WKSU News: New park in Portage County receives official dedication

Here is a short news blurb (WKSU News:New park in Portage County receives official dedication) with some audio clips from WKSU about the dedication of the new Burton D and Margaret Clark Morgan Preserve in Portage County. The new park is the largest for Portage Park District and was created through a wide-ranging partnership with some 20 organizations and individuals.

These land protection deals are good for the environment. They are also critical for a community trying to keep taxes under control. The land in this story was once slated for 1,800A singleA family homes. The property taxes generated by those homes would have partially offset added snow plowing, police, fire and other community services. Partially. Add to those services the fact that a development of this scale would have very likely created the need for expanded schools in the area and development of this property would have caused drastic increases in property taxes.

Instead, there is a new park that will protect groundwater resources, collect and filter stormwater, and will provide recreational opportunities for future generations. Everyone wins.

 

Lake-to-Lake Trail will be dedicated July 9: Middleburg Heights Happenings – News Sun – Cleveland.com

Lake-to-Lake Trail will be dedicated July 9: Middleburg Heights Happenings – News Sun – Cleveland.com: “The trail is a 2.3-mile hard-surface nature trail that links two 11,000-year-old glacial-remnant lakes, Lake Isaac and Lake Abram.”

This new trail, a 10-foot wide paved multipurpose trail, was dedicated at 11:00 am today. There are segments of boardwalk that cross marshes, which provide great opportunities to watch birds and other wildlife. Cleveland Metroparks has also installed interpretive signage along the trail. A life-sized mastodon skeleton is embedded in a sand pit at the northern end of the trail. The mastodon is perhaps a tip of the hat to the ancient heritage of the Lake Isaac/ Lake Abram area. These lakes were formed during the last ice age. They are the last remaining, and largest remaining glaicially-formed kettlehole lakes in Cuyahoga County.

Thanks to Cleveland Metroparks for making such a great area accessible to people! Without their time and investment, this diverse, important habitat would not be know, and would not be available for our education, spiritual renewal, and physical exercise. Get out and hike on the Lake to Lake Trail!

LAKE TO LAKE TRAIL
Driving Directions

To Lake Isaac:
I-71 – exit at Pearl Rd. (Rt 42)
(from the north, turn left/ from the south, turn right)

at Fowles Rd., turn left (west) to Big Creek Parkway (.5 mile)
turn left on Big Creek Parkway
Lake Isaac Waterfowl Sanctuary will be on the right.
To Lake Abram:
I-71 – exit at Bagley Rd
(from the north, turn right/from the south, turn left)

Go past Southwest General Hospital to Eastland Rd.
Turn right on Eastland Rd. and Lake Abram parking will be on the right.

 

Bird Watching in Cleveland and NE Ohio | Ohio Birding – cleveland.com

Bird Watching in Cleveland and NE Ohio | Ohio Birding – cleveland.com: “The trees appeared to be dripping with yellow-rumped warblers, whose wheezy songs echoed all around us. The most common of songbirds were accompanied by a wave of early-arriving warblers: Northern parula, prothonotary, black-throated blue, black-throated green, ovenbird, blue-winged, pine, Blackburnian, black-and-white, Tennessee, Nashville, hooded and both waterthrushes, Northern and Louisiana.”

This article may inspire a few couch potatoes to get out and explore nature. I sure hope it does. Take a look at the article, then look at our beginning birding page to get some ideas about how to find and identify our fine feathered friends.

GET OUTSIDE!

 

Appalachian Forest School in Southern Ohio

From a press release sent out by The Arc of Appalachia Preserve System:

Those of us living east of the Mississippi River all share something in common. We live within the primeval boundaries of what was once North America’s great temperate broadleaf forest. Only a few hundred years ago, this nearly unbroken forest cloaked the entire eastern third of the continent. Despite its size, for most citizens our native biome has become an “invisible forest,” fragmented from its original unified grandeur, and unrecognized as a living force in our daily lives.

The Arc of Appalachia Preserve System is encouraging Eastern citizens to awaken to their common forest heritage. Acknowledging our shared home in what was once among the world’s largest forests could help us connect more deeply with our native landscape, connect more strongly other forest stewards across multiple state lines, and anchor a more meaningful sense of place in the world.

To advance forest literacy among citizens, the non-profit Arc of Appalachia Preserve System of southern Ohio is sponsoring the new Appalachian Forest School, an institute offering 3-7 day long courses to be held at various locations within the historic range of the Eastern Forest. Each course includes an emphasis on global and national perspectives, and invites a cross-disciplinary understanding of the temperate forest biome in which the majority of U.S. citizens work and live. Instructors have been carefully selected from professors, field researchers, land managers, and naturalists — combining talents and specialties to present a broad and integrated view of the Eastern Forest. Even as disturbed as America’s Eastern forest is today, the second growth forest that remains in Eastern United States is the largest remnant temperate forest in the northern hemisphere, offering significant potential for ecological study and restoration.

The 2009 Course Schedule includes:

Forests of the Ozarks, “Life on the Edge,” May 26-June 1st.
Visit pine-oak woodlands and remnant old-growth forests on the interface of two major biomes — where the Eastern temperate forest meets the prairies of the Midwest. See the nation’s largest and cleanest spring-fed river systems, rich canebrake communities sheltering Swainson’s warblers, wild rarely-explored caves, collared lizards and other fascinating reptiles, and wet orchid-strewn glades in one of the largest forest wilderness areas left in Eastern United States.

Trees of the Temperate Forest, July 12-17th.
Learn how to recognize 45 species of primary temperate forest trees, learn forest succession principles, and apply skills in interpreting the health and history of any single woodlot. This course will prepare you to recognize approximately 90% of the standing trees in forests located throughout the forest heartland, from Maine to Tennessee.

Forest Waterways, Lifeblood of the Eastern Forest, August 16-21st.
An integrated view of the richest aquatic systems to be found anywhere in the temperate world — the streams and rivers of Eastern United States. Learn the global significance of our rivers’ fresh-water fish, mussels, salamanders, crayfish, and other aquatic wildlife; and their ecological inter-relationships.

Private Forest Landowners Course – Managing for Biodiversity, Sept 18-20th
Learn how to clarify the management goals you hold for your privately-owned forest. Unlike most courses which teach owners how to make financial profit from the timber assets of their forest, this course teaches interested owners how to sustainably manage a forest for the primary purpose of restoring high biodiversity of native plants and wildlife.

2010 and beyond:

Forests of the Far South – Exploring the Wilderness of Florida’s Panhandle

Forests of the Far North – Forests of the Boundary Waters of Minnesota

Forests of the Heartland – The Mother Forest of the Southern Appalachians

Spring Ephemerals – Wildflowers of the Eastern Forest

Interpreting our Eastern Forest Heritage – Training for Teacher Naturalists

For more information on the non-profit Appalachian Forest School, see www.highlandssanctuary.org/WE/AFS.htm
For recent copies of Nature Notes from the Eastern Forest, click here: www.highlandssanctuary.org/naturenotes.backlist.htm

Description of Sponsor:

The Arc of Appalachia Preserve System is an educational non-profit organization that operates 12 preserves and stewards a total of 3000 acres in rural southern Ohio for the purpose of forest biodiversity preservation. The Arc of Appalachia operates visitor education and hiking trails at the Appalachian Forest Museum, featuring dramatic educational murals that interpret the global significance of the temperate broadleaf forest. The Appalachian Forest Museum is located in its headquarters, the Highlands Nature Sanctuary, in Bainbridge, OH, 45612. The Arc of Appalachia also sponsors The Appalachian Forest School, offering adult courses that advance temperate forest education and conservation among Eastern citizens.

 

Invasive Species in Ohio: Pathways, Policies, and Costs , from the Union of Concerned Scientists

As naturalists, we should all be very concerned with non-native invasive species. These plants and animals are brought, purposefully or accidentally, by people into ecosystems from far-away places. Once they establish themselves in a new geographic area, they out compete native life because they lack natural enemies in the new range, and reproduce quickly.

Many organisms on state and federal endangered species lists are there because of competition from non-native invasive species. As if this weren’t bad enough, there are many economic impacts stemming from these invasions. To learn more, go to the Ohio Invasive Plant Council’s web site, or read the new report linked here:

Invasive Species in Ohio: Pathways, Policies, and Costs | Union of Concerned Scientists

 

A cougar in Richfield, Ohio?

Are there cougars in northeast Ohio? State and federal officials seem to be skeptical. Eye witnesses seem sure. What is the truth?

Based on my experience in the outdoors, as well as a little bit of logic, my best educated guess is: maybe it is true. Maybe it isn’t true.

We do have bobcats, and bear are getting more and more common all the time. There are mountain lion populations in nearby states. They have large ranges. There is also the possibility that a captive lion was released or escaped…Take a look at the article and let the world know what you think!

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