Thursday, September 29, 2011

Get the jump on fall at the Autumn Gathering

Lake County’s abundant rivers and forests were legendary during settlement of the Connecticut Western Reserve.  With claims the fertile land grew “radishes three feet long” and other exaggerations reflected the belief that this was the land of milk and honey.  Learn more about how early settlers used these natural resources to survive in the Ohio wilderness. 
Skok MeadowCome early, at 12:30pm, for a preview hike of our new
Skok Meadow!

Discover how the rivers were harnessed for a source of power, what types of trees were best for building tools and structures, what native plants and animals the settlers used for food, and enjoy a presentation on the Connecticut Western Reserve. 
  • Participate in games and activities on watersheds and trees
  • Learn about the foods settlers hunted and gathered from the land
  • Hear a presentation on the Connecticut Western Reserve
  • Guided hikes through our new flower meadow
  • Find out what a girdled road really is
  • Meet other organizations dedicated to the history of our area
FREE for all ages. No registration required, but pre-registration is requested.

Girdled Road Reservation south entrance is located at 12899 Radcliffe Road in Concord Twp, OH 44077.
Directions: Take I-90 to Rt. 44 south. Turn left (east) onto Girdled Road for about 2.5 miles. Turn right (south) onto Rt. 608 for about 2 miles. Turn left (east) onto Radcliffe Road for .3 mile. Proceed to Girdled Road Reservation, located on the left (north).

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lake Metroparks is part of the new Lake Erie Birding Trail

Blue Heron - Photo by Chris Zimmer
Lake Metroparks is part of the new Lake Erie Birding Trail, a series of 84 premier birding locations along Ohio’s north coast.  The trail was unveiled during the Midwest Birding Symposium in mid-September. This project was coordinated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.  A birding trail is a directory of the most productive and accessible birdwatching sites in an area with the goal of bringing people to the birds. The Lake Erie Birding Trail closely follows the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s America’s Byways program, and covers Ohio’s entire 312-mile coastline. 

The 84 trail sites represent over 30 federal, state, county, and local park districts and management agencies. Lake Metroparks has six parks featured in the Lake Erie Birding Trail.  Arcola Creek Park (Madison Township) is located in the Ashtabula loop.  Hell Hollow Wilderness Area (Leroy), Girdled Road Reservation (Concord Township), Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park (Fairport Harbor), Penitentiary Glen Reservation (Kirtland) and Chapin Forest Reservation (Kirtland) are part of the Cleveland loop.  Two of the parks, Girdled Road Reservation and Hell Hollow Wilderness Area, are of particular interest to birders as they are designated Important Bird Areas by Audubon Ohio for their role as breeding areas and places of rest and feeding during migration.  For more information, visit

"This partnership project highlights many outstanding wildlife friendly parks and preserves in the Lake Erie counties. Birders and other outdoor enthusiasts can use the information to discover new places, or fine tune their visits to familiar haunts, year round," Ann Bugeda, Chief of Interpretive Services for Lake Metroparks says of the far-reaching level of partnership in this coordinated effort.

Birdwatchers wanting to learn more about the trail and the sites it features can visit the Lake Erie Birding Trail’s website at to find maps, lists of amenities, an annotated checklist of bird species found along the lake, identification tips, an events calendar, visitor information, and many other birding resources.  “Lake Metroparks encourages people to experiment with this growing pastime.  We offer introductory classes, guided walks in our bird friendly parks, and weekend activities to local ‘hot spots’ in the county and beyond.”  Bugeda adds.  “Our interpretive staff is a valuable resource for birdwatchers.  An extensive variety of birdwatching guides and equipment is available at the Nature Store located in the Penitentiary Glen Nature Center.” 

The interpretive staff at Lake Metroparks is a valuable resource for bird watchers.
  • What it takes to get started in birding – An extensive variety of birdwatching guides and equipment is available at the Nature Store located in the Penitentiary Glen Nature Center.
  • What to look for when birding.
  • Information about the new Lake Erie Birding Trail.
  • Beautiful parks that offer great locations for birding and picturesque scenery to enjoy.

Did you 2006, there were an estimated 4,313,000 wildlife-watchers in Ohio.  Approximately 120,000 out-of-state birders visited Ohio in 2006, with Lake Erie being the most popular destination.  These groups spent more than $1.2 billion in Ohio in 2006 alone.  Money is spent on supplies, lodging, gasoline, travel expenses, and food.  Every dollar is a boost to the local economies in the state.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Recycle Your Passion

Do you have a hobby or special interest (nature or park sports related) with equipment that is no longer used, and might be of use to the Lake Metroparks? If you have nature books, field guides, binoculars, bird feeders, kayaks, small boats, fishing poles, tackle boxes, golf clubs, etc. and related equipment that you would like to “recycle” or donate for the greater use of park programs and education, visit our Lake Metroparks booth at the Senior Appreciation Day event at Farmpark and complete a donation form for your items.

Small items may be dropped off at the Senior Appreciation Day event between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm September 15 at Lake Metroparks Farmpark.  
Senior Appreciation Day
FREE for Ages 55 and older
Lake Metroparks Farmpark
September 15 • 9 am to 1 pm: Senior Events
9 am to 5 pm: Farmpark activities

Come out to Farmpark and enjoy the day on us with regular Farmpark demonstrations and added senior activities and vendors. Share your lifelong passions with Lake Metroparks staff in canoeing, golfing, gardening, and more.

FREE Health Screenings by Lake Health
Call 440-953-6000 or 800-454-9800 to pre-register

FREE Picnic in the Parks
pre-registration online or by calling 440-358-7275

FREE Bingo and Entertainment by WELW 1330 AM

FREE Information from Organizations

FREE Estate & Guardian Presentation
pre-registration online or by calling 440-358-7275
Click here for more information or to register.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Uncommon Dragonfly calls Gully Brook Park home

White-faced meadowhawk dragonfly (uncommon)

The white-faced meadowhawk is the uncommon dragonfly that was found at Gully Brook Park.  Gully Brook is the only park that has a population of this dragonfly that is found annually.  The only other record for our parks is a single individual that was found at Lakeshore Reservation a few years back.  The white-faced meadowhawk had been found in as many as 35 of Ohio’s counties, but now is found in only about 10 counties since 1990. 

Management to keep invasive plants out of the wetlands is important to keep this species at Gully Brook.

The male white-faced meadowhawk is a small red bodied dragonfly with a white face.  The female is tan with a white face.  There are two other types of meadowhawk that occur at Gully Brook; ruby meadowhawk and autumn meadowhawk.  Both of these are common species throughout Lake County and Ohio.