By Kevin Kelley
If the snow and cold of winter have given you a bad case of cabin fever, Bob Kelly suggests a great get-out-of-the-house activity for you this weekend.
Kelly, Westlake’s city engineer, is one of the planners of the city’s Rain & Garden Show, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Westlake Recreation Center, 28955 Hilliard Blvd. He said the show is a good opportunity for gardeners to prepare for spring and the Westlake in Bloom contest.
The free event includes educational seminars, live demonstrations and workshops and free craft activities for kids. Several area garden centers will have displays at the show.
The show was launched last year as a public education and outreach program about the importance of storm water management in Westlake and the surrounding communities. In recent years, the federal EPA has mandated that local governments implement programs to reduce pollution of storm water going into rivers, lakes and groundwater. Saturday’s program is an effort to get residents and businesses to participate in those efforts.
Using rain barrels to collect rainwater for plants can help prevent storm water pollution, city officials say. Saturday’s show includes a workshop on rain barrels.
“Anything you put on your lawn or garden ends up going into the streams and rivers of Westlake,” Kelly said. Using natural fertilizers is better for the environment, he said.
The event will feature a drinking water tasting contest in which visitors can compare samples of spring water with samples from the Cleveland Division of Water and Avon Lake Municipal Utilities. Westlake leaders are contemplating a switch of water suppliers from the city of Cleveland to Avon Lake Municipal Utilities.
The city of Westlake’s informational radio station – 1680 on the AM dial – will be broadcasting live from the show. Visitors can broadcast their thoughts on environmentally conscious gardening during the remote broadcast.