Fall is the time to ID trees by their Bark

With the leaves falling fast, now is a great time to start to identify trees by their Bark. Southern Ohio hit its peak for fall color this week, while northern Ohio has been declining for several weeks. A few oaks are holding onto their brown leaves.

But as long as the weather cooperates, it isn’t hard to tell the trees by their bark. Take some time this weekend to get out and explore a little bit of Autumn Nature.


Cuyahoga Valley – Trail Management Plan

You can follow this link (National Park Service – PEPC – Trail Management Plan) to read and comment on the draft trail management plan for our Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

If you care about the park and want to have a say in the trail management there, follow the link and provide some comments. Thanks.


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.


Akron Ohio News – County Council supports bog preservation projects – SSNL

There was a very small mention of one of my projects in the local newspaper this week. Here is the link: A Akron Ohio News – County Council supports bog preservation projects – SSNL.

This is about 2 deals that Western Reserve Land Conservancy is helping theA ClevelandA Museum ofA NaturalA History with. The museum will own these two special places, while the conservancy holds permanent restrictions over bothA properties. These 2 layers of protection, as well as restrictions held by the state of Ohio, will ensure that no matter what happens in the future, these sensitive bog habitats will remain intact for future generations to enjoy and learn from.

One of the properties contains a sphagnum mat that you can walk on, then if you jump up and down, people 20 or 30 feet away will also bounce up and down from your movement. Really a cool feeling. You do have to watch out for the poison sumac though!


Putting the brakes on "The Acceleration of Addictiveness"

I recently read a blog post on The Acceleration of Addictiveness. Being interested in hiking and the outdoors in general, one particular passage caught my eye:

“Most people I know have problems with Internet addiction. Were all trying to figure out our own customs for getting free of it. Thats why I dont have an iPhone, for example; the last thing I want is for the Internet to follow me out into the world. My latest trick is taking long hikes. I used to think running was a better form of exercise than hiking because it took less time. Now the slowness of hiking seems an advantage, because the longer I spend on the trail, the longer I have to think without interruption.”

What better reason to get off the internet and out into Nature?  Not only is it good for your health, and good for your spirit, but it is a good place to escape the pressure of our ever-increasing pace of life.

Hiking is such a contrast to everyday life that it does provide an immediate and deep sense of relaxation, at least to me. My favorite place to hike this week is the Ledges Trail at Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Where is your favorite place to unwind in Nature?


Video of the Haleys Run Greenway opening in Akron Ohio

Check out this video explaining a new small urban park in Akron Ohio. this greenway will provide access to greenspace for a low in come community. Lockheed Martin and Western Reserve Land Conservancy partnered with the National Park Service’s Rivers Trails and Conservation Assistance program and others to create this great new park.