THE BLUE SKY’S THE LIMIT: Rethinking environmental education and strengthening ties between CVNP and local communities
THE ART OF NATURE: Leaving a Legacy of the Cuyahoga River
SCAVENGER HUNT: Find blue species in the parks!
SUMMER 2022, VOLUME 7: ISSUE 2 THE
MAGAZINE SPRING/SUMMER 2022, VOLUME 7: ISSUE 2 THE BLUE ISSUE 02 LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT & CEO 03 THE BLUE SKY’S THE LIMIT: RETHINKING ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION 07 CHASING THE BLUES AWAY: SCAVENGER HUNT CORPORATE FRIENDS 13 WHAT‘S IN A NAME: THE MYSTERY BEHIND “BLUE HEN FALLS” 11 THE ART OF NATURE: LEAVING A LEGACY OF THE CUYAHOGA RIVER 16 TRAILS NOW & THEN
The Conservancy enriches people’s lives and enhances our region by inspiring use, preservation and support of Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Brett W. Reynolds
A LETTER FROM THE CONSERVANCY
Other than a blue sky or blue water, blue is a relatively rare color in nature. Less than 10% of plants are blue and even fewer animals are blue. Culturally, blue is often associated with royalty or something that is precious, most likely because of its rarity in the natural world. In this issue, using the theme of blue, you will read about many exciting things happening in our national park.
You’ll learn about our work to get the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center (CVEEC) open once again. Having children back in the dorms, the dining halls and the November Lodge is thrilling. CVEEC and our education work is at the heart of the Conservancy—investing in future generations of park stewards and providing engaging and meaningful experiences for children. While our Education/Programs team has been able to lead field trips and on-line programs, nothing is quite like meeting a busfull of children and knowing that they are staying in the park for a few days—an experience they will never forget.
The Conservancy is in an early planning phase for the 15 acres of the Brandywine Golf Course that we are retaining. We are working alongside the National Park Service to plan for environmental remediation of the property. Once that is complete, we will be able to put our plans into action. We are listening to thoughts from the community and considering new ways for people to enjoy the park. Common threads are enthusiasm about access to the river, creating new visitor experiences, and a strong interest in listening to new voices of those who haven’t been given the opportunity to offer their thoughts about park planning.
We are excited to announce the Conservancy has recently established the Trails Now Fund, which provides immediate support for trail maintenance, visitor amenities, and new trailheads. New projects will be selected by the National Park Service superintendent on an annual basis in coordination with Conservancy staff. The Trails Now Fund is a perfect example of the great work that can be done with private and public partnerships.
The color blue calls to mind serenity and calmness, the sky and the water. I hope for you that you find peace and tranquility in your visits to Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Our park provides a place apart in nature from the pressures of daily life for hundreds of thousands of people. Thank you for supporting us in caring for our park—a place that sustains us and protects nature for years to come.
Irving B. Sugerman
Karyn Sullivan, Board Vice-Chair Rick Taylor
Tom Tyrrell Bob Vecchione
DEB YANDALA, PRESIDENT AND CEO
2022 Volume 7: Issue 2
US 1403 West Hines Hill Road Peninsula Ohio 44264
Deb Yandala, President and CEO
Donté Gibbs, VP of Community Partnerships
Hoffman, VP of Philanthropy
Matteucci, VP of Strategic Initiatives Gregory Morton, VP of Administration Zaina Salem, Editor
Sam Harsh, Associate Editor DESIGN
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Steve Abdenour Joe Blanda Ron Bower Christopher Buehler
Debby Capela Keshia Chambers Daniel Connor Mark Davey Emily Holiday Montrella Jackson Michelle Johnson Roger Jones Phil LiBassi, Board Chair Gary Lobaza Shawn Lyden
Joan Schaefer Sandy Selby Lisa Ramirez Shah
V. Rena Suber
THE ART OF NATURE:
LEAVING A LEGACY OF THE CUYAHOGA RIVER
Michael Marras is the artist of three blue heron sculptors found along the Cuyahoga River. The sculptures are a lasting tribute celebrating our river heritage and the advancement of water quality since the last burning of the Cuyahoga River in 1969. You can spot these beautiful pieces of artwork, which were installed in 2019, along the crooked river at three different places: Station Road Bridge, Water Works Park, and Trail Mix Peninsula.
Marras was first commissioned by Peter Bode from West Creek Conservancy to create the sculptures.
“When commissioning this sculpture series, it was important to me to have the local artistic voice of the region spoken through its creation. Michael, being from Akron and having such an impact on the region’s public art, was the perfect choice and spoke beautifully through his sculpting while crafting these pieces,” Bode said.
He then was connected to Arrye Rosser, Interpretive and Education Specialist for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and they started reviewing concepts. He also worked closely with the cities of Cuyahoga Falls and Peninsula. After doing research and talking to various people, they decided on a blue heron for the sculpture.
“To me, the blue heron has always been a symbol of Northeast Ohio waterways, a river spirit...” — MICHAEL MARRAS
As an artist who specializes in metal sculpture, Marras used a process called CNC, or Computer Numerical Control, to create the blue herons. He designed the necessary shapes on a computer, then had them laser cut to create each part of the sculpture. Although all three sculptures have the same shapes, each one was arranged differently to form a unique blue heron. After that, he fabricated the sculptures and prepared them for painting and installation.
The sculptures were revealed at the 2019 Xtinguish Celebration, a year-long regional commemoration of the 50th year of revitalization of the Cuyahoga River. Over 300 organizations, municipalities, agencies, and corporate partners came together in solidarity to celebrate our shared waterway.
“Permanent installations, like Michael’s blue heron sculptures, symbolizing the Cuyahoga’s renewal and rebirth became the celebration’s true lasting legacy,” Bode said.
Marras has been a full-time artist for the past decade, splitting his time between commissioned work, public sculpture, and personal sculptures. During Michael’s tenure as an artist working in Akron, he has created and installed seven public sculptures in Northeast Ohio. Marra’s portfolio consists of over 80 metal sculptures and his philanthropy includes over
$20,000 in donated works and time to local charities and youth organizations.
Although he now resides in Los Angeles, he grew up in Akron and had a lifelong relationship with CVNP through hiking, biking, camping, and kayaking since he was a child.
“I want the blue heron sculptures to communicate to children that there is a life above and below the water. I want them to see that the river is a living thing and although they might have little impact on the global climate, they can have major impacts in their own backyards,” Marras said. “I hope that the heron sculptures will inspire a younger generation to have a big love for nature.”
Marras says that art in green space is important because it can be educational, functional, and aesthetically beautiful.
“I think it can help people to see the relationship between the cities they live in and the nature around them, and how the two are vitally connected,” said Marras. “In the last couple years, more people have realized how important our arts and green spaces are to our happiness and mental health. Continuing to explore how art and nature can benefit each other is in an important part of creating community.”
MARRAS SAID HIS FAVORITE THING ABOUT THE TRAIL MIX PENINSULA SCULPTURE IS THAT IT’S THE ONE THAT GETS THE MOST PICTURES TAKEN BY IT. “THAT ALWAYS MAKES ME HAPPY TO SEE,” HE SAID.
MARRAS REVEALED HIS SCULPTURE AT STATION ROAD BRIDGE IN 2019 AS PART OF CELEBRATIONS FOR THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF RIVER RENEWAL.
HAVE YOU EVER SPOTTED A BLUE HERON IN CUYAHOGA VALLEY NATIONAL PARK? NOT THE ONES WITH SOFT PLUMES AND SIX-FOOT WINGSPANS, BUT WITH METAL FRAMES AND BLUE PAINT!
YOU CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT MICHAEL MARRAS AND HIS ART BY VISITING: MWMARRAS.COM
CONSERVANCY FOR CVNP 5 4
MARRAS INSTALLING THE HERON SCULPTURE
What’s in a Name:
THE MYSTERY BEHIND “BLUE HEN FALLS”
BY HALEY BITTAKER
When we began the research into the name of one of Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s biggest attractions, Blue Hen Falls, we were anticipating a straightforward, perhaps even dare we say, lackluster answer to our question. However, as our unique national park has done time and again, the answers we received to our inquiry were fascinating!
There are three possible origins of the name. The first and most commonly accepted is that someone saw a great blue heron in waning daylight and mistook it for a hen, thus thinking they saw a blue hen enjoying itself in the cool waters under the falls. However, blue herons tend to like a more open space for river foraging and it seems a bit unlikely one would be found in such dense forest. For this reason, we were inclined to hear out the other two possibilities for the namesake given to us by NPS historians.
GET TO KN O W THE STAF
The second explanation stems from an idea that in Delaware during the Revolutionary War, there was a regiment known for both their fondness for gamecock fighting and their ferociousness in battle. In time, they became known as the Fighting Blue Hens, the mascot for Delaware today. Some think a settler from that hardfighting regiment settled near the falls and named it after his regiment’s nickname. Imagine if we called it The Fighting Blue Hen Falls?
The last, and in this writer’s opinion, most entertaining idea for the name comes from an 1800s slang for being drunk. Being called “blue” could mean you were intoxicated. Germans can be found to reference drunkenness as being “blue” even today. At the time, West Boston Mills Road was named Distillery Lane and the creek running along lower West Boston Mills Road was known as Distillery Run, after a small distillery at
its headwaters. At the time, it was common for farmers to feed “spent” mash, the byproduct after making whiskey, to cattle, pigs or chickens. Too much of this mash might make the farm animals drunken, or blue. In the 1800s it was common to let your pigs and chickens roam free, so perhaps the falls was a common place for the local party hen or two to be caught enjoying their time in nature.
We feel this is the right time to remind our readers that alcohol is prohibited in the park – but clearly this is a message hard understood by chickens.
The origin of the naming of Blue Hen Falls is truly unknown. The next time you are there, take a second to reflect on the people of the past and what might have been going on inside their minds the first time the falls was referenced as Blue Hen Falls. Maybe you’ll even come up with a theory of your own.
BLUE HEN FALLS’ COCKTAIL
Infuse fresh blueberries in 3 liters of vodka* for 6–30 days.
Strain out vodka and squeeze blueberries by hand (don’t forget to wear gloves!)
Mix 2 oz Blueberry Vodka, .75 oz simple syrup, and .75 oz lemon juice.
Shake, strain, garnish with mint sprig. Enjoy!
* delicious as a mocktail, sans vodka, too
GET TO KN O W THE STAF
Haley has been a part of the Conservancy for six years. She started as a host working weddings, then transitioned into taking on the Dinner in the Valley series. She eventually worked her way into planning donor garden parties, donor appreciation events, internal staff appreciation events, and outreach for the park. You can find her at one of our free concert series at Howe Meadow this summer, hosting an event with one of our partners in the park, or disturbing the peace around the office.
HALEY’S FAVORITE BLUE THING IN CVNP:
To spot a blue heron in flight!
Taylor Young is the Beverage Manager for the Conservancy.
In this role, she manages the beverage program and oversees events such as weddings, concerts, public events and donor parties in CVNP. She is focused on creating a sustainable bar program that uses locally sourced ingredients and alcohol. She has a recent focus on the Conservancy’s initiative to create zero-waste events. Taylor joined the Conservancy in 2019 as a bartender, and has an extensive background in hospitality, programing, sales, and sustainability.
TAYLOR’S FAVORITE BLUE THING IN CVNP: The Cuyahoga River
VOLUME 7: ISSUE 2 CONSERVANCY FOR CVNP 6
THANK YOU TO NPS FOR SHARING YOUR THEORIES WITH US!
PHOTO BY: STEPHANIE GOLDING
RETHINKING ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
BY SAM HARSH
Blue Sky’s the Limit
I n February of 2020, it was winter at the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center (CVEEC). Its 500 acres were probably covered in a layer of snow, dusting the trees and the roofs of the dorms and dining halls. Multitudes of boot tracks were pressed into the trails and campus paths, made by instructors and students alike. On any given weekday in February, and indeed, any month of the school year, the sounds of children laughing and singing camp songs could be heard throughout the campus. The hustle and bustle of camp life, shared meals, story time, campfires—all of these things and more made the CVEEC a wonderful place to be.
All of this was abruptly turned upside-down in March 2020. The arrival of COVID-19 in Northeast Ohio transitioned students to virtual learning. Schools were closing their doors. In a matter of days, the remainder of schools that had been scheduled to stay at CVEEC in the 2020 school year were canceled.
The lack of in-person programming in a place where being physically present is so critical might be seen as an impossible challenge to some – but not for the CVEEC Education Team. Both National Park Service and Conservancy education staff worked together to create live virtual programs and online content, much of which is still available for schools and teachers to use today.
While these exciting alternatives developed, the CVEEC campus remained empty. This emptiness could’ve been seen as a sad reality, an unchangeable barrier. The pandemic had changed things, and that was that.
Instead, it was seen as an opportunity. “We knew we wanted to make changes to curriculum, find better ways to meet audience needs and be of more service to the community even pre-pandemic,” says Conservancy Programs & Education Director Katie Wright. “Looking at all these things, and then operations being halted – it became the perfect time to decide who we wanted to be when we reopened...
“We wanted to reimagine environmental education, rethink our role in the community, & hear community perspectives to tell us what was needed & to guide the park’s thinking.”
With the expertise of Janus Small Associates, Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) education staff collaborated to create what is now known as the Blue Sky Think Tank. The goal of the Blue Sky Think Tank (BSTT) was to bring together park staff and community partners to reimagine environmental education at CVNP, and what CVEEC programming may look like when it reopens. Taking place over the course of six months, the Think Tank consisted of five full planning sessions and smaller topic-based work groups. It also included presentations from various experts in the sectors of arts and culture, environmental justice and equity and inclusion, among others.
The name “Blue Sky Think Tank” originates from the idea that “the sky’s the limit.” “We didn’t want this process to be strategically focused,” says Janus Small, of Janus Small Associates. “We didn’t want people’s thinking to be limited by current beliefs or realities. It’s completely dreaming about what could be.”
Key to this process was the involvement of community stakeholders and partners. They focused on recruiting people that know the park well, but don’t have any preconceived notions about it or how it operates – a blank slate to work from. Another important factor was involving people that didn’t know each other, thus ensuring a true spectrum of perspectives. Alongside National Park Service staff and Conservancy board and staff members, participants included Akron City Council, the Neighborhood Leadership Institute, Cleveland Municipal School District and the Ohio Climate Justice Fund, among several others. After everyone was gathered around the metaphorical table, there were over 20 people contributing to the group’s efforts.
7 A 4TH GRADER AND HER PEERS EXPLORE THE CUYAHOGA VALLEY ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF ITS REOPENING.
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VOLUME 7: ISSUE 2
Erika Hood works for See You at the Top (SYATT), an organization that serves its community by providing recreational experiences to people of all ages – and working to foster empowerment and inspiration in their participants. Hood was eager to be involved in the Blue Sky process and offer her perspectives.
“The overall experience was amazing. The group was really diverse with so much experience to contribute to the conversation...”
— ERIKA HOOD
One of the initial phases of the process was to “level the playing field,” according to Small. Educating one another on the multiple facets of the environmental and societal challenges they faced was critical before taking any other steps. The group needed a basic foundation that tied them together.
To do this, they hosted a series of presentations on a variety of topics. There were sessions held on various aspects of the park itself. Conservancy and NPS staff teams presented about other national park and environmental education programs they found to be inspiring. Hood, SYATT’s representative, and the Ohio Climate Justice Fund talked about environmental justice and developing educational programming through this lens.
“I loved how there were opportunities for community members to present about their work,” said Hood. “So many times community members feel as though they are tokenized in these types of processes, but we truly felt included and valued.”
Next, local artists shared how art could influence processing and communication in students, and also serve as an entry point to public lands. Another highlight was a session held by Cleveland Municipal School District staff that discussed the value of CVEEC’s residential program.
Tara Drouhard, the Principal of Rhodes School of Environmental Studies, was one of these presenters.
“It’s all about exposure,” says Drouhard. “Most of our students have never been outside of Cleveland. While CVNP may seem close by and easy to get to, for our kids, it’s far. It’s a chance to take a trip away from home, have a consistent meal schedule and hot showers— things we often take for granted.”
Teachers and other formal educators played an additional role in the group, creating and disseminating a survey that went to over 100 teachers. This survey included questions about what a teacher’s ideal version of the CVEEC would be, and what takeaways they’d want their students to receive from it.
Rhodes students typically visit CVEEC at the end of their freshman year. It serves as a community building trip for the group, and is a great way for students to create connections with each other that last throughout their high school career. Even as seniors, they still talk about camp and when they can visit again someday.
“I have a love and appreciation for CVEEC and everything they’ve done for our students,” says Drouhard. “But change is hard. As CVEEC programming continues to evolve and improve through this process, it’s going to take all of us.”
After all this hard work, the Blue Sky Think Tank put all of these ideas together into a single document that summarized the process, the goals of the group, and how they were going to achieve them.
The goals were pretty straightforward: in so many words, having fun with children and their communities in their national park, creating environmental stewards, and promoting lifelong environmental and civic engagement in parks and community.
It’s one thing to get these goals on paper, but another to put them into action. The general “how” of the project is called the National Park Academy of Learning—a working title—whose programming will focus on creating closer connections between communities and CVNP, engaging students and community members alike throughout their lives instead of in a single visit.
10 CONSERVANCY FOR CVNP 11
That closer connection will start with identifying communities facing environmental justice challenges who also want to get involved in CVNP. Next steps would include program planning with these communities, crafting something for each community that truly benefits them and engages them. For example: if a community needed more trees planted in their neighborhood, park staff would bring trees to them and they’d work together to do a planting. Then, community members could visit CVNP to do a tree planting there, participating in various other programs in between.
An important new element to the National Park Academy of Learning concept is not only engaging schools, but also grassroots community organizations in its programming.
“With an emphasis to include not just schools, but community organizations and out of school time providers, SYATT will be able to take part in educational programming at the park,” says Hood. “If community organizations can utilize the resources offered and enhance the amazing work that they are doing, while introducing more youth and families to the park, it’s a win-win situation.”
Holistically, each program is intended to create seamless connections between local communities and the park, with participants and staff engaging in both neighborhoods and park spaces in new and meaningful ways.
“The end product is that there really won’t be a boundary between communities and CVNP,” says Wright. “We want the overall goal of each program to be determined by each community. We want it to be fluid and constantly changing, continuously investing, continuously re-evaluating and re-aligning with their needs.”
While there is still work to be done, Wright shares that this year will bring their first community partnership that will reflect the Blue Sky Think Tank process. They’ll be partnering with Old Brooklyn, a neighborhood on the west side of Cleveland. The partnership will feature a close collaboration with William Rainey Harper, an elementary school there. Park staff will be doing programs with every grade level at the school, and plans are also in progress for schoolyard learning activities. Additionally, they’ll be working with Horizon Education Center in Old Brooklyn to provide programming.
This past April, the sounds of excitement and discovery were heard at the Education Center once more. Students returned for residential programming in April, new education staff have been hired, and substantial improvements have been made to the campus’ buildings and grounds.
Most of all, Wright is excited to introduce a new identity for the Education Center and make a return to CVNP’s origins.
“We’re now living in our true identity as a ‘parks to the people’ park,” she says. “It’s no longer going to be us asking ‘how does the community serve the park?’ Instead, we’re asking ‘how does the park serve the community?’”
BLUE SKY THINK TANK
“Conservancy for CVNP – Discussion Draft Vision for CVEEC “National Park Academy of Learning” (Working Title), 2021”
• Letting everyone know that there is a national park nearby that belongs to them.
• Making sure all kids feel that the park is theirs, deepening kids’ relationship to the national park and to their own communities.
• Helping kids learn and grow and enjoy –intellectually and social emotionally – there is nothing better than seeing joyful kids outside on the trails of CVNP.
• Ultimately creating environmental stewards by providing experiences at the Conservancy/CVNP that lead kids, adults and entire communities to be environmental stewards at CVNP and back in their own communities.
• Promoting lifelong environmental and civic engagement in parks and community.
GET TO KN O W THE STAFF
Harsh is the Membership Coordinator for the Conservancy. In this position, she works closely with members of the Philanthropy and Programs teams to provide one-of-akind park experiences for Conservancy members. She also coordinates marketing strategies and various campaigns to inspire people to become members. Sam started with the Conservancy in 2015 as a Field Instructor at the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center.
“We should all take some time for blue sky thinking – because when we do, amazing ideas and solutions can happen.”
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PARTICIPANTS INCLUDE: NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, CONSERVANCY FOR CVNP, GIRLS ON THE RUN - NORTHEAST OHIO, RHODES SCHOOL OF ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES, SEE YOU AT THE TOP, UNIVERSITY OF AKRON, OHIO CLIMATE JUSTICE FUND, AKRON CITY COUNCIL, NEIGHBORHOOD LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE, MYCOM, INDIVIDUAL PROFESSIONAL ARTISTS
WHY: We envision the Conservancy & CVNP expanding the horizons of children & the people in their families & communities by:
VOLUME 7: ISSUE 2
SAM’S FAVORITE BLUE THING IN CVNP: Bluebells!
Chasing the Blues Away
CONNECTING MINDFULNESS IN NATURE
BY KIM SHUMAN
MATTER OF INTEREST:
In the language of flowers, the bluebell is associated with everlasting love, gratitude, and humility.
MOMENT OF MINDFULNESS:
Show yourself some gratitude. Practicing gratitude will boost your self-esteem and help appreciate what you have and your abilities.
Take this moment to tell yourself: “I am enough and capable,” “I am doing the best I can,” and “I can make a difference.” Please feel free to express more than these three. Say them like you mean them, hear yourself say these words out loud, and feel the strength of these powerful messages you deserve to hear.
IN THE AUTUMN AND WINTER MONTHS, WE DON’T RECEIVE AS MUCH SUNLIGHT OR PERHAPS AS MANY OPPORTUNITIES TO GET OUTSIDE. RECEIVING A LACK OF SUN CAN PRODUCE A TYPE OF DEPRESSION KNOWN AS SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (SAD). SYMPTOMS OF SAD CAN VARY FROM MILD TO SEVERE, BUT TYPICALLY INCLUDE A LOSS OF INTEREST OR PLEASURE IN THINGS YOU PREVIOUSLY ENJOYED. ALTHOUGH THE TERM “FEELING BLUE” DATES BACK SEVERAL HUNDRED YEARS, THE PHRASE IS STILL REGARDED AS FEELING SAD, DEPRESSED, OR GLUM.
However, summer is finally here! The sun is shining, birds are singing, new growth is appearing from the earth’s soil, and several species of animals are emerging from a long winter’s nap. All these wonderful signs of warmer, brighter days encourage us to get outside and recreate. If you haven’t done so in a while due to “feeling blue,” this is a fun and peaceful way to enjoy some fresh air and show gratitude. We have put together a scavenger hunt in hopes that you will ward off emotions of feeling “blue” by enjoying all that Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) has to offer!
Search for the BLUE ITEMS and once you find one, take a moment to be mindful of everything around you and bring yourself back into the moment with the prompt listed. Throughout this scavenger hunt, the focus will be to try and reflect on your own and discover ways to maintain positive mental health and practice mindfulness in nature.
ON THE RIGHT IS A LIST OF BEAUTIFUL, BLUE ITEMS IN NATURE THAT CAN BE FOUND RIGHT HERE IN CVNP!
GREENFIELD BERRY FARM PICK YOUR OWN BLUEBERRIES
MATTER OF INTEREST:
According to a recent study from the University of East Anglia, eating a cup of blueberries a day reduces risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and eating 150g of blueberries daily reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 15 per cent.
MOMENT OF MINDFULNESS:
Take a trip to Greenfield Berry Farm in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Greenfield Berry Farm is a naturally grown farm that features pick-your-own blueberries, aronia berries, and sunflowers. Blueberry picking season is in July and August. Visit Greenfield Berry Farm’s Facebook page for latest picking days and times.
In addition to blueberries, hugs are also very good for your heart. They are proven to lower blood pressure and help to reduce stress. When you’re out picking berries, take a moment to close your eyes, wrap your arms around yourself and hug. While squeezing yourself, think of loving and kind thoughts. Saying them out loud gives them more power, so speak freely!
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BLUE BLAZES ON THE BUCKEYE TRAIL
MATTER OF INTEREST:
The Buckeye Trail is a 1,444-mile loop that winds its way around Ohio. According to the Buckeye Trail Association, a nonprofit group that manages and maintains the trail, a visitor can experience a little of all that Ohio has to offer. Cuyahoga Valley National Park is home to 37 of these miles. You can begin a hike on the Buckeye Trail by visiting the Boston Mill Visitor Center and requesting a map. The trail is identified by blue blazes, a distinctive mark made with blue paint. These markings are roughly 2" wide by 6" high, on trees or poles to mark the Buckeye Trail and to guide hikers to stay on the current path.
MOMENT OF MINDFULNESS:
As you spot a blue blaze, think of this phrase, “I am blazing through life.” Would you agree that could be understood as “moving through life at a very fast pace?” Often, we are rushing or blazing through our days. Take this time to get in touch with your senses just by slowing down.
Close your eyes and put your hand in the air, with all five fingers spread out. Simply listen. For each sound you hear, put one finger down. Repeat with each new sound you hear, until all five fingers are down and you have a fist full of sounds. Do you feel you would have heard all five of these sounds had you not taken the time to slow down and just listen to your surroundings? This is a simple reminder to not blaze through your day.
GREAT BLUE HERON
MATTER OF INTEREST:
Adult Great Blue Herons have an average wingspan of about seven feet.
MOMENT OF MINDFULNESS:
Plant your feet firmly to the ground, open your arms as wide as you can (like a Great Blue Heron), and breathe. Take three deep breaths. Inhale through your nose, until your lungs are full, then exhale fully. Let out your breath slowly through your nose.
MATTER OF INTEREST:
Waterfalls are often formed by erosion. As a stream flows, it carries sediment that can erode the soft bed rock (limestone and sandstone) underneath. Eventually this cuts deep enough so that only harder rock remains. Waterfalls develop as the hard rocks form cliffs and ledges.
MOMENT OF MINDFULNESS:
Just like a waterfall, we carry our own “sediment” (negative thoughts) through life creating “erosion” to our mental health. By seeking places with water, it could help your mood and psychological wellbeing. There is scientific evidence that being in or around water is naturally calming and helps lower stress and anxiety. Our brain finds the sounds of water to be soothing. Take a moment to listen to the water and imagine your “sediment” leaving your mind.
GET TO KN O W THE STAF
MATTER OF INTEREST:
Eastern Bluebirds are highly social birds. Seen in flocks of over 100 bluebirds, they often communicate with their songs and dancing.
MOMENT OF MINDFULNESS:
It can sometimes be a struggle to step out of your usual comfort zone to be social. While in the park, challenge yourself to start up a spontaneous conversation with a stranger. Perhaps pay someone a compliment. A simple “hello” as you pass someone on the trail can help improve your social skills.
Kim Shuman (she/her) is a Program Instructor with the Conservancy. In her role she has instructed hundreds of children through virtual school programs as well as in-person field trips within CVNP. Her passion shines when she has the privilege to provide free NPS park passes through a program called “Every Kid Outdoors” for 4th grade students. She works at the Environmental Education Center as part of the CVNP Education Team, engaging and enriching the lives of school-aged children.
Her hope is that her passion for our natural world teaches future generations to be good stewards of our environment.
She is a 2019 Kent State University graduate with a degree in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Management.
KIM’S FAVORITE BLUE THING IN CVNP: Vegan Blueberry Pancake ice cream from Country Maid Ice Cream & Orchard in Richfield, a farm located within CVNP.
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JOE CHASE, (2.) JESSICA CAMPI, (3.) BOB DAVIS, (4.) JOHN FITZPATRICK,
JOE CHASE, (6.) MICHAEL MILL VIA ISTOCK
Responding to Visitor & Park Needs
Cuyahoga Valley National Park boasts 125 miles of multipurpose trails that are used and loved by thousands every year. As the seventh most visited national park in America in 2020, CVNP continues to see increased visitation from hikers, joggers, riders, and bikers who love our trails.
The Conservancy recently established the Trails Now Fund, which provides immediate support for trail maintenance, visitor amenities, and new trailheads.
The Trails Now Fund assists the National Park Service in improving and maintaining trails on an ongoing basis. There are many ways for CVNP lovers to support various Trails Now projects, including a chance to double your impact with the exciting $500,000 matching grant award from the NPS Centennial Challenge to build a new Stanford Trailhead on Stanford Road, just north of the Stanford House.
“The opportunity to support three immediate projects demonstrates the importance of the Conservancy’s unique public/private partnership with Cuyahoga Valley National Park,” said Sheryl Hoffman, Vice President of Philanthropy for the Conservancy. “As the park’s official friends group we have the ability and the responsibility to help steward this beautiful treasure in Northeast Ohio.”
TRAILS NOW: BRIDLE-HIKING TRAILS FUND
In 2021, Ray and Jan Dalton made a $100,000 gift to the Conservancy to address the much-needed maintenance and repairs to the CVNP bridle-hiking trails. The Dalton’s gift, paired with individual gifts and volunteers from the Medina Chapter Ohio Horsemen’s Council resulted in successful repairs to the Valley Bridle Trail, Langes Run Trail, and Wetmore Trail. Work completed included repairing bridle trail surfaces, installing armored crossings, repairing and cleaning trail bridges, cleaning and installing trail drainage features, trimming of trail corridors, removing trees, and improving trail signs.
This year Ray and Jan Dalton have generously extended a $100,000 matching gift for the repair and maintenance of three additional bridle-hiking trails. The park has begun working on the Valley South, Riding Run, and Perkins trail this year. Make a gift and double your impact – Ray and Jan will match your gift dollar for dollar up to $100,000!
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ANY OF THESE 3 PROJECTS, PLEASE CONTACT:
The Conservancy is raising money to help CVNP replace the last of five pedestrian bridges within the park. In 2021, the Conservancy, through the support of individual donors and the Trails Forever Endowment, provided funding to replace the Old Carriage, Plateau Trail, Stanford Trail, and Wetmore Trail bridges. Existing wooden bridges were replaced with fiberglass truss bridges with wood decking.
The Salt Run Trail footbridge is our remaining project. The bridge being replaced on Salt Run Trail is currently in decline and past its life cycle. Temporary repairs have already been conducted to this bridge for stabilization, but a permanent replacement is needed for a total cost of $32,500.
STANFORD TRAILHEAD PROJECT: HIKE, BIKE, RUN, RIDE!
The Conservancy is pleased to join Cuyahoga Valley National Park in this exciting project to bring a new access hub for hiking, running, biking and horseback riding in the Boston area. CVNP has announced a $500,000 matching grant award from the NPS Centennial Challenge to build a new Stanford Trailhead on Stanford Road, just north of the Stanford House.
The Stanford Trailhead will be a new gateway for activities and visitor amenities such as:
• Convenient access to Towpath, Valley Bridle Trail and Stanford Trail leading to Brandywine Falls
• A new connector trail to the Stanford Trail from the parking facilities
• Additional parking for Boston area amenities such as the Boston Store and Boston Mill Visitor Center
• Easy access parking to hike north along the Towpath Trail towards Jaite Mill and Brecksville Station — enjoy wildlife and birding
• New Trailhead signage and wayfinding
• 5–7 horse trailer parking spots
• 38–58 additional visitor parking spots
• Vaulted restroom facilities
TRAILS NOW: PEDESTRIAN FOOTBRIDGES
VOLUME 7: ISSUE 2 CONSERVANCY FOR CVNP
THE CRITICAL TRAILS NOW PROJECTS THAT NEED YOUR HELP. VISIT
TO MAKE A GIFT AND SEE HOW YOUR SUPPORT WILL TURN INTO TANGIBLE RESULTS IN
DAN BLAKEMORE, DIRECTOR OF PHILANTHROPY AT DBLAKEMORE@FORCVNP.ORG 330.657.2909 EXT. 133 SHERYL HOFFMAN, VP OF PHILANTHROPY AT SHOFFMAN@FORCVNP.ORG OR 330.657.2909 EXT. 143 1 2 3
SWAMP BEFORE VALLEY SWAMP AFTER
NATURE ’S BLUEPRINTS
CYANO TYPES WITH CHRISTINE
BY ZAINA SALEM
EARLIER THIS SUMMER, LOCAL ARTIST CHRISTINE MAUERSBERGER TOOK A TRIP TO CVNP TO TEACH THE CONSERVANCY PHILANTHROPY TEAM MEMBERS
HOW TO CREATE CYANOTYPES.
Cyanotypes are made by using paper made from lightsensitive chemicals, placing objects or plant material onto the paper, then exposing them to UV light.
Mauersberger loves making cyanotype prints of plant materials. “The process allows me to capture the fleeting moments of the life cycle of local flora,” she said. The result is a beautiful silhouette of natural elements.
The cyanotype process captured Mauersberger’s imagination especially because she loves the color blue and the technique is extraordinarily versatile. “I enjoy watching people experience their own special magical moments with this medium,” she said.
Mauersberger is a Cleveland artist who produces markmaking narratives in two and three dimensions, from large-scale private and public commissioned works to
intimate embroidered pieces. Her process is rooted in the hand-stitching she learned from her mother as a child, reimagined for the internet age: both analog and digital, a reflection of the natural world, and of what man has done to nature.
Her commissions include custom mixed media screenprinted paintings, custom wallpaper, and permanent sculpture installations. Her work is featured in private and public collections and has been exhibited and published internationally including in Canada, Great Britain, Belgium, and Italy.
Christine lives and creates in her native Cleveland, Ohio less than ten miles away from the Slovak civic club where her parents went dancing every Saturday night when she was growing up.
LEARN MORE ABOUT CHRISTINE AND HER WORK AT CHRISTINEMAUERSBERGER.COM
VOLUME 7: ISSUE 2 CONSERVANCY FOR CVNP 21 20
PHOTO BY: ZAINA SALEM
PHOTO BY: ZAINA SALEM
21 2 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 3 JESSICA LIVERS 23
The J.M. Smucker Co.
At The J.M. Smucker Co., we believe success means driving business growth while also helping those associated with our Company thrive.
That’s why we introduced an evolved set of priorities to harness our resources, expertise, partnerships and the incredible passion of our employees.
This sharpened focus helps us improve the quality of life for people and their pets in five target areas:
Cascade Subaru Continues to Support the Conservancy’s Mission
On Wednesday, April 27, Michelle Primm, managing partner of Cascade Auto Group, presented a check for $18,655 to Sheryl Hoffman, Vice President of Philanthropy at the Conservancy for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP). The money was raised during the 2021 holiday season when Subaru and its dealers donated $250 to a local charity for every car sold. Subaru raised more than $20 million nationally during the event, which is now in its 14th year.
Every year, Subaru buyers are given a choice of nonprofit organizations to support. Since 2014, the Conservancy has been the local choice selected by Cascade Subaru. The dealership adjoins the popular Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and Subaru customers test drive their vehicles through the park.
“We believe in supporting organizations that make our community a better place to live, and we especially like the children’s programs offered by the Conservancy,” Michelle said. “Plus, Subaru owners love the CVNP,” added David Hurte, Subaru brand manager. “To them, the park is nature at its best. That’s why you see so many Subarus at trailhead parking lots.”
Cascade has made a substantial commitment to the Conservancy over the years. “We’re proud to have donated more than $200,000 to the Conservancy via our corporate sponsorship,” said Pat Primm, owner and digital marketing manager. “That’s in addition to the $135,000 we’ve directed to them through the Share the Love campaigns. We encourage our customers to become members of the Conservancy and to support its mission.”
As the official fundraising partner for the park, the Conservancy has raised millions of dollars to maintain the park’s trail system and to provide a slew of educational programs for youth.
Cascade Subaru has been part of the Cascade Auto Group family since 2001. The dealership is locally owned by the Primm family who established their first dealership in Cuyahoga Falls in 1969.
1. ACCESS TO QUALITY FOOD 2. ACCESS TO EDUCATION 3. MAKING CONNECTIONS TO COMMUNITY RESOURCES 4. ENSURING EQUITABLE AND ETHICAL TREATMENT FOR ALL 5. SUPPORTING A HEALTHIER PLANET
We are proud to partner with organizations like the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park who share our passion for making a difference in our community and our world.
PICTURED LEFT TO RIGHT: Pat Primm (Partner at Cascade Auto Group), Sheryl Hoffman (VP of Philanthropy at the Conservancy), Jess Livers (Conservancy), Dan Blakemore (Director of Philanthropy at the Conservancy), Michelle Primm (Managing Partner at Cascade), Haley Bittaker (Conservancy) and David Hurte (Subaru Brand Manager at Cascade).
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LEARN MORE AT CASCADEAUTOGROUP.COM.
1403 West Hines Hill Road Peninsula, Ohio 44264 forCVNP.org