Paula Davis Wins Award at KAB Conference

by Cindy Pantea

Congratulations to Keep Akron Beautiful President & CEO Paula Davis, who won the Sue Smith Professional Leadership Award at the Keep America Beautiful National Conference in Washington DC.

The Sue Smith award is named after the recently retired Director of Education and Affiliate Trainer for Keep America Beautiful. It honors Executive Directors of affiliates who have built and sustained a local or state affiliate program with exceptional success.

The award also came with a personal congratulations from the Keep America Beautiful President, Matt McKenna, and a $500 check to add to Keep Akron Beautiful programming.

Paula Davis of Keep Akron Beautiful wins KAB Sue Smith Award

Pictured left to right: Captain Danny Zampelli, Akron Police Dept. and Keep Akron Beautiful Board Member; Melissa Adams, Manager of Recycling Programs for Keep America Beautiful; Paula Davis, our President & CEO; and Jacqui Flaherty, our Program Manager

Those who have worked with Paula or sought out Paula’s expertise about new start-ups have received nothing but the best in direction and help, and we are sure they are as proud of her as her staff is.

The Mayor’s office will be sending out a formal press release about this win, but we wanted to tell our readers first.

Updated February 4, 2013: See Mayor’s Press Release here.

Gardening Programs Coming Soon Near You

By Jacqui Flaherty, Program Manager

As the snow falls and winter is in full-swing, it is time to start thinking (or dreaming) about your garden and springtime! Many of our local garden retailers, such as Donzell’s, Graf Growers and Dayton Nurseries are hosting gardening programs, clinics and seminars! Also, places like the Akron-Summit County Main Library are hosting gardening programs and clinics this winter. Read on for more information about all the upcoming programs!

On Saturday February 2, three programs are taking place at the Akron-Summit County Main Library. From 9:30 AM-10:15 AM there will be a Creative Container Gardening Workshop presented by Cathy Morgan, the past president and first female president of the Men’s Garden Club of Akron. Container gardening can produce vegetables that are easy to grow and can fit on balconies, decks and stoops or concrete pads. She will cover the beginning steps to building a container garden. Next from 10:30 AM-11:15 AM, The Ohio State University Extension-Summit County will present Gardening for Small Spaces. Attendees will learn how to maximize growing space using intensive gardening techniques. Lastly, Let’s Grow Akron and Akron Grows will present about their programs from 11:30 AM-12:15 PM. Representatives will be available to explain how each program works and the participation requirements. To reserve your space for this free clinic, contact the Science and Technology Department of the Akron-Summit County Library at 330.643.9075 or at

Donzell’s Flower and Garden Center (one of our Dreamscape Vendor Partners!) is hosting free garden seminars every Saturday in February at 11 AM. (Classes will also be offered in March, but we will cover those in a later blog.) All of the seminars are located at their Garden Center (937 E. Waterloo Road in Akron). You must register for the seminars by calling 330.724.0550, ext. 110. The following presentations are planned:

  • February 2- “Bring Birds to Your Backyard,” with speaker Joyce Peltz for the Akron Audubon Society. This presentation will help you identify birds, their songs and suggest ways to welcome them to your yard.
  • February 9- “Growing Orchids In Your Home,” with The Akron Orchid Society, which will offer a presentation for beginners and more experienced growers.
  • February 16- “It Starts With A Tiny Seed,” with speaker and greenhouse grower, Dan Dubnicka. He will cover seed-starting basics, with emphasis on vegetable plants.
  • February 23- “Think Spring!,” with speaker Vanessa Moyer of the nursery staff will cover early chores such as pruning and gardening preparations to do as plants start to emerge.

Graf Growers Garden Center (also a Dreamscape Vendor Partner!) will present a series of garden seminars on Saturday mornings in February. Each presentation will cover a different gardening topic and be presented by a garden industry professional with visuals and inspiration, according to Graf Growers. Gardeners can gather to learn, get new ideas and make plans for spring and summer plantings. The seminars will take place from 10:00-11:30 AM at Graf Growers, 1015 White Pond Drive. Coffee and light refreshments will be served and the doors will open at 9:30 AM. Each seminar will cost $12, except the February 23rd one, which is free of charge. Preregistration is suggested because of limited seating. To register or for more information call Graf Growers at 330.836.2727 or visit them online. The following classes are planned:

  • February 2- “Deer Resistant Gardening,” with Joyce Braun, a Summit County Master Gardener since 2001. She will draw on her experience in gardening 2 1/2 acres surrounded by woods to help participants understand deer and how to live with them. She will also provide information on deer resistant plants and repellents. $12 charge
  • February 9- “Creating a Perennial Garden With Perpetual Interest,” with Laura Deeter, a professor at The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute at Wooster. This presentation will introduce perennials for every season and offer tips for combining them for ongoing interest in a garden. $12 charge
  •  February 16- “New Ideas for Creating a Colorful Shade Garden,” with Lisa Graf, co-owner of Graf Growers. While it is hard to imagine a shade garden without Impatiens “Wallerina,” due to a far-reaching and devastating disease affecting impatiens, alternatives are now necessary. She will discus the disease, downy mildew, and how it will impact gardens. She will then discuss alternatives for containers and beds in the shade. $12 charge (See our previous blog article from Flowerscape Director, Polly Kaczmarek, who discusses this problem. Lisa Graf will give you lots of alternative ideas and discuss the problem in more depth at her clinic!)
  • February 23- “Ideas and Inspiration for Improving Your Landscape,” with Craig Graf, co-owner of Graf Growers. This free seminar will provide participants with landscape design and materials that will complement any lifestyle. Graf will also provide creative ideas for solving landscape issues such as drainage, slopes and privacy, as well as concepts for enhancing spaces and adding interesting elements. Free.
Dayton Nurseries (also a Dreamscape Vendor Partner) is hosting seven seminars for its annual Saturday seminar series, which started this past weekend. The seminars are taking place on Saturday’s from 11 AM-1 PM at Dayton’s, 3459 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road in Norton. (Classes will also be offered in March, but we will cover those in a later blog.) The classes cost $6 for garden club members and $10 for others. Seating is limited and advance payment is requested, but participants may pay at the door. To register, call 330.825.3320 or email Classes include:
  • February 2- “Gardening for Pollinators” by Denise Ellsworth of Ohio State University. Denise will be speaking on who the pollinators are, why they matter and how every gardener can help with pollinator conversation.
  • February 9- “Designing a Garden with Whimsy” by Michelle Riley of All About You Signature Landscape Design. Michelle will speak on the many ways in which you can add whimsy to your garden.
  • February 16- “Hummingbirds” by Carol Zeh, a Metroparks volunteer. Back by popular demand, Carol will be speaking at Dayton’s on February 16th. Did you know that there are hundreds of hummingbird species but only one species that lives here in Ohio? Carol will talk about ways to attract and keep hummingbirds in your yard this year.
  • February 23- “Made In The Shade: The Best Plants For Low Light,” by Cynthia Druckenbrod of the Cleveland Botanical Garden.You will discover which trees, shrubs, perennials, ground covers and annuals will not only survive in your shady space, but THRIVE in your shady space!

Eco-Friendly Seafood and Others to Avoid

By Helen Dauka

If you received the Keep Akron Beautiful January Newsletter (easy signup to receive future newsletters is at the left of our homepage), you may have noticed a sidebar article called Seafood Watch. The article briefly covered a ranking system issued by the Monterey Bay Aquarium that separates seafood into three different categories based on their sustainability.

We outlined what the three categories entailed, but didn’t have enough space to list what fish are in each category. What better place to do so than our blog!

So if you’re planning on dining out this weekend, check out these lists to make sure your entrée is part of the Best Choices group.

seafood, sustainable seafood

Picture courtesy of, which offers more insight on seafood sustainability. Click on picture to go to that site.

Best Choices

  • Artic Char (farmed)
  • Barramundi (US farmed)
  • Catfish  (US farmed)
  • Clams, Mussels, Oysters (farmed)
  • Cod: Pacific (US non-trawled)
  • Crab: Dungeness, Stone Halibut: Pacific (US)
  • Lobster: California Spiny (US)
  • Perch: Yellow (Lake Erie)
  • Sablefish/Black Cod (Alaska & Canada)
  • Salmon (Alaska wild)
  • Sardines: Pacific (US)
  • Scallops (farmed)
  • Shrimp: Pink (Oregon)
  • Striped Bass (farmed & wild)
  • Tilapia (US farmed)
  • Trout: Rainbow (US farmed)
  • Tuna: Albacore (Canada & US Pacific, troll/pole)
  • Tuna: Skipjack, Yellowfin (US troll/pole)
  • Whitefish: Lake (Lake Huron & Superior)
  • Whitefish: Lake (Lake Michigan, trap-net)
fishing methods

Snippet of fishing methods courtesy of Click on picture for more information, such as environmental impact of each method.

Good Alternatives

  • Basa/Pangasius/Swai (farmed)
  • Caviar, Sturgeon (US farmed)
  • Clams, Oysters (wild)
  • Cod: Pacific (US trawled)
  • Crab: Blue, King (US), Snow
  • Flounder: Summer (US Atlantic)
  • Grouper: Black, Red (US Gulf of Mexico)
  • Herring: Atlantic, Lake
  • Lobster: American, Maine
  • Mahi Mahi (US)
  • Perch: Yellow (Lake Ontario & Huron)
  • Pollock: Alaska (US)
  • Salmon (CA, OR, WA, wild)
  • Scallops (wild)
  • Shrimp (US, Canada)
  • Smelt: Rainbow
  • Swordfish (US)
  • Tilapia (Central & South America farmed)
  • Trout: Lake (Lake Huron & Superior)
  • Tuna: Bigeye, Tongol, Yellowfin (troll/pole)
  • Walleye
  • Whitefish: Lake (Lake Michegan, gillnet)


  • Caviar, Sturgeon (imported wild)
  • Chilean Seabass/Toothfish
  • Cod: Atlantic (Canada & US)
  • Crab King (imported)Flounders, Halibut, Soles (US Atlantic, except Summer Flounder)
  • Groupers (US Atlantic)
  • Lobster: Spiny (Brazil)
  • Mahi Mahi (imported longline)
  • Monkfish
  • Orange Roughy
  • Salmon (farmed including Atlantic)
  • Sharks
  • Shrimp (imported)
  • Snapper: Red
  • Swordfish (imported)
  • Tilapia (Asia farmed)
  • Trout: Lake (Lake Michigan)
    Tuna: Albacore, Bigeye, Skipjack, Tongol, Yellowfin (except troll/pole)
  • Tuna: Bluefin
  • Tuna: Canned (excpet troll/pole)

What does each category mean?

Being a Best Choice means that the seafood is abundant and caught or farmed in environmentally friendly ways.

Good Alternatives  are an option but there are concerns with how they’re caught or farmed—or with the health of their habitat due to other human impacts.

Being in the Avoid category means that for now, these items are overfished or caught or farmed in ways that harm other marine life or the environment.

For more information on Seafood Watch, visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Website.

Recycle-Bowl Ends in Celebration

By Helen Dauka, KAB Intern

 The Recycle-Bowl competition came to a close in November and the staff of Keep Akron Beautiful and River Valley Paper Company had the honor of visiting the winning schools in December to present their prizes. And what a treat!

Our first stop was to North High School, our high school winners.

Next we stopped at St. Mary’s, our middle school winner. Jacqui Flaherty (KAB Program Manager) and Janet Zwisler (of River Valley Paper Company) presented the award to two students who were chosen to accept the award in front of a school-wide assembly.

Paula Davis, KAB President and CEO was also on the scene, blending in with the students at the assembly.

Our final stop was Voris CLC, the winning elementary school. The whole school took part in a pizza party one afternoon. They already had plans to recycle the pizza boxes from the party! Paula, Jacqui, and Janet were busy answering the students’ recycling questions, along with a few requests for more pizza and Pepsi!

Visit the Keep Akron Beautiful Facebook to see more pictures from the Recycle-Bowl!

The effort to use the green-yellow parking lot collection bins that all the schools and community members put in was truly inspiring. We’re excited to start planning for the 2013 competition! Until then, keep filling those bins!


Special Thanks to our sponsors: River Valley Paper Company, Pepsi Beverages Company and D-A Specialty Co, Inc.