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April 11, 2024

  • Poetics of April
    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
  • Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg
    Indie bookstore, Gathering Volumes, just hosted poet and (transgender) activist, Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg To celebrate Trans Day of Visibility, Minney read from her poetry book – A Woman in Progress (2024). Her reading depicted emotional and physical transformations especially in the scene of womanhood and queer experiences. Her language is empowering and personally […]
Spring Housing Guide

Parks prosper around Bowling Green

Despite the emerald ash borers, the gypsy moths and other environmental obstacles, Bowling Green city parks have been springing to life.

As he gazed into the giant oak canopies, city arborist, David Bieneman, said there was a much different scene at City Park just last year, one lacking in shade.

The gypsy moth is an invasive species that feeds on oak trees in its caterpillar form. Bieneman said nearly 75 oaks in City Park got defoliated by gypsy moth caterpillars but only five died thanks to his gypsy moth suppression plan.

The plan, however, was not easily accepted by city officials because the city doesn’t like spraying chemicals, Bieneman said.

“When I first got here they said, ‘We don’t spray for nothing’,” Bieneman said. “And that’s why it was such a big deal spraying for the gypsy moths.”

The insecticide used was derived from a natural occurring bacteria called Baccillus thuringiensis, and is totally harmless to humans and other animals. Burlap bands coated with the insecticide Eradicoat were also tied around the trees to attract and kill the caterpillars.

“We got trees here that are 100 to 150 years old, older than the city,” Bieneman said. “And I would hate to lose any of them.”

Wendy Weldon, Bowling Green resident and City Park regular, said she also loves the trees because it reminds her of home in southern Ohio and her son loves the park’s year old playground.

“Where I’m from, it’s real hilly with lots of trees,” Weldon said. “Bowling Green is so flat it’s nice to go to the park where it’s all forestry.”

Along with being treated for the Gypsy Moth, almost all of the tree’s in the park received deep root fertilization to prevent from future disease and decay.

“When you have trees that are 100 to 150 years old they max out the nutrients in the soil and you need to come in treat it every once in a while,” Bieneman said.

Nearly 95 percent of the gypsy moth population was removed and public works supervisor, Kent Reichert, said the park was saved just in time.

“If they wouldn’t have let Dave [Bieneman] spray, and if we would of had another outbreak this year, we would of lost about 25 percent,” Reichart said. “Because when they get distressed like that you can expect them to live but we’re trying to be proactive. Before we were being reactive. There are still egg masses in the trees but we are just trying to prevent them from over populating again.”

Carter Park, located next to the BGSU water tower, has received 80 trees of 20 varieties. Bieneman said the trees were chosen and placed carefully because of the park’s rocky terrain, high winds and tendency to flood.

“Under the soil there is literally bedrock, it used to be old Carter farm,” Bieneman said. “We would probe four to five feet down and sometimes we would hit a big boulder and have to start all over.”

The newly planted trees may appear sickly, Bieneman said, but will look healthy in about two years once they have time to strengthen their roots.

The tree’s aren’t the only reason people enjoy Carter park, some go to jog, play disc golf, sand volleyball and to enjoy the scenery.

Graduate student, Shuang Pui, said she likes Carter Park because it is a nice shady area to go for run and at night she likes to watch the fireflies light up the fields.

Carter Park is also receiving a maintenance building to store mowers, gators and other landscaping equipment in. Public works supervisor, Rick Engle, said the building should be complete in about three weeks.

Smaller parks around town known as “pocket parks,” such as Bellard Park, Triangle Park and Raney Playground, have also received new trees as well as fences, lawns and butterfly/hummingbird beds.

Inside Oak Grove Cemetery, Bieneman said he has been removing and replacing trees infected with the emerald ash borer and other diseases, as well as in locations all over the city to ensure public safety.

The Wintergarden/ St. John’s Nature Preserve, located off Wintergarden Road, has received a new sidewalk along with 15 trees at the entrance of the park.

Just down the road from the nature preserve is the Simpson Garden Park, the latest and fastest developing park project in Bowling Green.

Simpson Garden Park, located at the corner of Wintergarden Road and Conneaut Avenue, once served as a waterwell field and a compost for the city’s utility department, but is being transformed into 11 theme gardens and an amphitheater.

Michelle Grigore, director of Bowling Green parks and recreation department, said a children’s discovery garden, a reflection garden, a sculpture garden, a shade garden and a waterfall are just some of the gardens that will be featured in the park.

“As the money comes in we will start to build the gardens,” Grigore said. “We hope to have all the major gardens complete by 2010 or 2011.”

Grigore’s goal is to collect a whooping $700,000 and thanks to a public fund raising campaign $580,000 has already been raised. She hopes to raise the rest by the end of the year, she said.

Grigore explained the garden park was made possible because of a public/private partnership. The city has done a lot of work clearing the grounds and the parks and recreation department will construct and maintain the park.

The Bowling Green Rotary Club donated $45,000 towards the construction of the $55,000 amphitheater that will serve as a gathering place for special events, concerts and other ceremonies.

The children’s discovery playground will be the first garden complete and Grigore encourages everybody in the community to attend the opening on Oct. 28, at 3 p.m.

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