Ohio.com – Hikers hitting trails at parks

Metro Parks, Serving Summit County is getting its annual fall hiking spree underway. Get out and join the rest of northeast Ohio and enjoy nature along the great Metro Park trails. The hiking spree consists of thirteen designated trails. Hikers that complete 8 of the 13 trails earn either a hiking staff or a badge. (First year hikers get the staff, others get the badge to add to their existing hiking stick.)

Check the Metro Parks, Serving Summit County web site for a complete list of the hiking spree trails.

NeoNaturalist.com has reviewed several of the hiking spree trails. Check out these descriptions to see which trails are most interesting to you. Then, get outside and enjoy. If you want to complete the spree, you have until November 30.


Portage Park District Programs connect people to Nature!

Pre-registration Needed for Annual Bat Program

Come and learn about the secret lives of bats at the Portage Park District annual bat program on Friday August 14 at 8:45pm. We will meet at the Headwater’s Trail parking lot at the Rt. 700 trailhead in Hiram. Jessica Hickey from Davey Resources will demonstrate bat survey techniques and equipment, as well as share little known facts about these nocturnal creatures! Pre-registration is necessary. Please call the Park District office at 330-297-7728 or email dalber@portageparkdistrict.org to pre-register. For information, please visit www.portageparkdistrict.org.

Butterfly and Dragonfly Survey

Members of the North American Butterfly Association and Portage Park District staff and volunteers will be fluttering through the field and forest on Saturday, August 15 for the annual Butterfly and Dragonfly survey at Towner’s Woods Park in Franklin Township. The Park District is honored to have Judy Semroc as a guide for this activity, who, along with Larry Rosche and Linda Gilbert, have recently written a new book, the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Northeast Ohio, second edition. It is the comprehensive guide for species occurring in Ohio. Copies of the book are available for sale ($26.88, which includes tax) at www.ddneo.info.

Towner’s Woods is located at 2296 Ravenna Road, Franklin Township Directions: From SR 43, turn east onto Ravenna Rd., go 2 miles to the park entrance. short hike begins at 10:00 am, followed by a trail and field survey for these beautiful and delicate creatures. It is recommended that participants bring water to drink and wear closed toe shoes and comfortable clothing. Pants are recommended for the more adventurous, who may venture off the trails into the field areas.
For information, please visit www.portageparkdistrict.org. or call (330) 297-7728.


Of Fairydiddles, Truffles, and Trees, an essay by Naturalist William Hudson

We are all connected. I don’t mean just us children of Adam and Eve. The “we” is an inclusive one.

  • People
  • Other animals
  • Plants
  • Streams
  • Lakes
  • Rivers
  • Oceans
  • Dirt
  • Fungi
  • Trees
  • Squirells.

All of it is “we” and is connected. In the words of our friend, naturalist William Hudson, “Most things in nature are connected in some very complex ways. Take for example fairydiddles, truffles, and trees.

Check out his essay, and be amazed by the intricacy of Nature. Then, go outside and re-connect with your source. Take care of yourself by just enjoying that connection.

Thanks Bill!


Ribbon-cutting Sunday at Forest Ridge Preserve – Cleveland.com

Ribbon-cutting Sunday at Forest Ridge Preserve – Cleveland.com

This is a wonderful, large natural area that was preserved through a partnership of Western Reserve Land Conservancy and Moreland Hills. If you have a chance, attending the ribbon-cutting and taking a hike would be a great adventure!


Upcoming Class- Living Rivers!

Living Rivers–Arteries of the Eastern Forest, August 16-21, 2009

A five day field course in aquatic ecology & the global significance of the Eastern Forest led by five outstanding field biologists; held at the Arc of Appalachia Preserve System in southern Ohio. David Johnson Microbiologist from Ohio Wesleyan; Greg Lipps, herpetologist; Roger F. Thoma, Eastern US crayfish expert; Mark Kibbey, Curator of Fishes, OSU Museum of Biodiversity; and G. Thomas Watters, freshwater mussels expert, Research Associate, OSU Museum of Biodiversity.

This course will further participants’ appreciation of the Eastern forest by studying its lifeblood — its rivers and streams, and the myriads of life forms that watersheds support. Experts in the fields of botany, mussels, crayfish, fish and salamanders will be leading this course – giving participants a global, cross-disciplinary foundation of knowledge. America’s Eastern Forest shares many tree and mammal genera with closely-related forest centers located in Europe and Eastern Asia. However, our native forest has one major feature that, when compared to its sister forests, distinguishes it globally. Quite simply, America’s Eastern temperate forest claims the highest aquatic life diversity in the temperate world.

Conservation challenges now make waterways one of the most imperiled of the forest’s components throughout the temperate world, so it behooves Eastern US citizens to gain knowledge quickly in this important realm. This course is suitable for any person interested in living systems, regardless of formal educational background and vocation. Limited to 16 participants. For full information: http://www.highlandssanctuary.org/WE/Waterways/waterways.htm


Symbolic river may be removed from polluted river list

Ohio.com – Groups working to get Cuyahoga River off pollution list: “The once-dead and still-symbolic Cuyahoga River might be removed from an international list of polluted Great Lakes hot spots.”

The burning river that spurred on the environmental movement is clean enough in some places to be removed from the list of polluted rivers. Where once no fish could live, now dozens of species of fish thrive.

The Clean Water Act calls for swimable, fishable water. The Cuyahoga River is to the point where it is fishable. Continued problems with combined sewer outflows on the middle and lower Cuyahoga keep it from being considered swimable, and canoeing is not recommended, but this is real progress. I have canoed the lower Cuyahoga and it is a wonderful, peaceful, wild experience. I can’t wait until the day the bacteria levels from combined sewers and other sources are low enough that someone decides to open a canoe livery.

What a wonderful success story that is coming together.