Monday, September 28, 2009

For the birds (We're Number One! and other stuff)

the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology announced that the Great Backyard Bird Count is scheduled for Feb. 12 to 15, 2010.

Last year, more than 93,600 checklists were submitted, the most coming from Mentor, due in no small measure to efforts by the Mentor Schools and a now-retired middle school media specialist who saw to it that kids would participate in the count.

Here's hoping that Mentor Schools will continue to carry on so the city again can be the top gun in both the U.S. and Canada.

For further information about the project, visit the GBBC at

Kiddos to the Fairport Harbor Rod and Reel Association which has (once more) donated $250 to The Ohio State University's Ohio Sea Grant program/Stone Lab.

The money will go toward scholarships to help young people attend the lab and learn about Lake Erie ecology.

Since 2000 the university has awarded 353 scholarships valued at $147,119. The fishing club has helped in this effort through its donations, says Frank Lichtkoppler, the local Ohio Sea Grant agent.

If you haven't tuned in to PBS and caught a segment of Ken Burns' documentary series on the national parks you're missing a treat. With a style that mirrors his "Civil War" series of 20 or so years ago, Burn's treatment of the national parks is both informative and eye candy. The photography is to die-for. And the background music is first-rate.

And along that line the Sierra Club is giving away a free trip for two to Yosemite National Park and San Francisco. Visit to enter by naming your favorite national park.

Though an on-going investigation into American ginseng may yield charges to perhaps 30 or more individuals, the Ohio Division of Wildlife says none will likely come from Northeast Ohio.

The plant's roots are said to have medicinal properties and poachers have long sought to exploit the crop, especially for the Asian market.

Ohio's legal ginseng harvest season is Sept. 1 through Dec. 31. Early cultivation leads to the extraction of the plant before it has an opportunity to produce seeds and thus repopulate.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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