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Rocky River grows community through gardening

September 6, 2021


ROCKY RIVER, Ohio — Perhaps it takes a community to grow a garden. Or a garden to grow a community.

Rocky River Public Safety-Service Director Rich Snyder invited residents to a first-time community garden event Sept. 3 at the Rocky River Senior Center — just a stone’s throw away from the city’s community garden.

It was an educational bonanza for gardeners. Experts were on hand to advise on topics of interest to residents for their own gardens and landscaping.

Master gardeners were joined by representatives from the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District, the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District, the Rust Belt Riders, Kay’s BouKays & Flower Farm and Snyder himself, who demonstrated how to make lightweight outdoor flowerpots.

The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District is all about recycling and composting. Recycling efforts have narrowed down to glass and plastic bottles and jars, due to a shortage of companies that accept other forms of trash for recycling.

Composting, however, is another way one can keep food scraps out of the landfill every year — to the tune of 500 pounds per year, according to the Rust Belt Riders.

If visions of heaps of food scraps in your yard keep you away from the idea of composting, check out, who will come and pick up the scraps for you in buckets they will supply. The scraps, they say — most any kind of food scraps — are turned into soil. (Yes, worms are used, as they demonstrated with a big box of them on their display table.)

Rocky River Community Garden Event for home gardeners

Rocky River Community Garden at the Senior Center was the site of an event for home gardeners. (Linda Gandee, special to

The Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District had rather amazing information on conserving water –rainwater that is. They have rain barrel kits available and can teach one how to build a rain garden.

Kay’s BouKays took the “prize” for the most beautiful table. Kay Spiros displayed an array of simply beautiful, casual flower arrangements — the kind we would all like to cut and bring indoors from our own gardens. Spiros specializes in fresh cut flowers grown locally. Her business is in Oberlin.

The Rocky River Green Team had a presence at the event as well. According to its information, the team is “an all-volunteer organization committed to making Rocky River a greener, more sustainable place to live. Our goal is to help Rocky River become a more sustainable community through a variety of innovative and collaborative measures.”

It’s a great organization to team up with for those who really love to get outdoors and help make a difference in the community as a team.

Snyder was all smiles (and up to his elbows in what looked like children’s mud brought home after a rainstorm) as he showed attendees how to make their own simple, lightweight garden pots — Hypertufa Pots — for the garden or for landscaping.

The pots have a rustic look about them and could fit in anywhere around one’s yard. They are made from Portland cement, perlite (or vermiculite) and water. Using Snyder’s mixing technique, you can make custom containers in the size, shape and look of your choice, he said.

Snyder is available for questions and more information. He can be reached at 440-331-0600, extension 2581.

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