Earth Day celebration shares environmental tips: Olmsted Dates and Data

OLMSTED FALLS, Ohio — Karla and Jerry Osiecki stood for quite a while in front of the recycling table during Olmsted Township’s Step Into Spring event on Saturday (April 23).

They were surprised to hear Jessica Fenos, the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District’s assistant superintendent, show two items that should not be placed in their recycling bins — plastic berry containers and shredded paper.

“This is a complete surprise to me,” Jerry said. “Hopefully, we’ll find another way to recycle them.”

Jessica said shredded paper, whose pieces are too small for the recycling machinery to handle, can still be recycled. According to the district’s website, the shredded pieces fall through the recycling plant’s fast-moving conveyor belts and end up in the trash.

“Place them in a paper bag and take them to the mixed paper recycling bins you find elsewhere, such as at schools,” Jessica said. “They will then be recycled.”

woman showing what is and not recyclable

Jessica Fenos, assistant superintendent with the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District, explains the importance of the do’s and don’t of recycling during Step into Spring in Olmsted Township. (Joanne Berger DuMound, special to

The Olmsted Falls City School District and St. Mary of the Falls School have such bins on their properties. You likely will see other locations throughout the community, too.

Some plastics, however, like those berry containers, have no options other than the trash — unless you are creative with crafts and gardening.

The Earth Day-related event saw several local groups and outside agencies share their services with residents, many focusing on the environment.

Trustee Jeanene Kress said this was the second year Olmsted Township collaborated with others to bring Step into Spring to celebrate Earth Day. She also said the township provided document shredding that day — which is the largest one of the year due to tax season having just ended.

More than 235 residents used the free document shredding service.

girls looking through coloring book

Madelyn Bluhm, left and Natalie Schultz check out a coloring book that Valerie Schultz pages through during the Step into Spring open house in Olmsted Township. (Joanne Berger DuMound, special to

“The goal of this is awareness. This year’s theme was ‘Invest in our Planet.’ It centered on conservation, ecology, recycling and the environment,” Jeanene said.

“We hope people will view all that is here and be aware of how you can recycle, what is available locally to enjoy our planet and be good citizens of it.

“We appreciate all those who participated in this, including our own departments and employees,” she said.

Bradley Schultz brought his family to the event, held in the Community Room at the Olmsted Township Administrative Building on Fitch Road. He said he’s glad they came.

“We came for the (document) shredding and wanted our kids to see all of this,” he said. “It’s been very helpful and fun for the kids.”

The township also highlighted its parks, with large maps and various materials. Two parks under construction are the Bark Park and Nature Trail on Schady Road and Brentwood Play Park on Usher Road. Another, to be built behind the administrative building and service center, is in the planning stage.

people looking at a map

Local residents view an enlarged map of the Olmsted Township Nature Trail and Bark Park under construction on Schady Road just west of Stearns Road.(Joanne Berger DuMound, special to

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District distributed informational sheets, one of which stressed that disposable wipes should never be flushed in toilets. They cause problems in sewers and home plumbing since they do not break down like toilet paper.

Even companies stating theirs are “flushable” are not. According to one handout, the wipes are a fabric, not paper. They clump together, clog sewers and cause greater problems in residential systems, including backups into homes.

Go to, which describes the 12 most common causes of clogs. It will help keep your home — and those of neighbors — safe.

The township’s various departments also had many fun giveaways and great information on their services.

girls playing with recycled items

Maci Schneider, 2 1/2, uses a toilet paper roll and cotton balls to create recyclable artwork during Step Into Spring at the Olmsted Township Community Room. (Joanne Berger DuMound, special to

Step into Spring will return next year. It’s an event that offers great information that you can use to make your home — and this planet — a better place in which to live.

Kampus Kudos: Two local residents participated in the University of Findlay’s annual Symposium for Scholarship and Creativity. They shared their research, creativity and professional learning experiences with the university and community.

Paige Chernisky presented “Invasive Flowering Tree Influences Pollinator Species Diversity.”

Audrey Zbydnowski discussed “Novel Chalcones: A Continuation of a Therapeutic Approach to an Aggressive Brain Cancer.”

The symposium may be viewed at Congratulations to both.

Adult education: Polaris Career Center will have its Adult Job and Career Training Program Open House from 5 to 7 p.m. May 11. The program helps high school students, recent graduates and adults explore new careers.

Attendees may explore adult job and career training program opportunities and learn more about financial aid options, tuition payment plans and available federal student loans. You’ll tour newly renovated labs and classrooms and join program demonstrations. Polaris instructors will be there to answer questions.

Featured programs include automotive service technician; building maintenance; cardiographic technician; cosmetology academy; dental assisting; early childcare education/child development associate; heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC); manicurist; medical assisting; medical billing and coding; phlebotomy certification; police academy; precision/CNC machine technology; and welding.

For more details or to arrange a personal tour, call Theresa at 440-891-7697, email or go to

Zumba for a reason: Polaris Career Center and LifeWorks of Southwest General are working together to help Ukraine citizens. All profits will benefit Ukraine relief efforts.

The two are sponsoring “Rock the Pavement” from 9:30 to 11 a.m. this Saturday (May 7) in the LifeWorks parking lot on Old Oak Boulevard.

The cost is $10 a person and must be paid in advance. You may register in person at the LifeWorks service desk or call 440-816-4202 to pay by phone, no later than May 6.

Flower sale: A great Mother’s Day gift is buying and planting flowers for your loved one.

Olmsted Falls Boy Scout Troop 201 has its annual flower sale this weekend (May 7 and 8). Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at Falls-Lenox Primary School, 26450 Bagley Road.

You’ll find hanging baskets, flats, vegetables, herbs and a few more selections. The Scouts will help you pick them out and carry them to your car. Proceeds help scouts in their activities.

Meals on Wheels: You may help contribute to this nonprofit service by shopping at Dean’s Greenhouse in Westlake.

The greenhouse will donate 30 percent of your purchases May 1 through June 15 to the Westlake Meals on Wheels program. Simply mention the organization and it’s done.

Westlake Meals on Wheels serves Olmsted Falls, Olmsted Township, North Olmsted, Bay Village and Westlake. The program offers two meals a day — one cold, one hot — Monday through Friday for those needing nutritional support on a short-term or long-term basis.

Meals on Wheels receives no government assistance.

Dean’s is located at 3984 Porter Road.

Calling all marchers: Anyone wishing to march in the Memorial Day parade should sign up by May 23.

The parade is on Memorial Day — May 30 — and gathers at the Falls-Lenox Primary School parking lot on Bagley Road at 9 a.m. Marchers will begin their way to the Village Green at 9:30 a.m.

Groups, organizations and individuals are invited to be part of the parade. Go the city’s website at and click on the Memorial Day banner. You just need to complete a form.

Any questions may be answered by calling 440-235-1055. See you May 30.

Spirit race: Sign up for the annual Olmsted Spirit 5K/2-mile walk taking place May 29 at Olmsted Falls High School. For more details and to register, go to

Upcoming: Be sure to place these events in your calendar:

The Olmsted Early Childhood PTA’s Bargain Bonanza is May 14 at Olmsted Falls Intermediate School. It starts at 8 a.m., with a $5 early bird admission fee and $2 starting at 9 a.m.

Rockin at the Rift is June 25 at its shop in the Mill River Plaza and its parking lot. There will be two live bands, grilling food, and lots of artists in the parking lot and in the store.

Information, please: To include news, tidbits, honors or activities in Olmsted Falls and Olmsted Township, contact Joanne DuMound at She is also on Twitter, @JoanneDuMound. The column’s online version at has direct links for many news items.

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