And. That’s. A. Wrap!

scientistMy oh my, how the days fly by. It is hard to believe our busy spring has faded into a Summer Solstice celebration.

I have had little time to report on the NWIS project we started at St. Augustine Health Ministries. We lost a lot of sleep during the NBA Finals and had a good time showing our support for the city. So how about if I just send you a link to some photos?

In March, I had an opportunity to attend a lecture given by Dr. Jeffrey Reutter, who spoke at The Great Lakes Science Center. Reutter is a leading expert on Lake Erie and served as the long-time director of the Ohio Sea Grant College Program. He’s been researching the lake for about 35 years, so I was able to talk with him about my project before he officially retired. He gave me some encouraging news about those shells — They make a fine compost, but just don’t eat the morsels!

In April, I enjoyed a week in Florida and camped along Sebastian Inlet. There, I had an opportunity to meet with “the oyster team” from the University of Central Florida. They are collaborating with researchers from the Brevard Zoo, and they were holding an oyster gardening workshop the day I arrived. It was a sweet coincidence to hang out wt14with citizen scientists and learn about their work in the Indian River Lagoon.

In May, our kids from Near West had a lot of fun during a week of fine weather. The week before summer break, we got a chance to tour a new learning garden a few blocks from the school. The project was created through a collaboration with Urban Community School, Cleveland Botanical Gardens, and Refugee Response. We delivered our compost “by wagon train” and walked the streets to Lorain Avenue. We welcomed our friends with a gift of compost, and just like the Native Americans, we offered them seeds and plants for their garden. (photos)

AT_13xIn between projects, I took a breather and hiked with the wild ponies at Mt. Grayson. We managed about 23 miles on the Appalachian Trail during a spectacular weather weekend.

Before my trip, I had a chance to meet with the staff from The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company. The company is headquartered in Marysville, Ohio, so I met them for lunch before heading to the Ohio Farm Bureau. They took some samples of compost and talked with me about future ideas.

On June 17th, I got a chance to work with a dozen new recruits from Youth Opportunities Unlimited. This is my second year of working with the teens, who are employed through Y.O.U. and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s office. We mixed up a large quantity of compost that I will distribute to refugee farms and school yards. We had a lot of fun, so be sure to check out these photos.

AT_9xIt’s off to Austin in July and a special assignment in August. As soon as my paperwork is complete, I will share my news about Appalachia.