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Cool globes coming; 32,000 bike-to-school miles logged; Cuyahoga Valley camping opened to hikers and cyclists

Marc Lefkowitz  |  07/20/11 @ 3:01pm

·Seventeen "cool globes" will arrive in Cleveland to be installed around Wade Oval this Friday. These public art pieces grew out of the Clinton Global Initiative, and have toured the world. Each globe is designed by a different artist with a focus on solutions to climate change (themes include 'green home', 'going places' and energy). The globes complement the solutions area of the nationally touring exhibit "Climate Change" coming to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History this fall, and which also includes the SmartHome, a 'passive house' opening next Monday on the museum's grounds.

·The Northeast Ohio Regional Energy Alliance took one step closer to reality with a $35,000 grant from Generation Foundation. The Alliance hopes to "scale the regional energy efficiency market" by piloting a finance mechanism for energy efficiency retrofits of homes. Energy alliances have been successful in reaching middle income homeowners in the Boston and Cincinnati area.

·Students at Bay Middle and High School and Rocky River Middle didn't let an unusually rainy May dampen their spirits during this year's Bike to School Challenge. Students at the three schools biked a total of 32,034 miles to school from May 9 through May 27-enough miles to circle the globe-avoiding 35,237 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. It also saved mom and dad $5,795.92 in gasoline expenditures. The highest overall ride day was Wednesday, May 11 when 1,070 students biked to all three schools.

·Cuyahoga Valley National Park is opening camp sites for distance hikers and cyclists using the Towpath Trail. Five primitive campsites near the recently renovated Stanford House (an overnight option for motorists) are available May 27th - October 31. Drive-up use is not permitted. There is a maximum of two tents and six people per site, with a maximum 10 nights stay per season. You can make reservations for one room, or the whole Stanford House or the backcountry campsites, by contacting the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park at 330-657-2909 ext 119 or email them at info@cvnpa.org.

·After the state's food policy council was eliminated by a partisan group of Ohio lawmakers, legislation was introduced last week to re-institute the group which helps set the agenda for sustainable agriculture. See HB 240 to create the Ohio Sustainable Food Advisory Council.

·Peter McDermott, founder of Local Food Cleveland, leads a discussion of the "Ten Big Questions Facing the Local Food Movement" next Monday at Great Lakes Brewing in Ohio City.

·Greater Ohio joined the conservative Buckeye Institute and the liberal Center for Community Solutions in urging state lawmakers to "level the playing field for our center cities, reduce unnecessary and costly competition among jurisdictions, and help restore prosperity to our regions" by reducing local tax burdens and restructuring government structures. GO also produced a study that analyzes the impact of a tax shell game that metro areas face with retail development sprawl.

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