Plenty of nature activities planned for this spring

Matt Echelberry

March 4, 2014

Ready for the weather to warm up so you can enjoy the great outdoors?

The Crawford Park District just released its spring newsletter. It contains news from the organization, as well as upcoming events happening this spring.

Ohio Division of Natural Resources will conduct a controlled burn at Daughmer Prairie Savannah, located south of Bucyrus. As explained in the newsletter, fire is essential to maintaining the prairie habitat by controlling woody plants.

Also, three surveys have been completed at Daughmer. A count of reptiles and amphibians resulted in four snake species (one of which, the Smooth Greensnake, is now on Ohio’s Endangered Species list) and six frog/toad species. Twenty-three different species of dragonflies and damselflies were counted in another survey, and 14 species of butterflies and skippers were found.

The new Weatherbug station at Lowe-Volk Park is operational. It measures temperature, wind direction and speed, barometric pressure, humidity and rain fall. A camera on the roof of the building captures a live feed of the current weather conditions and can be viewed online. This station will be incorporated into programs soon.

Kestrel nest boxes were installed behind road signs along U.S. 30. Eleven boxes were put up with six more planned for this spring.

Year of the Salamander continues with two more programs this month. On March 13 at 7 p.m., Steve Kievit will present Spotted Salamander: Growth and Development at the Nature Center. On March 22 at 1 p.m., Explore a Vernal Pool at Heckert Nature Preserve. (All ages welcome and wear rubber boots.)

The CPD is asking for donations of empty pill bottles or film canisters to help the Summer Nature Camp with an activity. Please remove any labels from the containers.

Colonel Crawford Lions Club continues its recycling program at Lowe-Volk Park on March 8, April 12 and May 10, 9 a.m. to noon. It accepts: Cardboard, clear/brown/green/blue glass (separate by color), #1 (PETE) plastics, #2 (HDPE) plastics (colors do not have to be separated), newspaper/magazines/office paper/junk mail, steel cans, aluminum cans, computer towers, laptops, printers, cell phones, household batteries, CFL lightbulbs (from households only, no businesses please), and eyeglasses (NO COMPUTER MONITORS OR TELEVISIONS).

Reminder that the Geo-Park tour is available at all CPD parks. More information on geocaching is available on the website.

The newsletter also features articles by Naturalists Josh Dyer and Warren Uxley, as well as Thomas Shawk’s recount of the junior naturalists’ visit to two Ohio State University research facilities on Jan. 17.

The full spring newsletter is available on the CPD website,

Upcoming programs

Sap to Syrup - Saturday, March 8, 12 p.m., Carlisle/Patton Sugar Camp - 4814 Stetzer Rd. East of Bucyrus

With spring around the corner bringing fluctuating temperatures the sweet sap from the sugar maple tree will be on the run. The time to collect this sap is upon us and sugar camps all over the northeastern part of the U.S and Canada are drilling holes. Meet Chris at the Carlisle/Patton sugar camp for a tour of the operation from the trees to the jug.

It’s Not Easy Being Green - Monday, March 17, 6 p.m., Lowe-Volk, 2401 State Route 598

The Crawford Park District invites you to come and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Joy Etter-Link. Have some fun learning about animals that are green. Was Kermit correct? Find out and get busy with a nature craft too. Focus audience is kids through grade 5.

Viewing the Night Sky - Saturday, March 29, 8 p.m., Lowe-Volk Park, 2401 State Route 598

The Crawford Park District invites you to join members of the Richland Astronomical Society and Crawford Park District volunteers as they share their knowledge and telescope skills with all who are interested in the celestial sights. Bring your own telescope or allow the volunteers to assist you with those provided. Program will be held rain or clear skies. It is a spectacular universe.

The American Woodcock - Tuesday, April 1, 7:30 p.m., Lowe-Volk Park, 2401 State Route 598

Meet Crawford Park District Naturalist, Warren Uxley, at Lowe-Volk Park for a short PowerPoint program followed by a Woodcock Walk. The American Woodcock has one of the most elaborate courtship rituals of any bird.

Arrowhead/Indian Artifact Hunt - Saturday, April 5, 10 a.m., Meet at the Lowe-Volk Park Nature Center, 2401 State Route 598

Don’t miss this popular annual event offered by the Crawford Park District. Be the first human to touch an arrowhead since it was used thousands of years ago! Bring the whole family, dress for the weather and don’t forget your boots if the ground is wet.

Amazing Animal Extravaganza - Saturday, April 12, 12 - 3 p.m., Lowe-Volk Park, 2401 State Route 598

Animal lovers are in for a treat! Come to Lowe-Volk Park Nature Center and experience snakes, turtles, salamanders, and many more. Various pet owners will be on hand to answer your questions and to allow you to “hold and touch” when appropriate. Animals will be on display so that you can get “up close and personal.” A great family event!

High Tech Easter Egg Hunt - Sunday, April 13, 1-3 p.m., Lowe-Volk Park, 2401 State Route 598.

Kids! Bring your GPS or borrow one from the Crawford Park District for this fun family event. Join Don Hatfield and friends from the North Central Ohio Geocachers, for an Easter Egg Hunt around Lowe-Volk Park. Using your GPS you will find the eggs hidden in the park, and answer a nature based question in the egg. Kids finding eggs and answering the questions will receive a small prize.

Spring Wildflowers - Sunday, April 13, 3 p.m., Sears Woods, 1486 Mt. Zion Rd., West of Bucyrus

Meet Crawford Park District Naturalist, Warren Uxley, at the Sears Woods parking lot. Early spring brings with it an explosive growth within our woodlands.

For more information on any of these programs, contact the Crawford Park District office at 419-683-9000. Look for information on other programs offered by the Crawford Park District by visiting their web site at or the Facebook page.