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Published: Tuesday, 10/19/2010

Perrysburg announces schedule for leaf pickup and dispersal

BY JANET ROMAKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

As autumn leaves start to fall, many homeowners are thinking about how, and when, they can get rid of them.

In Perrysburg, not only does the city pick up leaves, but it delivers them, by the truckload, to residents.

Some like to use leaves to cover garden beds, said Judy Hagen, program coordinator for the Perrysburg Office of Litter Prevention and Recycling, who calls leaf compost "soil amendment" and describes it as a good fertilizer.

The 577 Foundation puts a large quantity of leaves on its garden areas in preparation for winter's cold, said Ms. Hagen, who will scatter leaves during the upcoming creation of a rain garden in the new Rotary Community Park, a 20-acre site along Fort Meigs Road near the YMCA.

The park is being developed in a cooperative effort with the Perrysburg Rotary Club and the city, and a five-year plan has been drawn up.

The city has been awarded a grant to create a recreational trail, and funding is in place for the rain garden, Ms. Hagen said.

The rain garden, to be in the park's northwest corner, will help dissipate water runoff from the parking lot, she said. Planting could begin in the rain garden Wednesday, weather permitting.

Trees and bushes will be planted, and, if the weather holds, Ms. Hagen will transplant perennials from another park. "I will be using a lot of leaf compost," she said.

The city received $20,000 for the rain garden, one of several projects in northwest Ohio funded by a $250,000 Wal-Mart grant awarded to the Maumee River Basin Partnership of Local Governments. Rain-garden projects are on tap in Defiance and Bowling Green, and Paulding is doing a rain-barrel project, Ms. Hagen said.

Development of the Rotary park is being done in phases, she said.

In 2009, when Perrysburg celebrated its 25th anniversary as a Tree City USA, the Rotary Club spearheaded a tree-planting program for the park. On Sept. 25, 2009, Public Lands Day, tree donors and Rotary Club members planted 58 native species as the start of a miniarboretum.

The city recently was awarded a $59,412 grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' division of parks and recreation for installation of the recreational trail, said Jon Eckel, Perrysburg's public service director.

Cost for the project will be about $87,000 with the city paying its share with Rotary Park funds and in-kind service, he said.

Plans call for 3,600 feet of recreational trail around the park perimeter, Mr. Eckel said. The pea-gravel path will be 8-feet wide. "The trail will be another nice place to enjoy walking and jogging," he said.

Construction of the trail likely will be tackled in the spring.

Meantime, there are all those leaves to pick up.

Perrysburg's leaf collection began Monday. All leaves must be out for collection by Nov. 28. During that period, leaf-gathering crews will make several trips along city streets.

Residents are asked to rake leaves to the area near the curb or the edge of the street.

Leaves should be piled, not bagged.

No leaves should be placed in front of mailboxes or near storm drains, and motorists are asked not to park in front of leaf piles.

Collected leaves - in full loads of 12 cubic yards only - are available for free delivery to city residents.

The city's compost site is open year-round for brush and leaf disposal. Residents can take loose or bagged leaves to the Department of Public Service building, 11980 Roachton Rd., where the load will be inspected and a key will be issued to unlock the gate at the compost site.

Other cities, including Maumee, offer composted leaves to residents.

One Maumee official said he wasn't aware of any requests for home delivery of collected leaves. Maumee gives away the decomposed leaves, but residents must bring their own containers and load the leaves themselves, said Joseph Camp, public service commissioner.



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