The Crawford Park District’s Summer Nature Camp opened earlier this month. Naturalist Josh Dyer reported that it is going well so far and the kids have been excited to be out exploring the great outdoors.
Most of the slots for the camp have been filled. Call the Nature Center at 419-683-9000 to check for openings.
At the Park District commissioners’ monthly meeting on June 19, the two summer interns helping with Summer Nature Camp were welcomed to the staff. The two started on June 9 and were in attendance: Caitlyn Horning, a local and 2010 graduate of Colonel Crawford, and Helaina Groves of Laurelville.
“I love it. This is the best job I’ve ever had,” Groves told the group. Horning seconded that.
CPD had planned on using three interns this year because the camp has become so popular. A third individual was hired but subsequently took a job offer at the Columbus Zoo. They will not refill the position.
Commissioner Jan Maddy was welcomed back from her recent vacation. She traveled to Singapore (an island country in southeast Asia), India and Capetown, Africa. Maddy had pictures of her journey to share.
This summer, the Lowe-Volk Nature Center is offering evening hours on Monday through Thursday, from 4-8 p.m., through August. Volunteer Joy Etter-Link reported that on Tuesday evening, about 30 people visited the Nature Center and she also took a lot of phone calls. The visitors were appreciative of the extended hours.
The Park District is also working on another land donation. A local family has offered 5.47 acres near the U.S. 30/County Road 330 interchange in Holmes Township (two miles west of Bucyrus). There is a pond on the property, which they hope can be used for public fishing.
CPD Director Bill Fisher gave an update on the maintenance building project, to construct a new building at Lowe-Volk. They have received conditional approval from the Richland County Building Department and a contract with Picou Builders is in place. Picou is awaiting construction materials and will then get started. The project is expected to take about one month to complete.
Living History Day, a two-day event held at Lowe-Volk every year, was held on June 7 and 8. Fisher commented there was good weather on Saturday, but Sunday’s rain forced a cancellation. While the attendance count was over 200, Fisher said it was a low turnout compared to prior years, possibly due to a Civil War re-enactment in Mansfield. He thanked Colonel Crawford’s Company and all volunteers and vendors who helped with the event.
Ron Sanders, one of the re-enactors, added they may need to change up the event for next year.
Friends of the Crawford Park District met immediately after the commissioners. The group funded the printing of “The History & Geology of the Leesville, Ohio Stone Quarries,” a book written by Crestline resident Dana Batory.
It details the history of the Leesville Stone Company from 1829-1912. At one time, the quarry was a million-dollar-a-year business and the source of the finest building stone in the United States.
The book is now for sale at the Nature Center and online by visiting the CPD website, www.crawfordparkdistrict.org. Page count is 195 and the price is $20 (plus shipping).
At the end of the meeting Dyer, along with Naturalist Chris Rothaar, announced the new Nature Exploration Family Back Pack Program. Starting July 1, CPD will begin loaning out back packs to families, who will explore three Park District sites. The packs contain activity sheets and hands-on tools to explore the natural world.
Rothaar explained he based the program on something the Miami County parks system has. It is intended to get people into other parks in the county.
After completion of all activities and journal entries, a Park District patch will be awarded to all participants. The program is free; materials were paid for using a Kohl’s grant. For more info, contact the Park Office at 419-683-9000.
The CPD commissioners and Friends will hold their next meeting on July 31 at 7:30 a.m., at the Lowe-Volk Nature Center.