Cleveland falls out of top 25 cities for parks

Data: ParkScore; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Cleveland ranks 26th among the 100 largest U.S. cities for its public parks, per the latest report from the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a pro-parks nonprofit, Alex Fitzpatrick and Kavya Beheraj report.

  • The group rates cities on a variety of metrics, including the percentage of residents who live near a park, the share of city land reserved for parks, parks investment and more; cities are then awarded a "ParkScore."
Troy Smith
May 11, 2023 - Climate

Allergy season in Cleveland is lasting a lot longer

Illustration of tiny toy people climbing up a mountain of pollen with a large flower growing from the middle

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

There's a reason you've been experiencing sneezes, watery eyes and sore throats for longer stretches.

Driving the news: Allergy season β€” the period between the last freeze each spring and the first freeze each fall β€” increased by 32 days on average in Cleveland between 1970 and 2021, per an analysis from Climate Central, a nonprofit climate news organization.

Troy Smith
May 1, 2023 - Climate

Cleveland's air quality is improving

Data: EPA; Note: A concentration below 12 micrograms per cubic meter is considered healthy; Chart: Axios Visuals

Air quality in Cleveland's metro area, as measured by fine particle pollution, has gotten a lot healthier, Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick and Kavya Beheraj report.

Why it matters: Fine particles, generated from fossil fuel burning and other sources, can enter our bodies when we breathe, making their way to the lungs or bloodstream and causing myriad health problems.

Sam Allard
Apr 27, 2023 - Climate

Cleveland biotech firm is helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Locus Fermentation Solutions' founder and CEO Andy Lefkowitz (L) and a scientist in the Locus labs (R). Photos: Provided by Locus Fermentation Solutions

Locus Fermentation Solutions is a cutting-edge biotech company in Northeast Ohio you've probably never heard of.

  • The firm manufactures biological organisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Since its founding in 2013, it has raised a staggering $250 million on the strength of its 1,300 patents.

Why it matters: Locus employs close to 100 scientists, engineers, administrators and executives at its headquarters in Solon.

  • Recent investment facilitated its expansion from 50,000 to 150,000 square feet of office and manufacturing space, with plans for additional growth to satisfy demand.

The big picture: Industries around the world are striving to lower their carbon footprints as climate change accelerates and governments set emissions targets.

Flashback: As part of a sweeping climate change agenda, President Joe Biden last year signed an executive order to advance domestic biomanufacturing.

What they're saying: "It really brought to light this idea of biologicals replacing chemicals and the fact that there aren't enough producers globally," Teresa DeJohn, Locus' director of marketing and public relations, tells Axios.

  • "We're already doing that successfully with a patented approach right here in Cleveland.

How it works: Locus uses fatty acid, sugar and yeast to ferment bespoke organisms that can replace or reduce chemicals across multiple industries.

  • "Cosmetics, paints and coatings, textiles. Wherever petroleum-based [chemicals] are used, we have a biological that we believe is as good or better," CEO and founder Andy Lefkowitz tells Axios. "And it's certainly greener."

For example: Locus makes a biochemical that allows copper to be mined without having to grind rock down to fine grain β€” increasing the mineral yield while decreasing the energy required to extract it.

The bottom line: "We're going to large companies and saying, 'We can help you replace forever chemicals and help you make more money by reducing your costs,'" Lefkowitz says.

  • "And by the way, we will help you achieve your carbon neutrality goals more quickly than you ever thought possible."

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