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How Does the Park District Communicate?

Now that election season signs have finally come down, Geauga Park District wants to let the community know that it is not affiliated with any parks-related signs left out in Geauga County yards. Any signs still seen around town are not paid for or affiliated with Geauga Park District in any way.

“It’s always easy to tell if something is officially the message of your Geauga Park District,” said Executive Director John Oros. “This messaging will always feature our logo, the Red-headed Woodpecker on a maple leaf, designed by Naturalist Dan Best. Coincidentally, Dan just retired last month after 33 years. His logo is just one way we will continue to celebrate his legacy among our talented staff.”

Geauga Park District is fortunate to have a variety of ways to communicate with county residents of all ages and abilities: through its website, quarterly Park Explorer Activity Guide, subscription email lists, newspaper announcements, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, to name a few.

“We strive to keep our communications clear and consistent,” Oros added, “encouraging our residents to get out in their 25 open parks and educating about our important work. There is something for everyone to enjoy in Geauga Park District year-round, and park accessibility is at an all-time high. Thank you for your support of our renewal/decrease levy on November 5. We hope to see you out in the parks soon!”

American Kestrel Nest Box Project

Early in 2019, Naturalist Tami Gingrich kicked off an ambitious project that finished its first year with great success both for the residents of Geauga County and for a small bird of prey known as the American Kestrel.

 The kestrel is not a hawk, but rather, a falcon, and a tiny one at that. Standing just around 10 inches tall, these striking birds characteristically perch on electrical wires adjacent to their favorite habitat of expansive grasslands which harbor their main prey items, which include insects, rodents, small birds and snakes.

Sadly, over the past 50 years, the kestrel’s population has plummeted by 50 percent. Although scientists don’t know for sure, this decline is likely due to a combination of factors including loss of habitat and nesting sites, exposure to pesticides, climate change and increased predation by hawks.

In designing the project, it was Tami’s hope to have Geauga Park District partner with local landowners who had perfect kestrel habitat and would be willing to accept a nesting box given to them by the park. Landowners would work with her to decide on an optimal box location, and be willing to install and maintain it. Those who were interested and had the time would also be trained on how to monitor their box. This project resulted in 11 new boxes installed this past spring – two within Geauga Park District, seven on Amish farms, and two at the site of local businesses.

 Join Tami as she divulges the results of this project in its first year, discusses its successes and challenges, and looks forward to its expansion in the future, during a presentation entitled American Kestrel Nest Box Project on Saturday, November 30, 1 to 2 p.m. at The West Woods Nature Center, 9465 Kinsman Road (Route 87) in Russell. Fully wheelchair/stroller accessible. Registration not required.

Kids Off School? Family in Town? Park it!

Geauga Park District’s new Strut Off the Stuffing Hike will take place Friday, Nov. 29 from 9 a.m. to noon at The West Woods. Meet at Turkey Ridge Shelter; no need to register. Participants (ages 12 and up, please) should anticipate a steady-paced, calorie burning hike, so dress for the weather and bring some water for your way.

Also, for the younger crowd, the annual Turkey Trottin’ Scavenger Hunt will be active two days this year, Friday and Saturday, November 29 and 30, both 1 to 3 p.m. at The West Woods. Drop in anytime during program hours to pick up and complete your indoor/outdoor scavenger hunt. Staff will also be eager to help with any questions or clues, and those who complete the hunt will win a prize!

While at The West Woods, naturalists also welcome you to time inside the nature center’s educational exhibit area and Discovery Room featuring live animals and fun activities for all ages. Indoor activities will be wheelchair/stroller accessible; for outdoor portions of the scavenger hunt, mobility may be limited by snow. Call ahead with questions, 440-286-9516 or visit www.geaugaparkdistrict.org, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube. 

Park Closures

As you plan your visits to Geauga Park District this fall and winter, please note that Observatory Park will be closed Nov. 23 and 24; December 2, 3 and 21 and Jan. 4 and 5 for controlled hunting. Rangers and/or signs will be posted at the park entrance these days as a reminder.

 Controlled hunting has been used since the 2007-08 season to maintain healthy, balanced populations of plants and animals on Park District properties. Time has proven it a viable management tool and a proactive approach to the Park District’s mission. Learn more about the program at www.geaugaparkdistrict.org under Activities, then Hunting & Trapping.

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