Pros and Cons of Early Blooms

At Schoepfle Garden I am counting no less than 7 trees and flowers in bloom during the last week of February.  That is uncommon, most years I would expect to have three to four blooms in February – winter aconite, snowdrops, hardy cyclamen and maybe one more.  Lenten Rose is now blooming along with the Japanese Witch Hazel and by day’s end I may be able to add three more shrubs into the mix as the buds were cracking open this morning.  Is this cause for concern?  On the plus side, we have an excellent chance to break out of our cabin fever, get outside and see some signs of spring – something to really energize us. There are bees and other active insects ready to feed on these early blooms after a long winter’s retreat and they in turn provide food for birds and animals.   On the down side, the may be some losses when, probably not if, we return to typical weather.  Luckily, most of the damage is short term.  Flowers may be lost, some very early, tender new growth may be stunted, but in the long run most plants will not suffer long term damage.  It can be a problem for those dependent on the plants for food or income.  Loss of flowers can mean a reduction in fruit and nuts that feed wildlife in the next fall and winter.  It can also mean a loss of fruit like peaches, apples and cherries if the plants blossom too early.  Even our pancakes could suffer as maple syrup production may be cut short as trees bud out and halting sap collection. So in those cases we need to be ready to help out wildlife that may not have as much for winter stores or support the local orchard that is struggling to offer the best produce due to winter losses.  It is too early to tie the last few years into a larger climatic change, but we should be aware of possible short term and long term issues that may arise from too much warmth too soon in the season.  -MK

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Dr. Seuss Day at Splash Zone

Join us for Dr. Seuss Day at Splash Zone on Thursday, March 2, at 11:00 AM! Come for a story and then stay for a swim! The event is free for members and only $3.50 daily admission for non-members. Call (440) 774-5059 for more information.


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Seasons Changing Already at Schoepfle

Signs of Spring are starting to arrive around the garden.  The first greens of spring bulbs are poking through the earth.  The silver maple has budded out, albeit a tad early.  Forsythia buds are starting to swell to let us know that winter’s whites and greys will soon be replaced with greens and yellows and purples and more.


Another sign of spring is the volunteer meeting at Schoepfle Garden.  Every year our volunteers start the year with a brief planning session and overview for the upcoming season.  We welcome new faces interested in volunteering – we can help you join Friends at the meeting – who may want to help around Schoepfle Garden with garden chores, running the gift shop, driving the tram and operating the carousel.  Our meeting is Saturday February 18th at 11:am- a potluck lunch follows.  For more details, call Matt at 440-965-7237 or

We are also celebrating Otto Schoepfle’s 107th birthday with an overview of his life in pictures and a tour of his home and grounds.  Life of Otto is on Thursday February 23rd at 9:30am – it is free but pre-registration is requested.


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Carlisle Reservation’s Maple Sugaring Program!

sap-dripping-into-bucket-one“A sap-run is the sweet good-bye of winter. It is the fruit of the equal marriage of the sun and frost.” ~John Burroughs, Signs and Seasons, 1886

In two weeks (on February 25th) Carlisle Reservation’s weekend ‘Maple Sugaring’ public program begins (2/25 & 26th, 3/4 & 5th, 11:30am-3:30pm; located in & around the Carlisle Visitor Center)!!  FREE, educational & engaging FUN for the whole family!  Please check-out our current January/February and future March/April Arrowhead program guides for more information on the demonstrations, activities, and pancake breakfasts.  Our Maple Sugaring annual event is a SWEET cure for Cabin Fever!  Photograph from previous seasons. ~CVC Naturalist, Miss Jenn 🙂



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MAGIC SHOW 2/20 at Miller Nature Preserve

Looking for something to do with a day off from school?  Be amazed by the magic of Bill Gang when he presents a magic show at Miller Nature Preserve at 1:00 on 2/20.  Kids of all ages will be amazed!! Program is free for members of Miller Nature Preserve and $3 at the door for nonmembers.  Hope to see you there!

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Participate in Splash Zone’s Indoor Triathlon on Sunday, March 5, at 9:00 AM! Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned triathlete, this event is for you! The Indoor Triathlon will consist of 30 minutes in the pool, 30 minutes on a spin or recumbent bike, and 30 minutes on the track. Participants must be at least 16 years old. However 12-16 year olds can participate with an adult. The cost is $15 for members or $20 for non-members. All participants will receive a t-shirt, snack, and giveaways! To be guaranteed a shirt you must pre-register by February 17.

Call (440) 774-5059 for more information. Click here to register!


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AMHERST, OH  – New Years resolutions rarely go perfectly as planned. Some of us never get started off on the right foot, or others don’t realize a resolution until after the calendar as turned the page. In both scenarios I hear way to often “Next Year will be my year.”

I made a couple resolutions this year that include packing my lunch more often, and running daily. So now it’s time to taddle on myself….today was only my third run of 2017, and I have visited Panera for lunch way to often. As I was running on this beautiful winter day at the Black-River Reservation i reminded myself of these goals, and starting today I am refocusing on these resolutions.

I’m not waiting until next year to start fresh. Resolutions don’t need to wait another day, they don’t need to start at the beginning of the year. Resolutions are goals to keep us focused and motivated to accomplish something we have not accomplished in the past.The past doesn’t necessarily mean the previous calendar year, it may mean the previous day, week, or month.

The Lorain County Metro Parks have plenty of fitness activities and facilities to help provide motivation to reach those “fitness goals.” Join me at Fit-Walks on Thursdays  (5:00pm-6:30pm) for a FREE community fitness program, or one of the 50 group fitness classes offered each week at the Mercy Health & Recreation Center.

So, if your like me and have missed the great start to the year you were hoping, get refocused, don’t wait another day or until 2018. START TODAY

Follow me on twitter @LCMP_MercyRec for updates on where you can join myself and others for group fitness gatherings each week to help motivate you (and myself) to get back on the right track!


Ryan Ladd (Facility Coordinator at Mercy Health & Recreation Center)
440.984.3470 (phone) (email)

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