Monday, July 6, 2015

Experience the Grandness of the Grand

You might not know just how grand the Grand River is if you haven’t been to Lake Metroparks’ River Jamboree! The Grand River represents one of the finest examples of a natural stream found anywhere in Ohio. Mainly due to the rugged surroundings and minimal impact from urbanization and development, the Grand River became the second river to be designated Wild and Scenic by the Ohio Scenic Rivers Program.

The Grand River runs 103 miles passing through five counties in Northeast Ohio. The headwaters start in Geauga and Portage counties, then flow northeast through Trumbull and Ashtabula counties before taking a 90 degree turn into Lake County. Once in Lake County, the Grand runs 26 miles to its mouth in Fairport Harbor. The river borders 12 Lake Metroparks, which protects 30 percent of the river shoreline.

The Grand River has the most aquatic diversity of any Ohio Lake Erie tributary due to the slower moving waters and neighboring wetlands. These wetlands provide fantastic habitat for countless wildlife species including river otters, which have made a comeback after their reintroduction by the Division of Wildlife in 1986. Eagles and ospreys can be seen flying overhead and on warm days northern map turtles and spiny softshell turtles bask along the river bank. There are 87 fish species in the Grand, including longnose gar, smallmouth bass and rainbow darters. Additionally, the river is home to an impressive 22 species of freshwater mussels, the most endangered animals in North America.

Hidden Valley Park
July 12 • 1 to 4 pm
FREE • Registration requested

This year’s River Jamboree allows you to “get wet with nets.” Take the time to try out several different types of nets to find insects, fish, snakes and more. Bring family and friends to jump in and experience the remarkable Grand River with us on Sunday, July 12 at Hidden Valley Park in Madison. Lake Metroparks naturalists and local conservation groups will be on hand with fun activities for the whole family.

The River Jamboree is a free event. Registration is requested and can be made online or by calling 440-358-7275.

Article by Trevor Wearstler, Interpretive Naturalist

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