Master Gardener Hotline open for calls

By Deborah Reinhart Brown - Ag update

Our Master Gardener Hotline opened this past week! Two days per week, we have Master Gardeners available here at our office to answer questions you might have about plants, insects, diseases, etc. They are here on Monday and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., from now through September. You can call in with questions, send an email, or stop by with your samples. Yes, depending on the issue, being able to actually look at your plant or insect can help with the diagnosis.

On Wednesday, May 22, there is a program on “trees” at the OSU Mansfield campus. This “Trees on Tap” will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Eisenhower Hall. Trees on Tap is a program designed to encourage your love of trees. The topics of the day highlight some of the marvels of trees along with keeping you up to date on some of the challenges they face.

This year the focus is on the genus Quercus – Oaks. Some of the topics will be The Mighty Oaks, classification changes, diseases of oaks, and an update on Spotted Lanternfly. There will also be a “Diagnostic Walk” around campus to do some identification and to enjoy the beauty of these trees.

The cost for this program is $45 and includes lunch and hand-outs. For more information and registration, go to and look under “upcoming workshops.” Registration deadline is May 15.

Visitors to South Bass Island this summer have the opportunity to explore Lake Erie science and history at the South Bass Island Lighthouse, the Aquatic Visitors Center, and on Gibraltar Island.

The South Bass Island Lighthouse, which was completed in 1897, is located at the southwest tip of the island and was in operation until 1962. The lighthouse grounds are open to the public dawn to dusk free of charge unless otherwise posted. Visitors can climb the lighthouse stairs to take in the view from the top of the tower. They also offer guided tours on select dates. The Aquatic Visitors Center is an educational facility, giving visitors of all ages the chance to explore Lake Erie’s complex ecosystem through hands-on activities and aquaria containing live Lake Erie fish. Children ages 15 and younger can borrow fishing gear and fish for free off the 100-foot pier. A limited number of free life jackets, provided by the BoatUs Foundation, are available for loan.

Two science and history tours of Gibraltar Island are offered each Thursday from June 20th through Aug. 8. Groups tour the island, including Perry’s Lookout and the glacial grooves and see the outside of Cooke Castle before learning more about Stone Lab research. Tours can accommodate up to 70 people and are first-come, first-served.

The goal of education in Ohio Sea Grant is to foster Great Lakes Literacy, an understanding of the Great Lakes’ influence on its people and of people’s influence on the Great Lakes. In addition to field trips and guided tours to visitors, Stone Lab offers 25 college-credit science courses each summer. The island campus has also hosted conferences and educational programs for a variety of groups.

At Stone Lab, Ohio Sea Grant has developed courses specifically for teachers and other educators. Course content evolves with changing science and policy, and new topics address current issues such as climate change and invasive species.

Gibraltar Island and the South Bass Island Lighthouse are owned by The Ohio State University, and all three attractions are managed by Ohio Sea Grant & Stone Laboratory. For more information on courses and/or scheduling your trip, visit

Last week Sunday we celebrated Dad’s 90th birthday! Everything went well and all my Reinhart cousins were there, so that was something special, too!! We don’t get together like we used to before everyone got so busy … Do things ever slow down?

By Deborah Reinhart Brown

Ag update

The writer can be reached at the OSU Extension office (937-498-7239) or by email at [email protected]

The writer can be reached at the OSU Extension office (937-498-7239) or by email at [email protected]