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Cook up some fall fun with the Cleveland Metroparks

Cook up some fun this fall with the Cleveland Metroparks. Why settle for another ho-hum dinner at home when you can spice things up with a dining adventure?

Did you know that Lake Erie produces more fish than all of the other Great Lakes combined? Find out more fishy facts when you catch “Inviting the Planet to Dinner: Lake Erie’s Finest” at 7 p.m. on Nov. 14 at the Rocky River Nature Center. At this adults-only program, learn about the natural history of Lake Erie sport fish, watch a filleting demonstration and enjoy mouth-watering tastings. Tickets are $12 a person. The deadline for reservations is Nov. 11. Call 440-734-6660. The Rocky River Nature Center is at 24000 Valley Parkway in North Olmsted.

Travel back in time at the Cleveland Metroparks Look About Lodge to “Come for Dinner 1930s Style” at 5 p.m. on Nov. 17. The special adults-only dinner party celebrates the 75th anniversary of the lodge, located at 37374 Miles Road in Bentleyville. Tickets to the full meal featuring popular foods of the 1930s are $15 a person. The deadline for reservations is Nov. 12. Call 440-247-7075.

Take the kids along to dine out, literally. Bundle up the family for a fun, “Family Friday Night: Campfire Supper” at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 22 at the North Chagrin Nature Center’s Nature Education Building. Enjoy a meal and even dessert cooked over an open fire. Work up an appetite by taking an easy one-mile hike around the marsh while supper is cooking. Tickets are $5 a person. Phone 440-473-3370 or visit www.clevelandmetroparks.com for reservations. The Nature Education Building is on Buttermilk Falls Parkway in Mayfield Village.

Mitchell’s Ice Cream is working with the Cleveland Metroparks to churn up a creative solution for an invasive species.

Invasive plant species in the Cleveland Metroparks are a nuisance. They harm local ecosystems, displace native flora and require constant management by the park district. In an effort to help educate the public and fight the battle against these invasive plants, the Cleveland Metroparks and Mitchell’s have teamed up on a tasty solution.

On Oct. 28, Mitchell’s began selling an exclusive sundae topping made from wineberry fruit. Wineberry is an invasive shrub that is found in the park district. It can cause serious harm to local plant life.

“By harvesting the wineberry fruit, we are able to prevent it from reproducing. We would like to harvest this plant until it is gone from our wild areas. It’s nice to be able to put this invasive weed to good use,” Jennifer Hillmer, Cleveland Metroparks invasive plant coordinator, said.

Invasive species are an issue because of their ability to overpower native species. In 2012 alone, the Cleveland Metroparks Natural Resources staff removed invasive plants from more than 1,400 acres of parkland.

“We’re excited to partner with Cleveland Metroparks on this innovative collaboration,” said Pete Mitchell, co-founder of Mitchell’s Ice Cream. “Rather than throwing away the harvested wineberries, we’ve used them to make a delicious sundae topping.”

The wineberry topping is available until it is gone at Mitchell’s Rocky River location. One dollar from each sale goes to the Cleveland Metroparks Endowment Fund.

 

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