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What does this elephant have to do with a stream restoration project in Cleveland?

Landscape ecologist Kevin Grieser shares an interesting tidbit about the connection between an elephant, a stream, and an old golf course that is slowly becoming an ecological preserve:

elephant_jennifergrieser“For the Acacia project [Ceveland Metroparks‘ initiative to transform a former golf course into an urban ecological preserve] there are some trees and shrubs that need to be removed as part of the restoration of Euclid Creek.  We’re reusing a lot of that material for habitat features in the new stream and as standing snags, but there’s some material that we just don’t need.  Rather than simply chip up this material, Metroparks is using it to address the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s need for fresh “green” browse material (branches, stems, etc.) and larger logs for certain animals and exhibits.

Earlier this week, when we cut down some cottonwoods that will be used as standing snags, zoo staff came and cut all the smaller lateral branches off the main trunks to supplement the elephants. Well last night I was at “Boo at the Zoo” with my family. We stopped in the elephant exhibit and there were some of the cottonwood branches and logs in their pens! The elephants had already stripped the bark off of some of the larger branches.”

Kudos to Cleveland Metroparks for this creative way to maximize reuse!

Note: This project was financed in part through a grant from the State of Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, under the provisions of Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act and the Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program with local sponsorship by the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.

 

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