Lake Erie Starts With ... ?
We all know the importance of Lake Erie as a source of freshwater. A few years ago, run-off from farms in the western basin of Lake Erie caused major problems that prevented the Toledo area from drawing water for its use. But every action we each take, living in the Lake Erie watershed, affects the water we drink, the water for our crops, and the water we play in. It's amazing the effects we have on such a large body of water, an asset we should not and cannot take for granted.
One of the biggest problems is storm water run-off. The more we build, removing trees and plants that absorb the water and aid in removing pollutants, the greater the run-off.
In my search for the history of the West Creek valley, I heard many times about a pond on Ridgewood Drive. One neighbor told me his father took him fishing there. There's no pond there now, and I searched for evidence of its existence. Dr. J. Halpert has a collection of photos of the Parma area from the 1950's. These are displayed on the walls of his waiting room. An aerial photo of the intersection of Broadview Road and Ridgewood Drive clearly shows the pond. And what would cause the pond to "disappear?" Since 1950, many homes were built south of Ridgewood Drive, with the loss of trees and plants that kept the water from running down the slope to the north. The run-off carried soil that filled the pond and left only a wetland in its place. As a pond it stored more water than a wetland. We build storage ponds to control flooding. And a father would have to travel farther to find a safe place to teach a child the techniques and joys of fishing.
At West Creek Conservancy, we have worked to protect stream and wetland systems, forested areas, as well open green spaces, all in an effort to protect the waters of Lake Erie. West Creek Conservancy has protected over 1,300 acres in an effort to protect and restore our waterways and drinking water; but it doesn't stop there. Preserving is great, but much of our land and waterways need restoration and on-going stewardship. It's an effort we must all be involved in. Remember that Lake Erie Starts With ME -- YOU -- US. Consider your daily actions and habits when gulping down a glass of tap water or swimming at our beautiful beaches.
As we continue to raise awareness about protecting the water quality water within the Lake Erie watershed, we invite you to become a Stewardship Sponsor. With each individual donation of $20 or more, you'll receive a "Lake Erie Starts With Me!"shirt. All proceeds benefit the West Creek Conservancy Stewardship Fund to help us continue our great work.
You can reach us online at www.westcreek.org or call 216-749-3720.
Irene D Toth
I am a member of the Board of Directories of West Creek Conservancy.. I was a high school teacher of English, American History, and American Government.