Tuesday, September 23, 2014

TOP FIVE ways to explore & enjoy your Lake Metroparks this fall

Jeff Taipale

Fall Colors Tour: Take a hike along one of the 50+ miles of trails to discover the beauty of fall foliage in Lake County. If hiking isn't for you, scenic trail cart tours are now accessible for non-hikers.
Enjoy the Harvest: Enjoy harvest fun at Farmpark every weekend through October 19!
Gather Round: Get the family together around a blazing campfire for stories, songs, roasting marshmallows and old-fashioned outdoor fun!
Eye to the Sky: Did you know that fall is an excellent time for birdwatching? Catch a glimpse of a variety of birds during fall migration.
Conquer the Maze: Test your skills as you "walk the stalk" through a multitude of twists and turns through the three-acre corn maze at Farmpark.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Can you imagine a flock of a million birds, darkening the sky for days?

Celebrate the legacy of the passenger pigeon
The passenger pigeon, a bird found only in eastern North America, was the most numerous bird encountered by America’s first settlers. About the size of a mourning dove, they lived in social colonies and traveled in huge flocks that were said to darken the skies for up to three days. Our uncut forests provided food like beech nuts and acorns, and nesting sites for huge congregations.
NPS image by Richard LakeThis September marks the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon, when Martha, the last of her kind, died at the Cincinnati Zoo. But before Martha, billions of birds declined over a brief few decades. Nearly every nesting colony was disrupted and market hunting for commerce and sport was relentless.
No one could imagine that such an abundance of life could disappear.
Since the seemingly impossible loss of the passenger pigeon, the concepts of wildlife conservation and land stewardship have become important tools. Protecting all wildlife and diverse landscapes assures that other populations, abundant and rare, remain healthy—that is the legacy of the passenger pigeon.
Join us this Sunday for an afternoon of free family-friendly activities that celebrate the legacy of this bird.
Passing of the Pigeon Open House
Penitentiary Glen Nature Center
Sunday, September 28 • Noon to 4 pm
Open House activities
  • Take a little walk to find clues about the story of this once abundant bird
  • See an actual Passenger Pigeon taxidermy mount
  • Fold an origami passenger pigeon to add to the Nature Center’s Flock of 200 birds
    (or take it home )
  • Meet our Mystery Guest Time Traveler from the late 1800’s
  • Check out the 10 display panels tracing the Passenger Pigeon in America
  • Make and take a kid friendly coloring page
  • Watch a short presentation “The Passing of the Pigeon”
  • Meet friends from Blackbrook Audubon society
  • Enjoy train rides presented by the Lake Shore Live Steamers, 1 – 3 pm weather permitting
Things to do at Penitentiary Glen Reservation
Discover the sights and sounds of wildlife at the interactive Nature Calls exhibit.
Watch and listen to birds and other wildlife through the Window on Wildlife.
Enjoy the fall art show: “Nature from Three Perspectives."
Discover the nature of art from a feminine perspective in this multi-media show featuring Jaymi Zents, Britta Franz and Lisa Ruschman; three talented local artists, each with her own unique interpretation of the world around us. From lush floral and Italian Renaissance-inspired figures, to modern mosaics and more, this show is a journey of creative expression you won’t want to miss.
Browse the nature-themed gifts at The Nature Store, a great resource for bird feeders, t-shirts, field guides, toys, children’s books and more.
Visit native Ohio wildlife ambassadors in and around the Wildlife Center.
Hike more than 8.5 miles of scenic trails, discover the beautiful butterfly gardens or enjoy a leisurely picnic on the grounds of Penitentiary Glen Reservation.

Take I-90 to Rt. 306 south for about one mile. Turn left onto Rt. 615. Turn right (east) onto Kirtland-Chardon Road and continue for two miles. Penitentiary Glen Reservation is located on the right (south) side of the road.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Beat the Heat with Wet Feet

Lake Metroparks is fortunate to have a multitude of parks that provide access to our local rivers and Lake Erie.  During the heat of summer some of these locations offer great opportunities to cool off with a hike through the water.  Our local waters are important homes for many plants and animals, so while hiking around keep your eyes open for fish, frogs, crayfish or even a Bald Eagle. 

The following are some of our favorite places for a creek or river hike:

Indian Point Park – From the lower parking lot you can readily enter Paine Creek.  You can hike upstream to the Seeley Road bridge or take a shorter, easier hike downstream where the stream empties into the Grand River.

Helen Hazen Wyman Park – Kellogg Creek, Big Creek and the Grand River all come together at this park.  The best creek hiking though is in Big Creek where the clear shallow waters offer excellent opportunities to explore. 

Hidden Valley Park – The Grand River is the largest and deepest river in the county, but just beyond the shelter is a wide, shallow area perfect for wading.  So grab the family and some hot dogs for a picnic and an afternoon of splashing in the river.

Lake Erie has some great natural beaches to walk along while the waves splash at your feet.  Our favorite locations are:

Lake Erie Bluffs – The longest stretch of natural Lake Erie beach in the park district offers you a chance to walk the .71-miles from one park entrance to the other.  Keep cool by walking along the edge of the surf, while experiencing this amazing natural area.

Lakeshore Reservation – Two sets of stairs border a stretch of natural Lake Erie beach nearly a half mile long.  You can sit in the shade of some of the overhanging trees or wade into the lake to cool off. 

For more information and directions to the parks, visit lakemetroparks.com.


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Lake Metroparks offers a variety of opportunities for fishing including stocked ponds as well as river, stream and lakeshore access.
Lake Metroparks' aquatic resources bring value to our parks and to Lake County. From the depths of our ponds to the edges of our rivers and streams to the beaches of Lake Erie, Lake County's watery resources afford our citizens unrivaled opportunities to enjoy fishing.