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Assessing a Property

With the acquisition of any new property comes a series of new responsibilities for Geauga Park District’s Natural Resource Management staff, who are already hard at work on the property formerly known as Wicked Woods Golf Course in Burton and Newbury townships. Park Biologist Paul Pira reports that now through mid-to late-June, he will be conducting mapping, inventory and biological surveys on these 180 acres located at the corner of Routes 44 and 87.

Initial assessments by Pira last summer, before the $1.5 million purchase in November, found that this property protects the west branch of the Cuyahoga River and features streams and blocks of mature forest. It is home to amphibians along the river, freshwater mussels in the stream, and a diversity of native wildflowers along the shore. And its coldwater habitat, fairly uncommon in Ohio, is home to a number of unique species of fish and insects that rely on cold water to live.

“The goal is to develop and write a natural resource management and restoration plan for the property,” Pira said. “This will serve as a guide for the wise development of a conceptual design and development plan, and then eventually a restoration project.”

Geauga Park District hopes to acquire grants to at least partially fund the return of this property to a more natural state, Pira said. A similar project – converting a former golf course to a natural space – remains underway at Geauga Park District’s Orchard Hills Park in Chesterland, and also received grant funding along the way.

The February meeting of Geauga Park District’s Board of Park Commissioners will be the public’s first opportunity to view the newly acquired property at 14085 Ravenna Road. For a current meeting schedule, visit www.geaugaparkdistrict.org under About GPD.

For more on Geauga Park District call 440-286-9516 or visit www.geaugaparkdistrict.org, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.

 

Buzzards Revealed

Experience a front row seat as you learn all kinds of crazy facts about Turkey Vultures you won’t soon forget – then feast your eyes on rare trail camera video footage documenting a pair of Turkey Vultures as they choose a nest site and rear their two youngsters from start to finish in 2018 within Geauga Park District. So little is known about the secretive family life of this shy bird that some of these behaviors might be considered scientific firsts!

The Secret Life of Turkey Vultures will be held at The West Woods Nature Center on Sunday, Feb, 10, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Registration is not required to attend this free, wheelchair/stroller accessible presentation intended for those school age and older. Please call 440-286-9516 with questions. For more on Geauga Park District call 440-286-9516 or visit www.geaugaparkdistrict.org, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.

 

Count the Birds

Maybe you’ve always wanted to help a scientific cause. Maybe you’re passionate about doing your part toward the greater good in Nature. Or maybe you just enjoy spending time with the birds. Become an official Citizen Scientist by joining us this February for the Great Backyard Bird Count, a worldwide count coordinated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society. For more information, visit http://gbbc.birdcount.org.

Geauga Park District’s counting will be conducted at Swine Creek Reservation on Friday, Feb. 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and at The West Woods Nature Center on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 15 and 16, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To enhance your fun, why not bring your camera? You never know when you’ll get that magical shot that can be entered into the 2019 Great Backyard Bird Count Photo Contest – or framed for your wall. Registration is not required to count with us. The West Woods Nature Center is located at 9465 Kinsman Road (Route 87) in Russell Township and is fully wheelchair/stroller accessible.

In addition to its wall of giant windows always bustling with hungry birds and other wildlife, The West Woods Nature Center’s hands-on exhibitry, Discovery Room, art displays, live critters and Tree Tops Nature Store make it a great place to visit any cold winter day 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call 440-286-9516 with questions. For more on Geauga Park District call 440-286-9516 or visit www.geaugaparkdistrict.org, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.

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