Outside Looking In

As learned by Doreen

  • Outside Looking In

    Plastic – A Blessing and A Curse

    Doreen Maurer ZANESVILLE, Ohio-Plastic is a very useful product.  It is used to make computers, cell phones, and many more products that make life easier.  However, single-use plastic is suffocating some of our natural resources.  The ocean is full of discarded single-use plastic products such as forks, spoons, plastic bags, and my newfound concern, “the plastic straw”.   The earliest use of the straw has been dated back to 3000 B.C. as it was used by the Sumerians of Mesopotamia.  The straws were used to drink beer from large vats, which were too heavy to lift and pass around, so the drinkers would sit on the floor and drink through these…

  • Outside Looking In

    Stormwater Runoff

    Doreen Maurer ZANESVILLE, Ohio- As I sit at my desk this morning watching the rain come down, hit the pavement and run off into the storm drain, my first thoughts are not of the misery a rainy day can bring, but about how many pollutants are running off into our waterways.   Did you know that 97.5% of the earth’s water is salt water and 2.5% is fresh water?  That does not sound like enough fresh water to me; does it to you?  How did I discover the above interesting facts?  Well, let me tell you. . . The term “stormwater” has recently been added to my conservation vocabulary.  The earth’s…

  • Outside Looking In

    Soil: It is Not Just Dirt

    Doreen Maurer ZANESVILLE, Ohio- Gardening has always been something I wanted to be successful doing, and I have tried.  In fact, several times with little to no success.  I would either have an overgrowth of plants with little production or no growth at all.  I have tried starting my plants inside, (this is another tale that I hope to share later), but right now, I am going to share my eye opening, newly-obtained knowledge regarding soil.  As shared in my last article, I lived in a world where dirt and soil were the same.  I believe my gardening fails have been due to a lack of knowledge regarding soil health. …

  • Outside Looking In

    Backyard Habitat for Birds

    Doreen Maurer ZANESVILLE, Ohio- What is a backyard habitat?  Most backyards already have what it takes to encourage some wildlife to visit, but little additions can bring specific wildlife to your backyard.  Let’s say birds are what is needed to bring your backyard to life.  What could be done to make this happen? All living things need food to survive.  When creating a sustainable backyard habitat for birds, the food source is a major decision maker.  No food, no life.  Staying close to what nature provides is the best choice when establishing a food source.  Bird feeders are a fun and easy way to provide food for birds and allow…

  • Outside Looking In

    A Few Thoughts from the Newbie

    Doreen Maurer ZANESVILLE, Ohio- I am fairly new here at Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District (MSWCD) and have learned a lot about how important the work done on Underwood Street is for our community.  I was hired as an administrative assistance, but in a short time, I have developed a great love for conservation and its importance.    I started with no agricultural background.  I quickly learned that there is a huge difference between soil and dirt.  I shared with my new-found friends at MSWCD that I didn’t like to touch dirt; it was never on the top of my list of what I would like to get my…