Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Erie Shores Gone Green

Lake Metroparks encourages the conservation and wise use of natural resources and supports recycling.

Below are just a few of the ways Erie Shores Golf Course has gone green:
  • installed recycling bins for aluminum cans, paper and plastic 
  • printed all golf course collateral on recycled paper
  • used recyclable paper cups in food service operation 
  • recovered golf balls from course ponds to be reused on the driving range
  • created Clubs for Kids program where pre-owned adult clubs are cut down to kid size for use on the course
  • planted Chinese amurs in golf course ponds to help maintain algae and eliminate the use of chemicals
  • installed houses for bats and purple martins to help populate the area with insect-eating mammals to minimize the use of insecticides
  • created no-mow/natural areas to lessen environmental impact and lower fuel costs
For more information about Erie Shores Golf Course, click here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A History of Hell Hollow

by Sharon Metzung, Publications and Graphics Manager
The name Hell Hollow—according to all known accounts—simply refers to the steep, rugged slopes which made it difficult to access and leave the “hollow.”

Hell Hollow was not always isolated and remote. While never as bustling as nearby Paine Falls, 19th century Hell Hollow supported a substantial rural economy based on agriculture, resource extraction and the processing of commodities. In the 20th century, Hell Hollow’s return to wilderness was aided by economic shifts, transportation advances, movement away from water power, agricultural decline, land preservation and other factors. 

  • Several structures were once located within the confines of today’s Hell Hollow Wilderness Area. Today, a number of foundations are still present and interesting stonework still survives.
  • Three sawmills had a major impact on Hell Hollow. Two were within current park boundaries, and one was just south of Leroy Center Road in Camp Lejnar. The mill in lot  30 just outside Hell Hollow maintained a dam and millpond   that undoubtedly impacted the flora and fauna of Paine Creek. This mill was probably visible from Leroy Center Road. In addition, two more mills (grist and saw) and another dam were once located two miles south of Hell   Hollow on Bates Creek (a tributary of Paine Creek).
  • According to the 1850 manufacturing census, Leroy Township was once a major logging center. In 1850, 11 sawmills existed in Leroy. The largest of these sawmills produced 400,000 feet of lumber in 1850.
  • In 1865, oil exploration began at Hell Hollow. We know that this exploration was of the pioneering variety because   Edwin Drake developed the fist commercial oil well in   1859 at Titusville, Pennsylvania.
  • Two 19th century Leroy schools were located in the vicinity of Hell Hollow—one on park property, and one adjacent to park lands.
Click here to visit Hell Hollow Wilderness Area online.

Click here to download the original article (PDF)

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Introducing QR Codes at Lake Metroparks

    You've probably seen these little boxes appearing everywhere and may have wondered what they are.  These 'boxes' are called QR Codes that contain information or links that can be scanned by QR Code reading applications on smartphones (iPhone, Android, and Blackberry).  

    There are numerous apps available on all smartphone platforms.  Once you have the app downloaded on your smartphone, simply launch it, center the image on your phone's screen and the app does the rest for you.

    Lake Metroparks will place these codes on the park bulletin boards this week to allow visitors to scan and open the web page for that particular park.  The page provides the address, GPS coordinates, information about the park, and a link to the trail map, if applicable. 

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Is it a toad or a frog?

    All toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads! 

    Confused? You don’t have to be.  Toads are fat, frogs are slim.  Toads have warts; a frog’s body is smooth.  Toads live in drier climates; frogs live in or near water.  Look for toads everywhere – even in your own backyard.

    In Ohio, perhaps no season is as welcomed as spring, when warmer temperatures and sunny skies bring us a renewed sense of life. And, for one segment of our animal world - frogs and toads - the season is even more celebrated. Across the state, these amphibians are awakening from their long winter naps loudly proclaiming that spring has returned.

    Like an alarm clock, rising temperatures mixed with spring rains  rouse these cold-blooded creatures from a winter spent buried beneath mud at the bottom of a pond, tucked away under a blanket of dirt or wrapped in leaf litter on the forest floor. 

    Did you know...
    Amphibians don’t need to drink water? Instead they absorb it through their skin.

    The American toad is found throughout Ohio, taking up residence in backyards and remote woodlands across the state. Not only is it the most common toad, it isn’t picky about where it breeds either, utilizing just about anything that holds water, from natural ponds and wet depressions to rain-filled dishes or containers. The American toad’s stubby body is colored in variations of tan, brown and gray. They have rounded spots on their backs from which sprout one or two warts. Its call is a prolonged, high-pitched trill that can last up to 20 seconds.

    No toads or frogs calling in your neighborhood? Then take a trip to a one of our parks where the air is filled with the melodious calls of amphibian love.

    Source: Ohio Department of Natural Resources