Summit Soil & Water Conservation District Offers a Seedling and Wildflower Packet Program and Rainbarrels

By Jacqui Flaherty, Program Manager

The Summit Soil & Water Conservation District is now accepting orders for the tree and shrub seedlings, as a part of an annual program that the District has been offering for more than 50 years. As in the past, bulk evergreen seedlings including Colorado Blue Spruce, Scotch Pine, Douglas Fir, and white pine will be offered. In addition, bulk deciduous trees including Persimmon and Pawpaw and a variety of hardwood tree and shrub packets, consisting of native or naturalized plants suited to northeast Ohio’s soil and climate conditions will be available. For specific information and to place your order refer to the order form.

rainbarrels

Click on picture to see a brochure on rainbarrels.

Two types of wildflower packets will also be offered including the Northeast Annual and Perennial Wildflower Mix and the Bird and Butterfly Seed Mix. Both are 1 oz. packets that will cover approximately 250 square feet.

Also available from the Summit SWCD are the 55 gallon rain barrels. Each barrel will come ready to install with a spigot and overflow pipe. All you need to provide is your own downspout diverter. The cost for the rainbarrel is $80.00. A linking barrel for extra storage is available for $50.00.

To order your plant materials and/or rainbarrel, please see the order form, fill it out and return to the Summit SWCD Office along with your payment.

Resolve to do good–Volunteer with Keep Akron Beautiful

By Jacqui Flaherty

It’s that time of year! People have made (or are still making) their New Years resolutions and are probably already struggling to keep them! When people make a New Years resolution, they usually tend to cut back on things that are negative, such as fast food!

However, this year, I have a different idea for you! I am suggesting that you RESOLVE TO DO GOOD and volunteer for your community with Keep Akron Beautiful in Akron, OH. Last week, I sent out an email blast and updated our website with an entire list of volunteer opportunities that we have available in 2013. Our list of opportunities has something that will peak everyone’s interest. When choosing an opportunity, pick something based on your interests or your passions so that you will enjoy it!

If you resolve to do good (and volunteer) in 2013, you will have the opportunity to improve yourself AND your community, while having a large impact on Keep Akron Beautiful! The sense of pride, satisfaction and accomplishment that you will feel when you are finished will make you want to come back time and time again.

We want to take this opportunity to THANK our current volunteers and to WELCOME potential volunteers this year. We cannot wait to meet you! Please check out our volunteer opportunities and feel free to contact me at the KAB office if you have any questions. I look forward to meeting you this year!

clean up akron week 2012

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company volunteers pick up litter during Clean Up Akron Week 2012.

 

Forest Bathing: Recycle and Save a Tree for Your Daily Forest Walk

by Cindy Pantea

America Recycles Day Poster Winner

America Recycles Day first place poster.

You may think this is another Keep Akron Beautiful post about recycling to save the environment, but it isn’t – well…not exactly. It is actually about you, the environment and your well-being. It is about a project that is studying how trees, flowers and overall nature can really be beneficial to you healthwise, especially when it comes to reducing stress.

The project, by the Forestry Agency in Japan, funded by their government since 2004, is proving that shinrin-yoku or forest bathing is lowering blood pressure, reducing cortisol (the stress hormone), decreasing heart rate, lowering sympathetic nerve activity, and hopefully eliminating, karoshi — death by overwork.

What is shinrin-yoku?

Shinrin-yoku is similar to aromatherapy, yoga and/or meditation and is inspired by Shinto and Buddhist practices. It involves taking in nature through all your five senses and breathing in nature’s essential oils.

Sixty-seven percent of Japan’s landmass is covered by forest, and right now 48 official Forest Therapy trails are designated for the Forestry Agency and their rangers to collect data from visitors, like blood pressure, heart rate, etc., for the shinrin-yoku project. It is their goal to have 100 of these sites within the next 10 years.

Their data of 600 research subjects is proving that compared to urban walks, the visitors/research subjects of their Forest Therapy trails have shown a:

  • 12.4 percent decrease in the stress hormone cortisol
  • 7% decrease in sympathetic nerve activity
  • 1.4% decrease in blood pressure
  • 5.8 percent decrease in heart rate

On subjective tests, study participants also report better moods and lower anxiety.

Of course, now I have to say it: All the more reason to recycle paper and save the trees ;-).

Keep Akron Beautiful is for Quality of Life

downtown Keep Akron Beautiful flowerscape

Downtown Akron Keep Akron Beautiful flowerscape.

At Keep Akron Beautiful, our mission is: Improving Akron’s quality of life through beautification and responsbile environmental management. We hope that our beautiful Flowerscapes do their part to lower your stress and improve your quality of life, but don’t forget to take time to get away from town, too, and do a little forest bathing.

Thank you to America in Bloom whose article on the subject first caught my attention. Click the link below for the originating article: http://www.outsideonline.com/fitness/wellness/Take-Two-Hours-of-Pine-Forest-and-Call-Me-in-the-Morning.html?page=1

 

 

Video: The Summit of Sustainability Awards 2012 Keynote Speaker

by Cindy Pantea

Keep Akron Beautiful has been sharing with you the sustainability efforts of all the applicants of The Summit of Sustainability Awards (SOSA) 2012 for awhile now. We are so impressed with how these Akron businesses are doing so much for the environment and the community! Although we still have about seven more emerging businesses in sustainability to share with you, we wanted to take a little break here to share a video taken at the SOSA ceremony (shot by Chris Miller, Akron Digital Media Center). The video is the presentation, Reinventing Fire, by SOSA keynote speaker, Elaine Gallagher Adams of Rocky Mountain Institute.

Whether you are a business, a city official, or a community member, we hope you are as inspired about doing your part to save energy as her words made all of us in attendance. We also hope it makes you really think about the answers to these questions: Do you really know from where energy comes? When you throw something away…where is away? When it comes to sustainability, are you just going the easy route, or are you really challenging yourself with big goals? Do you use the fifth fuel?

Please enjoy…

The Summit of Sustainability Awards is a part of Greenprint for Akron, which is  facilitated by Keep Akron Beautiful. For more information, visit http://www.summitofsustainability.org/.