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Oh Christmas Tree - All That Glitters

Holiday Tree at Westlake Porter Public Library

The Westlake Garden Club decorated two trees this year; one at the Cleveland Botanical Garden for the GLOW Festival, and one at Westlake Porter Public Library.  The theme this year for the GLOW festival is Celebrations that take place between December 1 and March 1.  We decorated our tree to celebrate "Mother Nature's Winter Wonderland."  The committee met in November to make decorations that included wreaths, cornucopias, Hydrangeas, and other botanical materials which were sprayed silver.  Blue ribbon was added along with some owls to complete our theme.  President Marsha McEntee headed up the committee for the GLOW tree.  Robert Pearl chaired the library tree committee whose theme is holiday fruits and nuts.  The committee met at the library on Monday after Thanksgiving and decorated the tree with lush beaded fruits and nuts in gold, bronze and deep reds.  We added some gold lights to the white lights on the tree and gold bead garlands.  A gold tree skirts finishes the beautifully decadent tree.  We hope you all get to the Botanical Garden and the Westlake Porter Public Library to see and enjoy our beautiful trees.

Winter Wonders

We have put our gardens to bed for this season and some have had frosts or a little snow. Winter is a time of rest and rejuvenation for the soil, our perennial plants, and ourselves. In just a few months, we will experience a rebirth of our gardens and welcome the warm sunshine again. We wish you all very Happy Holidays.

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park in our Backyard

On Wednesday, November 16, Karen Patterson talked to our garden club about National Parks in general, and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in particular.  Karen is a retired history teacher, former seasonal park ranger and currently a volunterr with the CVNP.  The park has so much to offer and is just a short drive from anywhere in the greater Cleveland area.  The CVNP encompasses 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron, OH.  Managed by the National Park Service, it combines cultural, historical, recreational and natural  activities in one setting.  The Ohio and Erie Canal is located within the park along which the Towpath trail is located.  The Towpath is used for hiking, running and biking.  Also located within the park is the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Visitors can ride the excursion railroad from Rockside Road to Akron with many stops in between.  The railroad offers a Bike Aboard option where bikers can board the train at any station with their bike and ride as far as they want for $3.  There are many hiking and bridle trails in the park as well as historic buildings and the historic canal locks.  The Countryside Conservancy has reestablished working family farms in CVNP through the Countryside Initiative program.  If you have not visited the national park in our backyard, please put it on your bucket list.  We have a real gem just a short drive away that offers something for everyone to learn from and enjoy.

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