LORAIN — A project that will construct more trails at a well-known area agricultural operation is among the 20-plus projects that are part of this year’s United Way of Greater Lorain County/Hands On Northeast Ohio Week of Caring.
Each of the projects is designed to strengthen and improve the community, according to Bill Harper, executive director of United Way.
This year’s Week of Caring runs Monday to Sept. 14.
One of this year’s new ventures will see the construction of trails at the New Agrarian Center in Oberlin that incorporate the 70-acre George Jones Farm and nature preserve, and City Fresh, which provides naturally grown local produce while boosting marketing opportunities for area farmers.
Plans call for volunteers to clear underbrush and any plants such as poison ivy out of the path of planned trails that will open up areas that have not been accessible.
“We’ve got a couple of really interesting areas of deep woods and wetlands that are considered endangered landscapes in Northeast Ohio,” according to Nick Swetye, the center’s executive director. “One thing that excites us about doing this is that we can make this a showcase for ecological design” that will enable visitors to see native medicinal and endangered plants.
The center has had a system of trails for some time but next week’s efforts will expand them.
The all-natural trails may be covered with woodchips but will otherwise leave the environment around them undisturbed.
“We want to maintain the natural drainage systems that are in place there,” Swetye said.
New trails will also permit people to get closer to some of the 88 species of migratory birds that have been cataloged in the area.
“We want to respect their habitat while still setting up spots where they can be observed,” Swetye said.
Birds that have been documented in the area include warblers, green herons and a bald eagle.
“We’ve got tools lined up and ready to go,” Swetye said. “We just need to have people let us know when they’re coming.”
Anyone interested in working on the New Agrarian Center trail project is asked to call 440-941-4009, 330-221-4027, or visit the City Fresh website.
Other projects going on during the week include a free job fair and legal clinic 10:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Tuesday at the Boys & Girls Club in Elyria. The event will offer help with resumes, health checks, financial literacy resources and brief first-come, first-serve legal advice and referral clinic for low-income residents.
Another new project this year is the Reading Aloud and Activity Day during which volunteers will put together buckets containing five books on diversity along with early childhood education materials. The buckets will then be used in classrooms at 16 participating locations as part of a reading program.
Volunteers may sign up by clicking here.
Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or email@example.com.