Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lake Metroparks honored as Organization of the Year

The Western Lake County Area Chamber of Commerce is honoring Lake Metroparks today as its Organization of the Year.   

Chamber President Karen Tercek said of Lake Metroparks in The News-Herald, "In a down economy, it's nice to have an option that's inexpensive for the community to take advantage of." 

Steve Madewell, Lake Metroparks Executive Director, accepts award
We thank the chamber for this honor recognizing the hard work and due diligence of our staff and volunteers who work towards our mission to conserve and preserve the natural resources of Lake County while providing a variety of safe, affordable and enjoyable educational and recreational programs and activities that enhance the quality of life in Lake County now and for the generations to follow.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Projects in Your Parks

Lake Metroparks grounds maintenance staff has been busy working on the relocation, stabilization, shaping, final grading and seeding of sand dunes and mounds at Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park; moving them away from the parking lot where they were encroaching.  

Watch a video and see pictures of what has been done on this project and more in the Projects in Your Parks page.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ice flow at Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park

Over the weekend, ice drifted into the harbor at Lake Metroparks Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park.  This resulted in a beautiful, yet chilly view of the harbor from the beach.

Click here to see more photos.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Birds in Lake Metroparks - March Flickr Photo Contest

The theme for our March Flickr Photo Contest focuses Birds in Lake Metroparks. Examples might be birds you have seen as you walk the trails, gone birding, or the birds at the Wildlife Center. 

Entries accepted through March 31. Five finalists will be selected.  Winner will be voted for by our Facebook fans!

Click here to learn more about our monthly Flickr Photo Contest.   We look forward to seeing your photos!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Stinking Truth

The Beauchamps believe the offending skunk is living beneath their shed, and that's quite possible, said a spokeswoman at Lake Metroparks Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

"Skunks are opportunistic and can get through very small openings when seeking a place to make their homes," she said.

Although (skunks) don't hibernate in winter they are nocturnal and become increasingly apparent in spring, when they mate and seek a place to have their young. Trapping is not usually a viable alternative, because the skunk will spray its captor. The best way to discourage a skunk is to locate its entry point and pack ammonia soaked rags around its den. The skunk will usually leave and then its entry point needs to be blocked.

Source: Information from Lake Metroparks Wildlife Center that appears in an article today in The News-Herald.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Nature programs this weekend

Lake Metroparks offers many nature programs throughout the year to help our visitors better understand different aspects of their environment and surroundings in the parks.  This weekend, you have the opportunity to participate in two programs held at Veterans Park in Mentor that are informative, free and fun.

Saturday, March 26
Veterans Park
2:00 - 3:30 pm
You’ve seen them in the news and maybe even your backyard, but are coyotes friend or foe? Learn the truths and myths of coyotes as we search for signs of this elusive animal.  
Pre-registration required.  Click here for more information or to register. 

Stinking Cabbage
Sunday, March 27
Veterans Park
2:00 - 3:30 pm
Accompany a naturalist as you traverse the boardwalks and floodplain paths while looking at skunk cabbage. We will learn about the marvelous adaptations of this unique plant. 
Pre-registration required.  Click here for more information or to register.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Long-tailed Salamander
You can usually find salamanders this time of year.  Places in our parks you may find them include Penitentiary Glen Reservation, Indian Point Park, and Hogback Ridge Park.

Did you know?

Salamanders are amphibians and are related to frogs and toads, but they do not make themselves known with loud calling like other amphibians. Because of their secretive nature and nocturnal lifestyle, salamanders do not easily disclose their location. They love dark, wet places, often in deep woods, which is on reason why finding one of these slippery critters can be a real challenge.

Salamanders in Ohio are generally inconspicuous most of the year. During the spring breeding season they appear in large numbers apparently out of nowhere. Some species migrate by the hundreds during cool spring rains as they move toward water to lay eggs.

Source: ODNR Division of Wildlife

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Trees for Wildlife

Woody the Tree says goodbye to the students - Photo courtesy of The News-Herald

Trees for Wildlife began in 1989 with the purpose of sharing with first graders the importance of trees in their community.  The goal of the program is to help students understand how plants, animals, the environment, and people are connected.  The program, offered free of charge to all Lake County schools, involves Lake Metroparks staff, volunteers, and community partnership with the Lubrizol Corporation.  In the 22 years the program has been presented, over 65,000 children have heard the message and received a tree to plant.  

The objectives are that students will be able to name some local animals that depend on trees for their survival; list ways trees benefit wildlife; and state ways people can help trees and wildlife.  These objectives are met through a presentation of local wildlife and a visit from Woody, the Trees for Wildlife friendly tree mascot, who shares a story and is then covered with animal puppets as students recall which animals use trees and how they are used.  Woody raises his right branch as the students repeat the tree pledge and is often the recipient of thank you hugs and high fives.

Click here to view a video from the presentation at Wickliffe Elementary School yesterday.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Name the owl...

You just never know what type of wildlife you'll encounter when you visit one of the Lake Metroparks.
Owl caught yawning in a tree at Lake Metroparks Painesville Township Park
Can you guess the type of owl this is and what kind of tree it is in?

Click here for the answers.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Trail Safety Tips

by Ranger Brandy Hanusosky

Hiking in the great outdoors provides exercise and interest for people of any age. Just getting out and walking around is a wonderful way to exercise and see nature. Since unexpected things happen, however, the best way to help guarantee a good time for all is to plan ahead carefully and follow safety precautions.

Be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Walk confidently.

Look people in the eye as you pass them to let them know you are aware of their presence.

Wear shoes and clothing that allow for freedom of movement.

Do not wear headphones while exercising. Being able to hear will allow you to sense someone that you may not be able to see, such as a passing cyclist.

Lock your vehicle. Do not leave valuables such as purses, wallets or cell phones in plain view.

Carry a cell phone in case of emergency. If approached by a stranger, do not allow yourself to be distracted.

Use authorized trails. Respect closures and restricted areas.

Keep dogs on a leash.

Use caution around dogs, horses and wildlife.

Don’t litter. Pack out what you pack in (that includes cleaning up after your pet).

Advise friends/family of your hiking destination and schedule in case of emergency.

Be aware of park closure times. All Lake Metroparks properties close one half hour after sunset, which varies seasonally. Please plan your walk accordingly to avoid being on the trail after dark.

Click here for a complete list of trail maps available from Lake Metroparks.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Volunteering at Lake Metroparks is fun!

Volunteering for something you believe in can be one of the most gratifying and enjoyable things you can do and there’s a bonus—volunteering is fun!

Lake Metroparks recognizes volunteers are a valuable resource that enrich and expand park district services and programs. Volunteerism generates goodwill through citizen participation and is recognized as an educational and recreational program due to intrinsic benefits gained from volunteering. Lake Metroparks encourages and provides opportunities for the participation of volunteers.

Boston University students volunteers

Click here for more information about volunteer opportunities with Lake Metroparks.

Friday, March 18, 2011

New keyword search for Lake Metroparks online program registration

A keyword search has been added to Lake Metroparks' online registration program allowing users to search for a particular keyword to find any program we offer that has that keyword.  Take for example if you are looking for a hiking program, you can now simply type in the word “hiking” into the keyword search box and it displays all programs that are currently available for online registration.

Click here to try it out!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

“Lake Metroparks through Paint & Canvas"

Indian Point Park - James Polewchak 
Opens Saturday, March 19 in the Nature Center at Penitentiary Glen Reservation
Artist Jim Polewchak is a life-long Lake County resident who grew up playing in many of the green areas that have since become part of Lake Metroparks. See your park system come to life through the medium of oil painting in this special one-man show. “You really see the park for what it is and notice things that others just pass by," says Polewchak, reflecting on his hours spent painting in the parks. "Many of the parks are near and dear to my heart because I grew up here and as a child I would roam and play in the woods. I still do!" Jim’s artwork is available for purchase; proceeds benefit the Penitentiary Glen Nature Center.

Meet and talk with Jim Polewchak at a free, informal reception on Saturday, March 19 from noon to 4 pm. Enjoy light refreshments and art demonstrations.

Artwork available for purchase; proceeds benefit the Penitentiary Glen Nature Center. 

Click here to see more works and for additional information including show dates, hours and directions to Penitentiary Glen Reservation.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lake Metroparks' Wildlife Center

Mission: To reduce human impact on native Ohio wildlife through education and rehabilitation.

Each year, nearly 2,000 injured or orphaned animals receive first aid and rehabilitation at the Wildlife Center. Patients include backyard wildlife, such as rabbits and songbirds, and endangered species such as the peregrine falcon and bald eagle. Many eventually resume their life in the wild.

Occasionally animals sustain permanent injuries and cannot return to the wild. These animals may become permanent residents or Animal Ambassadors for the Center and assist the staff in teaching about wildlife and conservation issues. The Wildlife Center is home to 25 Animal Ambassadors ranging from reptiles, mammals, to a variety of birds of prey. Visit the Wildlife Yard to get an up-close look at all of our amazing ambassadors!

Injured, orphaned or sick wild animals need humane and intense care for recovery and release. Medical treatment, food and shelter can be costly. our donation can help defray these costs and help us help these animals. 

Click here to learn what you can do to help.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Newborns at Farmpark

Photo by Mark E. Edwards 
As spring gets closer, the population at Lake Metroparks Farmpark continues to grow.  Here's a list of the newborns that arrived this past week:

March 8 - one bull calf - Breed: Jersey
Born March 12 - two sets of twin lambs, one kid and one single lamb
Born March 13 - one bull calf Ayrshire/Belted Galloway cross
Born March 14 - one single lamb 

Lake Metroparks Farmpark is a family-oriented science and cultural center devoted to agriculture, farming, and country life.  Farmpark is open year-round 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Closed Mondays through March.  For more information about Lake Metroparks and the newborns at Farmpark, visit

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Did you know...

Did you know it takes 40 gallons of sap collected from maple trees to boil down into one gallon of pure maple syrup?

Watch the entire process at Farmpark as the sap is collected, boiled, and turned into maple syrup and other products at Maple Sugaring Weekend.  Demonstrations offer hands-on opportunities to learn about the maple sugaring process. Help tap a tree and gather sap used to make maple syrup. You’ll even learn how you can make maple syrup in your own backyard.  

Click on the image for more information.
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