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This is what leadership looks like

Marc Lefkowitz  |  11/22/19 @ 10:00am  |  Posted in Reduce, Green buildings, Clean water, Connecting to nature

The search for the greenest places leads to the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh. The reputation of Phipps was solidified when it built its Center for Sustainable Landscapes in 2012. It is one of only a handful of buildings nationwide to be recognized as a Living Building, the most stringent green building rating system in the world. The...

Sky's the limit<br />Phipps Center for Sustainable Landscapes in Pittsburgh is one of the greenest public buildings in the world. Photo credit: Denmarsh Photography, Inc.

Great Lakes Cycle paintings astound, deepen concern

Marc Lefkowitz  |  11/30/18 @ 1:00pm  |  Posted in Clean water, Connecting to nature

The Great Lakes Cycle, a suite of giant paintings now on view at MOCA Cleveland, acts as a guide and a warning about what spawns from a lack of awareness — of what it means to be a model citizen living within the world’s largest freshwater ecosystem. If we’re not careful, it will devolve into a Jacques Cousteau nightmare. By drinking...

Pioneers<br />Alexis Rockman, 2017, oil and acrylic on wood panel. 72 x 144 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Sperone Westwater, New York.

Northeast Ohio Best Trails and Greenways 2018

Marc Lefkowitz  |  05/30/18 @ 3:00pm  |  Posted in Connecting to nature, Transportation

This year's entries into Greater Cleveland's Trails and Greenways Conference are inspiring—in imagination, but also, in the highest category, for achieving much sought after equity and improved access to low cost and low carbon forms of active transportation. Full disclosure: I participated with a panel of local transportation experts in selecting the 2018 winners.

<br />Environmental Design Group bike share system is popular (seen here in use in downtown Akron).<br />Bike to Work Day 2018 in Cleveland <br />Students in Cleveland Heights-University Heights Schools learning to ride with the bike fleet.<br />Burning River Ramble <br />Black Girls Do Bike Akron Chapter<br />Jim Sheehan, director of Ohio City Bike Coop, leads Cleveland Municipal School 2nd graders in bike education skills course.<br />Morgana Run Trail and art plan<br />Rosewood Avenue pop up street closure in Lakewood.<br />Summit Lake (pop up) Nature Center<br />Open Streets Cleveland<br />Thorn Mountain Bike Club<br />Lake to Lakes Trail extension and trail head<br />Maple Highlands Trail<br />Fort Hill Steps<br />Headlands Nature Preserve Boardwalk<br />Lakefront West Multi-Use path<br />Detroit-Superior Bridge green lane<br />A Bridge That Bridges public art project<br />Lakefront multi-use path in Euclid
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Cleveland celebrates nature nearby

Marc Lefkowitz  |  03/31/17 @ 12:00pm  |  Posted in Home landscaping, Connecting to nature, Land

2017 is the year Cleveland turns its attention to “vibrant green space.” Since 2008 when the city launched a ten-year plan called Sustainable Cleveland 2019 (SC2019), the city’s Office of Sustainability has organized events and activities around a major sustainability theme. Cleveland can lay claim to one of the more longstanding commitments to sustainability. SC2019‘s big event is the annual sustainability...

Path into nature<br />The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail is the recreational spine of Northeast Ohio and one of the most popular trails in the country.Field trip<br />To combat nature deficit disorder, educational programs need to immerse kids in nature. (Photo by Cleveland Metroparks)Into the woods<br />Hiking at Lake Metroparks' Chapin Forest Reservation.Botany field trip<br />Jim Bissell, curator of botany at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, identifies a plant at Holden Arboretum. Growing hobby<br />Birders crowd the boardwalk at Magee Marsh to watch warblers and other spring migrants that stop at the marsh before crossing Lake Erie to northern breeding grounds. Lakefront access<br />One of the region's top goals should be greater public access to Lake Erie.
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Back to nature: 10 best examples of ecological restoration in NEO

Marc Lefkowitz  |  08/29/16 @ 1:00pm  |  Posted in Connecting to nature, Shaping the land

Cities are healthier as a whole when nature is invited in. So we are not just protecting parklands and high-quality natural areas. We are rebuilding cities in Northeast Ohio by reweaving nature into the urban landscape—restoring nature’s capacity to provide beauty, cooling, water retention and filtration, quiet, air purification and many other ecological functions.

Mentor Marsh<br />After the phragmites were beaten back, native butterfly bush was able to to be planted in the emergent marsh. Image: Becky Donaldson, Mentor Marsh Nature Center.Shaker Lakes<br />Volunteers plant a wetland. Photo: The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes. Redline Greenway<br />Plans for restoration and recreation in the RTA Redline corridor. Image: LAND Studio.Wildwood Park<br />Volunteers plant a bioswale. Image: Friends of Euclid Creek.Morley Road restoration<br />A riverbed restoration in Lake County. Image: BiohabitatsScranton Flats<br />Wildflowers in bloom along the Cuyahoga River. Image: Canalway Partners.Watershed Stewardship Center at West Creek<br />The new visitor center at Cleveland Metroparks West Creek Reservation is a place for everyone to learn about stormwater issues and the care of water resources. Image: GCBL.Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve<br />A nature studies class hikes the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve, formerly Dike 14. Image: GCBL.Beachwood City Park<br />Land that was set aside for the Rapid was turned into a nature park. Image: City of Beachwood.Acacia Reservation<br />Restoration of the former Acacia Country Club golf course as an eco park is slated to include a part of the Euclid Creek (seen here). Image: Biohabitats.
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