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Gardeners hear about marshy situation in Mentor

June 8 talk is at Christ the King Lutheran Church

From Staff Reports Published: June 7, 2017 12:00 AM
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TWINSBURG -- The Twinsburg Garden Club will host Becky Donaldson, marsh naturalist, at the club's June 8 meeting.

The meeting will be at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 10285 Ravenna Road in Twinsburg. Parking and entrance to the facility are at the rear of the church. The meeting is open to the public. The business meeting begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by refreshments, and the program begins at 7:15 p.m.

Donaldson works for the Natural Areas Division of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and will speak about the Mentor Marsh Restoration project. The Mentor Marsh is a swamp forest and phragmite marsh that covers almost 700 acres and provides a one-of- a-kind habitat for a wide variety of mammals, birds and fish.

Donaldson will discuss invasive plants that cause problems with native plants and animals, and how these invasive plants can be managed. She will also give an overview of the Mentor Marsh and the phragmites, commonly called reeds, which grow quickly and block out native plants that are food for native mammals, birds and fish.

The restoration program has made significant progress in ridding the marsh of these phragmites. Now, visitors can see native marsh grasses, sedges, shrubs, bull rushes, burr weed, smartweed, and arrowhead that have been able to grow again after being dormant for many years as the invasive reeds took over.

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Donaldson has been in her role with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for nine years and leads field trips around the Mentor Marsh. The tours focus on wetlands and biodiversity. An avid birder, she also is an active volunteer and board member of the Blackbrook Audubon Society, where she enjoys leading bird walks.

Donaldson earned her bachelor's of science degree in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University but originally hails from Northeast Ohio. She attributes her love of the outdoors to growing up on a dairy farm where, after chores, she hurried to play in the creek.

For information about the Twinsburg Garden Club, contact Sue Davis, co-president, at 330-697-7818, or email davis4233@roadrunner.com. Visit the club's website at www.twinsburg-garden- club.com.

The Twinsburg Garden Club, now in its 54th year of service to the community, is dedicated to preserving the love and beauty of nature in the community, state and nation.

Meetings are the second Thursdays of the month at Christ the King Lutheran Church at 6:30 p.m. Programs feature guest speakers with information about floral design, as well as horticultural and environmental education. Members live in Aurora, Hudson, Macedonia, Monroe Falls, Northfield Center, Reminderville, Solon and Twinsburg.

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