The Chamber of Commerce of the Parma region will host the “Thirsty Tuesday” networking event: Sun Postings

PARMA, Ohio — The Parma Area Chamber of Commerce will host a Thirsty Tuesday Power of More networking event from 5-7 p.m. on February 8 at Schnitz Ale Brewery, 5729 Pearl Road, Parma. No reservation is necessary and the event is free. There will be free appetizers and a cash bar.

Participants are encouraged to invite an associate to join them.

For more information, email [email protected] or call 440-336-1734.

In addition to the Parma Region Chamber of Commerce, the following chambers are part of the Power of More Chambers: Berea Chambers, Fairview Park, North Coast, North Olmsted, North Ridgeville, Olmsted and West shore and Oberlin Business Partnership.

The Powers of More is a networking program made up of the chambers listed above. Launched in 2010, its goal is to help existing members develop new business contacts.

There are over 1,600 members in the chambers. Each chamber has numerous networking opportunities designated as Power of More events open to participating chambers. The events offer new networking opportunities as well as a chance to win a variety of prizes, including a grand prize – a three-year lease on a new Kia Optima, courtesy of Montrose Kia.

Consider the environment: The Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District, Chagrin River Watershed Partners and Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District are offering five Master Rain Gardener courses this year.

Each course consists of five classes over a period of six weeks. Participants will learn how to design, install and maintain residential rain gardens. Rain gardens are gardens planted in small depressions designed to collect, filter and absorb runoff from roofs, walkways and lawns.

The winter online course will run from January 31 to March 7. Recorded online content is provided weekly, with five live Q&As on the Zoom platform. A professional certification course is also offered. The cost is $50 for the residential track and $75 for the professional track.

The spring in-person course will take place from May 2 to June 6 at the Watershed Stewardship Center in Parma. Only a residential track will be offered, for a fee of $75.

A self-paced online course for those who need flexibility is available for a $50 fee for the residential track only. This course, which is offered year-round, is available with feedback provided virtually at the pace of the participant.

Two additional courses – an in-person summer program and an online fall program – will be announced soon.

Income-based scholarships are available. Those interested in enrolling in a course but have concerns about the cost should contact the course instructors.

To register, visit Registration for late summer and fall courses will be available in the spring.

Both in-person and online classes will include optional field trips to residential rain gardens, public rain gardens, and native plant nurseries.

Master Rain Gardeners earn their certification by taking the course and building a rain garden. Experienced instructors will provide personalized feedback, allowing participants to design and install their own rain garden and become the neighborhood rain garden expert.

Course topics will include site assessment, soil analysis, design, construction, plant selection, mulching and maintenance. Course graduates will receive a certificate, a Master Rain Gardener t-shirt and a sign.

Some courses also offer Professional Rain Gardener Certification, which is aimed at landscape professionals and contractors looking to professionally install rain gardens on residential properties.

Since its inception, the Northeast Ohio Master Rain Gardener program has trained more than 400 residents and professionals and has installed more than 110 rain gardens, capturing more than 1.5 million gallons of rainwater each year.

A total of 39 Master Rain Gardener volunteers have dedicated nearly 600 hours to building and maintaining at least 20 public rain gardens.

The coordination and delivery of the Master Rain Gardener program this year is funded by the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Lake Stormwater Management Department, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio Environmental Education Fund, Western Reserve Land Conservancy Dominion Watershed Mini- Grant Program and the George Gund Foundation.

News from the security force: Independence held a January 11 swearing-in ceremony to recognize the promotions of Sergeants Mike Murphy and Mark Buehner to lieutenant.

During his 16 years with the Independence Police Department, Murphy served as a detective, sergeant, and supervised the field training program. Prior to joining the IPD, he spent seven years with the Garfield Heights Police Department. He has obtained several criminal investigation certifications.

Murphy is a graduate of Padua Franciscan High School in Parma and Cleveland State University. He and his wife, Brandy, have two sons. They live at Independence.

Buehner, a 10-year IPD veteran, began his law enforcement career with the Euclid Police Department. He has served as a SWAT member, firearms instructor, DEA task force representative, and field training program instructor.

Buehner earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology from Ohio University. His wife is Raquel.

Gift of life: The Red Cross says there is a national blood crisis – the worst shortage in a decade – due at least in part to the coronavirus pandemic. They say donor turnout is down and many blood drives have been cancelled.

To motivate donors, the Red Cross is offering all donors in January a chance to win two tickets to the Super Bowl in Los Angeles on February 13. All donors will automatically be entered into the draw to win two Super Bowl tickets, entry into the Official NFL Tailgate, tickets to the Super Bowl Experience, round-trip airfare to Los Angeles, three nights of hotel and a $500 gift card for expenses.

Other prizes include a “Big Game at Home” home theater package and a $500 e-gift card for game day food.

Independence will hold a blood drive on Jan. 24 in the Civic Center’s Red Oak Room. Appointments are recommended. Visit or call 1-800-733-2767.

Solar coop: A growing number of Ohioans are exploring solar power as an affordable way to reduce household energy costs while decreasing dependence on fossil fuels.

Residents of Cuyahoga County can join the county’s 2022 Solar Cooperative, which is offered in partnership with Solar United Neighbors, a nonprofit solar energy advocacy group. There is no cost or obligation, and members can leave the co-op at any time.

Members are knowledgeable about all aspects of solar energy and independent vendor support throughout the process. Learn about tax incentives, financing options, technical advances, costs, warranties, batteries and car charging ports during one of the free online information sessions: 6 p.m. January 20, February 8 or February 24.

For more information, visit and click on the events tab at the top of the web page.

A new name: Some people may not have noticed, but the Cuyahoga County Public Library recently changed the name of one of Parma’s branch libraries to more clearly identify the library. The former Parma Branch Library is now the Parma-Powers Branch. It is located at 6996 Powers Blvd.

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