book and in the 1959 narrative in Storm Boy, the environmental issue explored concerns whether a Coorong bird nesting area will continue to be designated as a hunting ground, or transformed into a conservation sanctuary. In the film’s contemporary narrative, the film touches on the issue of mining and its impact on the environment.
Producer Matthew Street says: “It’s about finding a balance, a balance between human society and not over-exploiting nature and natural resources. That's what was explored, I think, in Thiele’s work, and hopefully we’ve done that justice in our telling of the story.”
To portray Michael Kingley — Storm Boy as an adult — in the present day scenes, Shawn Seet and the producers had one person in mind: Academy Award® winner Geoffrey Rush (SHINE, THE KING’S SPEECH, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN). They approached the actor during development, in order to allow Rush to be involved in the process of refining the script.
Producer Michael Boughen says: “We were extremely lucky that Geoffrey Rush connected with the project. Geoffrey would bring gravitas to the film and to the role, but for him, as it was for us, the script had to explore the story in a way that was really worth the retelling.”
Rush, who also came onto the film as an Executive Producer, says: “I got involved because Shawn Seet, Michael Boughen, Matthew Street and Justin Monjo explained to me the nature of the reinvention of the story for a contemporary audience, of trying to find a door that we could open from 2017 to look back on the story that Colin Thiele set in the 1950s. I hadn’t done an Australian film for a couple of years, and sometimes roles come up that you think, ‘Wow, this sounds fantastic’.”
Geoffrey Rush had never seen the 1976 film, as he was studying in Paris when it was released and chose not to watch the film once he was on board.
“I looked at the trailer of the 1976 film because I wanted to see how it played,” recalls Rush, “and then I read the short story, after reading the screenplay. Colin Thiele awakens your imagination. It’s very interesting to look at how minimalist it is. I think it's only 50 pages of writing and it's a fable, so the idea for the film of Storm Boy in his late 60s telling his granddaughter what his experiences were as he was moving from childhood into adulthood; him telling it as a fable is wonderful because it connects as personal memory rather than ‘and then I did this, and then I did that’.”
The key was to craft a script in which the transitions between the two periods were handled with deftness and purpose.
“It had to have a poetic ease to it, so that no one thinks they’re going to watch a film about somebody narrating it,” says Rush. “Justin Monjo very skilfully echoed the simplicity of the childhood story into the contemporary story, taking some of Thiele’s very sensitive language and incorporating that into the screenplay. It was so visual to read. There were heart stopping moments; it's thrilling storytelling, and very emotive to see a young child being awakened into such a love of the natural world.”
The producers and director Seet wanted to shoot the film in South Australia, which would require support from the South Australian Government through the South Australian Film Corporation, as well as from Screen Australia.
“Both organizations were incredibly supportive, both financially and in our early days of working through the difficulties of financing a film,” says Michael Boughen. “Financing a film is no easy feat, and particularly one that we wanted to make with an international cast and international appeal. Audiences outside Australia generally don’t know Storm Boy as a book or a story, so the international appeal is the relationship between a boy and his best friend; a theme that we believe will resonate with audiences around the world.”
The producers were proud of the way the film was developed, produced, and the messages it will convey to Australian and international audiences, which remain true to the spirit of Thiele’s story. “If Colin Thiele was alive today,” says Matthew Street, “I hope he would give the film his blessing.”
Michael Boughen adds: “A wonderful script was the starting point, then having Shawn on board, then Geoffrey, and the rest of the incredible cast and crew. There wasn't a day that I didn't enjoy filming, in watching scenes come together. I'm incredibly excited and very, very proud of what we achieved.”
Meet Ritter's new director at a special reception on Thursday, May 2 at 7 pm at the library.
Ritter Public Library trustees have appointed Joy Walk as Ritter’s new director. Walk started in Ritter’s youth services department in 2012, then worked in the adult services department, and she has served as acting director at Ritter since the end of last year.
Maybe you know her from book club or technology club or Rotary.
A special reception, hosted by Ritter Public Library, will take place on Thursday, May 2, 2019 from 7 pm to 8:30 pm at Ritter Public Library, 5680 Liberty Avenue in downtown Vermilion, Ohio.
View the live webcam overlooking Main Street Beach in downtown Vermilion, Ohio. You can access the live feed 24 hours a day from mainstreetvermilion.org or discoververmilion.org and watch activity on the beach, the lake and in the harbor, storms, sailboat racing, Third Thursdays and more.
The live webcam is a project of Main Street Vermilion and was provided by Ohio's Lake Erie Shores & Islands. The City of Vermilion and Dale Reising assisted in making it operational.
Many people do not know, or remember, that the restaurant known as McGarvey's was originally built, owned and operated by Charles Helfrich. That was in 1929, shortly after the new bridge was built across the river. The old bridge crossed a little south of the present location.
Mr. Helfrich operated a small boat and canoe rental business on the east side of the river. The proposed new bridge nearly touched his building and also diverted traffic away from it. So he purchased the land just north of the new bridge and built a restaurant and boat rental business there. Home cooked dinners, sandwiches and homemade pies were the first attractions. The business prospered and Helfrich's became a busy place. The canoe and boat business were also thriving. Canoeing on the river was a popular pastime in those days, especially on Sunday afternoons.
In 1934 Mr. Helfrich died and two years later Mrs. Helfrich sold the enterprises to Charlie McGarvey's. After his death, Mrs. McGarvey sold her husband's business to Charles Solomon, son of Eddie Solomon. The restaurant was one of the most well known eating places along the lake shore, popular with both "landlubbers" and boaters.
In the year 2000, the Vermilion Port Authority purchased the McGarvey's property and razed the building. The property became a transient marina and restaurant named Red Clay on the River, now Quaker Steak & Lube.
Watching the many species of birds that inhabit your ecosystem is a fun and fascinating pastime the whole family can enjoy together. Winter is the best time to feed birds as they need the food more than at any other time of year and you will typically see a greater number and variety of birds at bird feeders. Many interesting birds from the north fly south in winter, and in spring many species return home from lands in the south, providing a great variety of species to see.
The World Animal Foundation of Vermilion, Ohio offers these tips for backyard birding:
You don’t need to spend money on food or feeders to attract birds to your yard. If you can leave a small area of your yard un-mowed, you can attract a lot of birds. They eat the seeds from the grasses and weeds and use the area for cover as well.
Employing a feeder grants the ability for close study of birds. While all feeders draw birds, those that keep the bird feed dry and free of mold are best. Moldy seeds are bad for bird health. Place feeders either near a window or fairly far away to help prevent birds from colliding with windows when startled. The most common feeder is a hopper or house feeder, usually made of windows of clear plastic that feed seed to a perching surface. These feeders attract cardinals, nuthatches, chickadees, grosbeaks, buntings and titmice. One without a lot of perching surface minimizes use by house sparrows or starlings. The most important thing is to keep feeders clean by washing with bleach water every few weeks. Washing with bleach water prevents the spread of disease.
Although slightly more expensive, bird food with black oil sunflower seeds attract a wide variety of desirable birds. A suet feeder attracts woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees and bluejays. Some birders push suet or peanut butter into crevices in bark or in the cracks of old stumps to attract birds. Witnessing a northern flicker or red-bellied woodpecker feeding at close range sears a delightful memory into the mind of a youngster. Woodpeckers love dead branches on trees. Leave a dead branch on a tree to attract woodpeckers if it is safe to do so.
It is important to provide water for birds in winter too. Place the water in a spot in the yard that receives sun as its rays will melt some water for birds on even the coldest days.
A good guide book is essential for identifying birds. Looking up unfamiliar birds and learning about their distinguishing characteristics is part of the fun of birding. Modestly priced binoculars now have coated lenses and other features that make them acceptable choices for bird watching. Don’t get zoom binoculars for birding. You tend to lose clarity at high magnification. A wide angle pair lets in more light and makes it easier to find birds.
Bird watching is a good way to introduce kids into the outdoors and spark awareness of our natural world. Backyard birding is a family-friendly way to enjoy wildlife viewing. Plus, it is just plain fun.
Have things to donate? The Vermilion Salvation Army accepts donations every Tuesday from 9 am to 1 pm.
Serving Vermilion community members in need, the Vermilion Salvation Army operates a food pantry, provides coats and other clothing, sends young grade schoolers home with food backpacks, and offers UCAN direct assistance.
Items accepted include, but are not limited to:
The Vermilion Salvation Army is located at 4560 Liberty Avenue in Vermilion, Ohio. Contact the Vermilion Salvation Army office for more information at (440) 967-5446.
Cleaning up the yard this weekend? Mayor Forthofer has announced that Republic will begin the separate yard waste collection Wednesday, April 17th. The collections will continue every Wednesday until December.
"Put your compostable waste on your tree lawn and in paper yard bags," said Mayor Forthofer. "Branches should be in 4 foot bundles bound with twine. No plastic bags or string, please."
You can also put up to 40 pounds of yard waste in your blue can, according to Mayor Forthofer.
The Eagle Has Landed: Apollo 11’s 50th Anniversary, with speaker Eric Rivet, takes place on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 7:30 pm at the Historic Brownhelm School & Museum, 1940 North Ridge Road in Vermilion.
July 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Join Eric Rivet for a discussion on the Apollo program and learn about the space race between NASA and the Soviet Union and the technology behind one of the greatest scientific achievements in human history.
Doors open at 6 pm; Brownhelm Historical Association business meeting takes place from 6:30 pm to 7 pm; social time is 7 pm; program begins at 7:30 pm. Note there will be a 50/50 Raffle at upcoming BHA meetings.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana native, Eric Rivet has worked in the museum field for 22 years. He worked on two historic naval ships, the USS Kidd DD-661 and the USS Slater DE-766, as a docent and education coordinator. He then worked as a curator at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans for six years. In 2015, Rivet became the Chief Curator of the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland.
Mayor Forthofer announces that from now through the summer, WOW CABLE will be constructing a network of fiber cable lines in preparation for offering video, internet and phone service to Vermilion residents.
According to the mayor, contractors working on behalf of WOW will have identification on their trucks when installing buried cable or hanging cable from phone poles.
"Homeowners will receive notification from WOW when contractors are working in their area," stated Mayor Forthofer.
The first streets to see construction will be: Edison, N Berkley, Thomas Alva, Telegraph, Firestone, Ford, Cinema and Menlo Park.
"WOW is working in cooperation with the Services Director and Tree Commission," said the mayor.
Public libraries today are about much more than just books. Public libraries equal strong communities.
More than a quarter of U.S. households don’t have a computer with an internet connection. Libraries provide free public computers with internet access, vital to people searching for jobs and trying to connect with government services. At Ritter Public Library in Vermilion, Ohio the public uses the internet more than 120 times a day.
Learning to read is the first step to success at school and libraries help parents get their little ones off to a good start. Teens find something fun to do every day after school at their library. Every month, more than 800 participants enjoy programs in Ritter’s youth services departments.
Libraries help people find jobs by connecting them with important resources and helping them use career-development tools. The public can schedule free, half-hour appointments with Ritter’s reference staff for one-on-one assistance with questions about resources, technology and more. Call (440) 967-3798.
Ritter also provides free meeting space for groups and organizations. Nearly 700 people – from scouts to city councils – gather in meeting rooms at Ritter every month. And Ritter helps preserve the unique stories of our town in its local history collection.
For every dollar spent by Ohio’s public libraries, $5 worth of direct economic benefit is returned to Ohioans. The Ohio Library Council recently conducted a statewide return on investment study showing Ohio’s public libraries save residents money and also directly benefit the state’s economy.
Get your money’s worth at your public library. Ritter is open from 9:30 am to 8:30 pm Monday through Thursday; from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm Friday and Saturday; and from 1 pm to 5 pm Sunday. Access library services anytime at www.ritterpubliclibrary.org.
Mayor Forthofer has announced Clean Up Vermilion Day will take place on May 18, 2019. Grab a rake and help get Vermilion ready for another beautiful summer season.
The shredder will be at Victory Park from 9 am to noon.
"Residents can bring as much as they want to be shredded," said Mayor Forthofer.
"People interested in cleaning up our beautiful city can form groups or come to City Hall. Anne Maiden, Administrative Assistant, will give out assignments," said Mayor Forthofer. "Bring rakes and tools."
Some elderly or disabled residents need assistance cleaning up their properties.
"The City of Vermilion can hook you up," said the mayor. "Gloves and bags can be provided."