Nature Notes

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Harvest Time

Franklin Park Conservatory will officially unveil its new community garden campus this weekend with a two-day shindig highlighting local food and neighborhood spirit.

The From Field to Table festival runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 12-13. While touring through the stellar four-acre educational complex, you'll sample Ohio eats, learn helpful harvest tips and partake in autumn entertainment like building scarecrows.

The $10 daily admission also gets you into other exhibits at the conservatory.


Green Ideas

Global energy, climate and transportation issues will be examined locally during a seminar hosted by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at COSI.

The Summit on Sustainability & the Environment will offer breakout sessions on topics such as water-resource management, multi-modal transportation, clean fuels, smart growth, waste reduction and local foods. Jack Hanna, director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo, will give a keynote address.

The event kicks off at 9 a.m. Full-day tickets start at $90, with discounted rates for students. Admission to an evening reception costs $15.


Gearing Up

Haven't yet made the trip to Dayton to experience its great adventure amenities? Get thee to Gearfest on Saturday, Oct. 3, for more outdoor opportunities than you can shake your walking stick at.

The annual tribute to sports and nature will feature a giant exhibitor village, a kayak pool, gear demos, Mad River float trips, a climbing wall, live music and much more.

Admission is free. The fest runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Eastwood Metropark. Gratis camping is available on site, though registration is required.


Bike Boost

The number of bike riders in Columbus continues to increase, and those working to promote the cycling life have been keeping pace. One group in particular, Yay Bikes!, has been stepping up its game lately with a new office and regular hours when you can come in, chat and learn about riding.

The small community group has set up shop at the Summit United Methodist Church, 82 E. 16th Ave. Friendly folks will be there 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, 2-5 p.m. Friday and 12-3 p.m. Sunday.

A bike drive is scheduled for 12-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13.


Weekend Warrior: Commit to Be Fit

Summer beauty at Inniswood Metro Gardens hangs by a thread, so be sure to catch a final glimpse this weekend during the Commit to Be Fit hiking series.

The annual 10-week program hosted by the Metro Parks starts at 1 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 25 and highlights a different park each week. Naturalists lead hikers on a two-mile trek, pointing out interesting features and encouraging healthy living.


Outdoor Tip of the Month

There are few things worse than getting stuck in the backcountry with a case of poison ivy. You can't rinse an exposed area with alcohol and take a cool shower, the usual prescription.

On the trail, nature provides one alternative remedy: jewelweed.

This plant grows three to five feet tall in shady areas - often near poison ivy - and has small yellow to orange flowers that look like trumpets. Dab juice from its pulpy stem onto an exposed or affected area, which should lessen the ivy's harmful effects.

Remember: Even when leaves change color and dry up, the ivy's irritating oil survives. Avoiding contact is the best course of action.

For more outdoor adventures and Nature Notes, click to the Venture blog.