Kurt Knebusch

Technical Editor
Focus Areas: 
Organic farming and gardening; sustainable agriculture; natural resources/ecology; forestry; wildlife; Wooster campus news.
  1. EPN Event Features New Green Columbia Gas HQ

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — See a new Columbus GreenSpot at the next Environmental Professionals Network breakfast program. And spy the green of the Columbus Clippers’ ballpark while you’re at it. The July 15 event, titled “Using Sustainability and Energy Efficiency to Help Customers and the Community,” is at the new Columbia Gas of Ohio and NiSource Gas Distribution headquarters overlooking Huntington Field in downtown Columbus. It’s from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at 290 W. Nationwide Blvd. in the Arena District. The new building opened last year. It earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and is part of Columbus’s GreenSpot sustainability initiative. Speaking at the program...
  2. How to Keep Your Forest Healthy: July 23 Workshop on Stopping Invasive Insects

    CHARDON, Ohio — The Geauga Park District’s Big Creek Park will host a workshop on how to spot and manage invasive forest pests, such as the emerald ash borer, on July 23 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Included will be details on a new threat, the spotted lanternfly, which has been found in Pennsylvania. It attacks, among others, apple, cherry and pine trees. Leading the workshop will be forestry experts from the Ohio Woodland Stewards Program in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. Non-native insects like the Asian longhorned beetle and hemlock woolly adelgid have spread into Ohio and can hurt and kill certain trees, said Kathy Smith, a workshop instructor and the program’s director. And that can harm forests that...
  3. NE Ohio Lawn Care Seminar Aims to Grow Grass Even Greener

    WOOSTER, Ohio — Green lawns, clean water and healthy honey bees can go hand in hand. The Northeast Ohio Lawn Care Seminar aims to show how. Now in its 13th year, the annual event offers training to the region’s lawn care and landscape professionals. It features new ways to keep things green — in more ways than one — by experts from industry and The Ohio State University. Its sponsor is the Ohio Lawn Care Association. Sessions will focus on environmentally sound maintenance practices, said the event’s program planner, Joe Rimelspach, turfgrass pathology specialist with Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and a technical adviser to the association. “People in the industry really want to do things the best...
  4. Picture of Wind Chimes heirloom rose

    Have a Blooming Good Time on June 13 with Heirloom Roses in Wooster

    WOOSTER, Ohio — Prepare yourself for some cracklin’ roses. Wooster’s Garden of Roses of Legend and Romance, home to some 1,500 heirloom roses, will hold an open house and rose plant sale from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 13 — and the blooms there should be at their peak. Admission is free and open to the public. Sale proceeds will go to support the plants’ care. The garden is part of Secrest Arboretum at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, 1680 Madison Ave. in the Wayne County city. The center is the research arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. Heirloom roses, also called antique roses and old garden roses, are types that were developed before 1867, when the first hybrid tea rose...
  5. Picture of clean drinking water

    Ohio State Water Experts to Speak to Columbus Metropolitan Club June 3

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Three experts from The Ohio State University will talk about the battle for Lake Erie, and for all of Ohio’s water, at next week’s Columbus Metropolitan Club Luncheon. Bruce McPheron, Jeff Reutter and Eugene Braig will present “What the Muck? Managing Ohio’s Freshwater Assets” from noon to 1:15 p.m. June 3 at the Athletic Club of Columbus, 136 E. Broad St. McPheron is Ohio State’s vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. In the wake of last summer’s Toledo water crisis, he and others from the college started Field to Faucet, a new program meant to ensure safe water for all Ohioans while keeping the state’s farms productive and profitable...
  6. Dig Big Darby Creek June 11

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — June’s breakfast program by the Environmental Professionals Network features central Ohio’s Big Darby Creek, a National Scenic River. Included are chances to walk along it, wade in it and see a nearby bison herd. “Still harboring an inferiority complex that central Ohio’s outdoor places don’t stack up nationally?” the event’s flier asks. “Attend this breakfast and exorcise that notion forever.” The program, called “A Summer Delight,” is 7:30-10:30 a.m. June 11 at the Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park Nature Center, 1775 Darby Creek Drive, in Galloway west of Columbus. Registration costs $10 ($15 if paid by credit card), includes breakfast, and is open to both members and nonmembers of the network....
  7. Register by Friday for May 29 Endangered Species Act Workshop

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is more important than ever due to persistent threats such as climate change and newly emerging issues like white-nose disease in bats, says Jeremy Bruskotter, a scientist at The Ohio State University. He’s helping host a workshop for professionals on the act. “Increasing scientific evidence indicates we may be entering a sixth mass extinction,” said Bruskotter, an associate professor in the School of Environment and Natural Resources. “Therefore, knowledge of the act’s provisions will be increasingly useful for those charged with managing our forests, fisheries and wildlife.” The school is in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. The workshop, featuring talks by...
  8. Ohio State Fans: 7 Things to Know About Growing an Ohio Buckeye Tree

    WOOSTER, Ohio — Spring’s a great time for Buckeye nuts to plant their own source of buckeye nuts. Experts at The Ohio State University say the Ohio buckeye makes a good yard tree, though with caveats, and does best when put in before summer’s heat. Fall planting, too, is an option. The Ohio buckeye is Ohio State’s symbol and is also Ohio’s state tree. Paul Snyder, program assistant at the university’s Secrest Arboretum in Wooster, said the tree’s virtues include greenish-yellow spring flowers, pumpkin-orange fall leaves and eventually buckets of rich-brown nuts. The nuts are toxic and can’t be eaten but find good uses in crafts, especially for fans of the Scarlet and Gray. “Ohio buckeye is native and is well-adapted to our...
  9. OARDC’s Crabapple Trees Should Hit Peak Bloom This Weekend

    WOOSTER, Ohio — The crabapple trees have started blooming at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster. They should be at their finest for Mother’s Day weekend, May 9-10. “With the expected warmer temperatures this week, this weekend will be the peak bloom,” said Joe Cochran, interim director of the center’s Secrest Arboretum. The 115-acre arboretum and surrounding OARDC campus are home to more than 600 crabapple trees of more than 150 cultivars. Together they form the largest crabapple tree collection in the U.S., Cochran said. Included in that total are more than 100 new crabapple trees planted since a tornado hit part of the campus and arboretum in 2010, leveling 1,500 trees, including 150 crabapples. Cold as it was, the trees...
  10. Chadwick Arboretum’s Plant Sale Is May 8-9

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A buckeye tree with deep-scarlet flowers, sure to appeal to diehard Ohio State fans, is one of the more than 650 uncommon plant types available at Chadwick Arboretum’s May 8-9 spring plant sale and auction. The 62-acre public arboretum is on the grounds of The Ohio State University. The school’s colors, of course, are scarlet and gray. The sale and auction are a main fundraiser for the arboretum, which is part of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Offered will be trees, shrubs, herbs, annuals, perennials, vegetables, hanging baskets, garden art, Mother’s Day gifts and more. Find a complete plant list at go.osu.edu/2015ChadwickList. Ohio State Scarlet buckeye trees will be the first plants offered in both days’...
  11. 500 Standout Plants for Your Garden, 1 Day in Wooster to Get Them

    WOOSTER, Ohio — Secrest Arboretum has posted lists of the plants you can buy at its May 2 Plant Discovery Day. The selection includes nearly 500 hard-to-find types of trees, shrubs, herbs, annuals and perennials, including about 50 to bid on in oral and silent auctions. Here are some examples. Annuals Coleus mix (pictured below) (photo: iStock), Lavender Lace cuphea, Upright Peach diascia, Diamond Frost euphorbia, Lemon Licorice helichrysum, Atlantis heliotrope, Butterfly Deep Pink impatiens, Lucia Dark Blue lobelia, Augusta Blue Skies nierembergia, Charmed Wine oxalis, Supertunia petunia mix, Sunbini sanvitalia and 50 others. See the full list at go.osu.edu/2015SecrestAnnuals. Perennials Black Scallop ajuga, Royal Red buddleia (butterfly bush), Cruzin Broad Street...
  12. Secrest Arboretum’s Annual Plant Sale Is May 2

    WOOSTER, Ohio — A blueberry bush whose berries are pink. A dwarf, thornless raspberry plant, perfect for a patio planter, that still yields full-size fruit. A shrub, the Japanese orixa, whose leaves in fall turn white. A tree, the Joe Witt striped maple, whose bark resembles a peppermint stick. They’re four of the nearly 500 types of hard-to-find plants you can buy at Secrest Arboretum’s May 2 Plant Discovery Day. “Most are cultivars that you’re not going to find at your local nursery,” said Joe Cochran, the arboretum’s interim director. The annual event, which is a main fundraiser for the arboretum, goes from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fisher Auditorium at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, 1680 Madison Ave. in Wooster. It...
  13. OARDC Names Poster Competition Winners

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, the research arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, has named the winners of its 2015 research poster competition held April 16 during the center’s annual research conference in Columbus. The competition, which drew 83 entries, recognized outstanding research posters by OARDC-supported graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and research assistants and associates. Ph.D. Students First place: Kayla I. Perry, Department of Entomology, “Effects of forest disturbance on ground-dwelling invertebrate dispersal”; adviser, Daniel A. Herms. Second place: Johnathon P. Sheets, Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological...
  14. OARDC Honors Award Winners at Conference

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, the research arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, presented the following awards April 16 at its 2015 annual research conference in Columbus. Distinguished Senior Faculty Research Award Steve Schwartz, professor and Carl E. Haas Endowed Chair, Department of Food Science and Technology, studies the role of dietary phytochemicals (natural chemical compounds in plants) and functional foods in health, especially cancer prevention. His research on carotenoids (natural pigments found in plants), for example, has shown they can help prevent several types of cancer. Steve Schwartz Schwartz also has demonstrated that eating vegetables together with...
  15. Workshop on Woods and Wildlife

    Workshop on What You Can Do With Your Woods

    BRYAN, Ohio — New to owning a woods? See what your options are in an upcoming workshop by the Ohio Woodland Stewards Program. What Can You Do With Your Woods? goes from 6-9 p.m. April 9 in the Williams Soil and Water Conservation District meeting room, 1120 W. High St. in Bryan in northwest Ohio. The workshop offers an introduction to managing woods and wildlife, said Kathy Smith, one of the instructors and the coordinator of the stewards program, run by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. It’s for people who just bought wooded land, for instance, or who got it with their farm, she said. “We’ll cover some basic topics on how to assess what you have to get where you want,” including such goals as...
  16. Discover water science in 4-H

    For Youth in 4-H, a Deep Dive Into Science of Water

    Editor: Ohio 4-H Week is March 8-14, 2015. CINCINNATI, Ohio — Meera Nadathur, 15, wants to work in environmental sciences. As a step toward that goal, the student at Cincinnati’s Sycamore High School last year completed Ohio 4-H’s Ways of Knowing Water project. It and some 200 other projects for Ohio 4-H members stress science and hands-on learning. “One of my favorite experiences was visiting the Greater Cincinnati Water Works treatment plant to learn the entire drinking water purification process,” she said. “I was able to view every step of the process firsthand and gain knowledge about it from the very experts who ran the plant.” A member of the Gorman Farm 4-H Club, Nadathur was one of the more than 200,000 youth ages 5-19 who...
  17. Woodland and Wildlife Workshop

    Tri-State Workshop Can Help You Get Into Your Woods

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Calling all mammals and mushrooms, birds and butterflies, the trees they call home, and their human landlords. The Ohio Woodland Stewards Program will hold its 2015 Ohio River Valley Woodland and Wildlife Workshop — aimed at knowing, growing and managing the life of a woods — from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 28 at the Sharonville Convention Center, 11355 Chester Road in Cincinnati. The event is designed for but not limited to landowners from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. “The goal is to help landowners get the most out of their property,” said Kathy Smith, coordinator of the stewards program, run by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. She said sessions will focus on new...
  18. Joel Sartore

    National Geographic Photographer to Speak at Ohio State: ‘Protecting Earth’s Biodiversity’

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A playful-looking giant panda cub, lying on its back with its paws in the air. A flock of migrating sandhill cranes, white clouds billowing around them, as seen from their same high altitude. A mountain stream choked with pandemic-killed frogs, a spotted owl perched in a clearcut forest, the gleaming brown eyes of an ocelot. They’re some of the many images by award-winning National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore, who speaks March 26 at The Ohio State University. It’s a kickoff to the university’s ongoing celebration of Earth Day in April. Tickets are free, preregistration is required and as of March 5 less than 125 tickets remain out of the original 625. Register online at go.osu.edu/JoelSartore. Sartore’s presentation is...
  19. Preventing winter fill of pond fish

    Cold Winters Hard on Pond Fish: What You Can Do

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Long, cold, snowy winters, like this year’s, can lead to big fish kills in ponds. But there are steps you can take to help fish survive, said an expert at The Ohio State University. The key is a pond’s oxygen level, said Eugene Braig, aquatic ecosystems program director in Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. “Many game fishes become stressed when dissolved oxygen concentrations fall below 5 parts per million,” said Braig, who works in the college’s School of Environment and Natural Resources. “Very few fish species can tolerate dissolved oxygen concentrations of 2 ppm or less.” The problem is, without intervention, the oxygen level in ice- and snow-covered ponds can drop...
  20. Composting course

    Coming in March: Course on Large-Scale Composting

    WOOSTER, Ohio — Keep organic material such as yard waste, food waste and manure out of landfills. Compost it instead. So says scientist Fred Michel in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. An associate biosystems engineering professor, he is co-organizer of an event next month on breaking down waste in big volumes. “Composting allows the valuable nutrients and carbon that organic materials contain to be used again, reduces fossil fuel use for fertilizers, reduces greenhouse gas emissions from landfills and can be done economically,” he said. The Ohio Compost Operator Education Course takes place March 24-25 at the college’s research arm, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, in Wooster in...
  21. Speakers to focus on water March 10

    Speakers to Focus on Water March 10; ‘Clean Rivers’ Live-Stream Is Feb. 24

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — The March breakfast program by the Environmental Professionals Network, featuring three guest speakers, is all about water. Lisa Wojnarowski Downes, J.D., freshwater stewardship director for The Nature Conservancy, will speak on the Blueprint for Urban Water Security, a report on how conservation practices can help cities protect their drinking water sources; and on the Alliance for Watershed Stewardship, an effort to promote sustainable water use around the world, including by using a new water stewardship standard. Downes is the alliance’s North America director. Dax Blake, P.E., administrator for the Columbus Division of Sewerage and Drainage, will talk about Blueprint Columbus, which aims to solve sanitary sewer overflows while...
  22. Ice wine for Valentine's Day

    Ohio Ice Wine Is Hot — Share It With Your Valentine

    WOOSTER, Ohio — Born of Ohio’s cold winters, a boon from being below freezing, Buckeye State ice wine is hot with critics. It can make a sweet gift for your Valentine. “They don’t call it ‘nectar of the gods’ for nothing,” said Todd Steiner, who leads Ohio State University’s enology program, the science of wine-making, part of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. “Ice wine and chocolate-covered strawberries or crème brulee — who can resist?” Certainly not the judges in the world’s largest American wine competition. For two straight years now, ice wines from northeast Ohio’s Grand River Valley wine region — from Debonné Vineyards in Madison this year and from...
  23. Picture of blue river at sunrise

    CNN Hero of the Year, a Cleaner of Rivers, to Speak at Ohio State

    UPDATE: Pregracke’s talk also will be live-streamed on YouTube starting at 8:45 a.m. Tune in at youtu.be/IV8XTNGIngM.  COLUMBUS, Ohio — CNN’s 2013 Hero of the Year will headline February’s Breakfast Club program by the Ohio State University-based Environmental Professionals Network. Chad Pregracke, founder and president of Living Lands & Waters, will present “Cleaning Up America’s Rivers” from 7:30-9:45 a.m. on Feb. 24 in Ohio State’s Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive, in Columbus. The network is a service of Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR), part of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Pregracke grew up on the Mississippi River...
  24. Picture of alarmed duck

    Buckeyes Are Toxic to (Real) Ducks, Say Ohio State Ag Experts

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio buckeyes, experts say, can poison most livestock and wildlife. So what about ducks? In theory, yes, say scientists with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Buckeye nuts, leaves and sprouts contain toxic compounds called glycosides. Ingestion by most animals causes vomiting, diarrhea, trembling and staggering. And worse. Such as fumbling. In reality, the scientists say, the only place a buckeye should sicken a duck is on the football field. Ohio State’s gridiron Buckeyes take on the University of Oregon’s featherless Ducks in the college football national championship game Jan. 12. In a backyard or on a small farm, “The leaves would likely be out of reach unless you’re keeping ducks...
  25. Ohio buckeye leaves

    Media Advisory: Buckeyes to Face Oregon — in Tree Planting — on Thursday

    ARLINGTON, Texas — On Thursday, Jan. 8, a team from Ohio State University’s Chadwick Arboretum will engage in a tree-planting competition being held in conjunction with the first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship. Included on the team will be experts from the 60-acre campus arboretum, which is part of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, and former Buckeye football player Zach Boren, an alumnus of the college and a brother of current Ohio State center Jacoby Boren. The event goes from noon to 5 p.m. at High Oak Park, 2635 Wesley Drive, in Arlington, Texas. Reporters and the public are welcome to attend. The activity is part of the wider Playoff Green program, which supports sustainability efforts surrounding...

Pages