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 http://bit.ly/lmpbirdwatching.


"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 lakeerieohiobirding.info 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 know...in 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.


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