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Hey Guys! Guess What Month It Is?!


4/16/2014 Send Feedback

Emerald Ash Borer

It’s April, in case you need reminding. I sure don’t, it’s spring. It’s also National Arbor Month (arbor: Latin word for tree). You know the saying; April showers bring yadda, yadda, yadda, the grass is getting greener, it’s hopefully NOT snowing, birds are singing, beetles are infesting. Wait… what?!

 

The Emerald Ash Borer beetle (EAB). Remember the Mountain Pine Beetle? Yeah, they’re kind of like that except they attack only Ash trees. This invading insect is an attractive little guy that will probably make you go “Oh, look at the pretty green bug!” if you see one. But don’t let their lustrous, emerald beauty fool you. They’re tiny but mighty, and these bugs mean business. The EAB epidemic will not happen overnight; in fact it began years ago. The beetle is believed to have come over from Asia on a packaging shipment to the United States around 15 years ago. It was first found in Michigan in 2002 where it was already busy destroying Ash trees in the Midwest.

The EAB was found in Boulder last September, and it will inevitably wheedle its way into our region. It can fly up to half a mile, but the way it will get here is predicted to be mainly by human traffic. You would be surprised how many Ash trees there are in this area. To put it into perspective, the City of Greeley’s Forestry Division estimates the Ash tree population to be around 10,000 in Greeley alone.

Don’t freak out! This is cause for great concern, but please don’t go Paul Bunyan on us and start chopping down every Ash tree you see. The amazing men and women of COG Forestry have an action plan in place with measures taking shape to help save Greeley’s Ash population as we speak. 

 

So what, you ask, is being done? Good question.

 

·        Education: Getting the word out to the public that this is a growing concern and action is needed. Ash tree owners should be on alert and know what to expect. It is important to burn firewood where it was bought to minimize the chance of bringing any EAB’s to a new area.

·        Action: Sampling and classification of ash trees will be done to determine when the EAB is present in the area. City-owned trees that have the best chance of surviving will undergo a tiered pesticide treatment.

·        Planting: Sooner than later, the City will need to begin replanting different trees in preparation for lost Ash trees. Ash tree owners should consider this as well, and keep watch on their existing Ash trees. An ‘infected’ tree can have up to 10 more years of life in it. However, the EAB population grows exponentially.

 

Please share this knowledge with others! The more people that know, the better prepared we can all be to handle this coming crisis. Spread the word and do what you can to prevent human transfer of the Emerald Ash Borer.

 

For a presentation on the Emerald Ash Borer, please visit Emerald Ash Borer Worksession.
 
     You can find other helpful information on topics by viewing this Emerald Ash Borer brochure or visiting the City’s Forestry webpage at
http://greeleygov.com/Forestry/default.aspx.


You ARE lucky, you just don’t know it yet.


3/11/2014 Send Feedback

Is your 4-leaf clover missing a leaf? You’re not alone. A lot of people look at luck as a natural phenomenon that is completely out of their control. Some people try to harness the power of luck with charms, superstitions and strange rituals (cue Bud Light commercial). The “unlucky” will say the “lucky” are born that way, and to a certain extent I can agree. However I think it’s more like being born with a different mind-set, or being able to learn a new mind-set along the way. Let’s start with this quiz:

 

QUESTION: Is the glass half empty or half full?

ANSWER...

Half Empty → You are unlucky

Half Full → You are lucky

 

Do you see what I’m getting at? Luck is mostly about perception when it comes to favorable outcomes. Let’s talk about the power of positive thinking. If you consider yourself to be unlucky, just pretending you are lucky by acting and thinking like a lucky person, can have a dramatic effect. For example, if you get in a car crash, and walk away without a scratch, you can either focus on your totaled car or the fact that you aren’t hurt. A lucky person will tend to think along the lines of “Wow, that could have been a lot worse.” True, turning a negative into a positive is not always easy, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to try. The more you practice this shift in thinking, the easier it will become with time.  

Next, it would behoove you unlucky people to visit a little land we like to call “opportunity.” Make yourself open to opportunity by welcoming change into your life. This can be as simple as taking an alternate route to work, or trying to strike up a conversation with different types of people you don’t normally encounter. When opportunity knocks, answer the door! In order to not miss it, you must first recognize it.  If you’re too buried in your umbrella to notice it’s raining $5 bills, there’s a problem.

If you’re still thinking luck is a miracle force from the supernatural realm and you are rubbing your lucky rabbit’s foot as we speak, hear me out. People who consider themselves to be unlucky tend to have higher levels of anxiety and “tunnel vision.” These people spend time focusing so hard on something specific they miss everything else around them. Take a deep breath and a big step back from the picture. If you are too busy avoiding the thorns on a rose stem, you will never appreciate the rose. Believe it or not, all people have a natural intuitive ability to some degree. But we can be our own worst enemy when it comes to utilizing it. We get anxious, think ‘worst case scenario,’ and are blinded by that negative state of mind.

For example, you are up to bat. Bases loaded, bottom of the eighth, tie game, 3 balls, 2 strikes and the pitcher is winding up. What are you thinking? Most likely “Don’t strike out…don’t strike out...” And what happens? You strike out. Why is this? Probably because you were concentrating on not striking out when you should have been concentrating on how hard you were going to blast the ball. When concentration is applied in all the wrong places, sometimes the opposite of what we want to happen occurs. We can be blinded by our own uncertainties, making it easy to ignore our natural insight. 

Try this: Next time you have an unfortunate event, think of what could have gone worse and see how it changes your perception of the event. Now, this is going to take a bit of pride-swallowing and determination on your part. You may feel silly at first, but after a couple of tries you should start to feel better about the events in your life, and even have higher expectations for the future. Set your own goals and see yourself through to their completion. Don’t wait for luck to come to you. Go get it, tiger!

In order to expose yourself to new opportunities, get outside your comfort zone. Enroll yourself in a class or activity that is the opposite of what you would normally do. Musicians could take a yoga class and jocks could learn how to play the guitar. Browse the Recreation Connection online to find something new and different to do: (www.greeleygov.com/recreation).

You never know who you will meet and what you will learn about yourself when you are thinking outside the box. I leave you with a traditional Irish Blessing:

A Wish for a Friend

Wishing you a rainbow

for sunlight after showers—

Miles and miles of Irish smiles

for golden happy hours—

Shamrocks at your doorway

for luck and laughter too,

And a host of friends that never ends

each day your whole life through!


We ♥ February


2/11/2014 Send Feedback

As most people know, February is American Heart Month, sponsored largely in part by the American Heart Association. It’s a month to focus on heart health, in both the physical and mental aspects. Not to mention, Valentine’s Day is coming up “Oooo Laa Laa!”

Here at the Culture, Parks & Recreation Department we like that February focuses on the heart. That’s another great excuse to promote all our wonderful fitness opportunities, but also those that are not so fitness related. For example, We Our Seniors! Greeley Youth Commission members at the Rodarte Community Center will be making and delivering Valentine's to seniors living at Bonell Good Samaritan Center this Friday. It's part of their committee's community service program and an annual event that our seniors love. Threre's no better way to give back than to share a piece of your heart with someone else. We Skating! Anytime is a good time to enjoy an evening out with your sweetheart doing something heart-healthy together. Why not celebrate this year at the Greeley Ice Haus Friday, February 14 from 7:15-8:45pm – only $6 per couple—includes skate rental! You can play games and win prizes from local businesses. We Heart Dance! Saturday, March 1 (just one day after February ends) is Banner Health’s Spirit of Women’s Day of Dance at the Family FunPlex. Come and check out your heart health, learn a new dance or just enjoy some great family-friendly activities. 

                These events fit right in with the February theme. But I must say we are scratching our heads at some of the more unusual ‘holidays’ that may or may not be observed by anyone…ever.

• February 4 Create a Vacuum Day
Ummm…your guess is as good as mine. Does this mean spontaneously generating a vacuum from common household items? Or, is it referring to the type of vacuum that nearly sucks your eyeballs out of your head when you take off your swimming goggles? We may never know.

• February 8 Kite Flying Day
Since it’s the middle of winter here, I can only assume this refers to Australia, and is thus referring to the Whistling Kite or Whistling Hawk (which is a raptor native to that country). Fly those Hawks, you crazy Aussies!

• February 10 Umbrella Day
Similarly, since it is more likely to snow than rain (but you never know in CO) an umbrella is probably not the best choice. The winter winds might make a Mary Poppins out of you!

• February 16 Do a Grouch a Favor Day
We all know at least one grouch, and sometimes doing them a favor makes them even grouchier. Excellent.

February 23 International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day
This must be a big deal if it’s International…(iBONE-appetit!  What’s the French word for ‘Scooby Snack’?)           

• February 28 Carnival Day
Carnival = clowns………..clowns = YIKES!

• February 28 Public Sleeping Day
At least you’ve got time to master the art of sleeping with your eyes open. (Not to be done while driving; may result in getting fired from your job, unexplainable Facebook status updates, waking up in random places and/or ‘sleep eating’).

If sleeping in public and dog biscuits just isn’t your style, don’t worry! Any day is a good day to do something healthy for your heart.

Check out all of Recreation’s hearth healthy activities at www.greeleygov.com/recreation!  


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