Knowing the flora and fauna of Hancock County not only tells us the natural treasures to watch for outdoors, but also helps educate about the changing environment and how best to manage our natural resources from forests to fields or wetlands to wild lands. Various land management procedures and monitoring is conducted throughout the year. These plans are based on scientific knowledge gathered in an on-going Inventory and Monitoring program conducted within the parks and Hancock County by HPD staff and volunteers.
How can you help? This hands-on in-the-field approach to monitoring environmental changes and assisting with habitat restoration gives participants a wide range of physical and mental activities to participate in. Please dress for the weather, as most of these activities take place outdoors. If registration is required, please call the HPD Office at 419-425-PARK/7275. If you have any questions about the activities please contact Natural Resource Coordinator Sarah Betts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Locations: Riverbend Recreation Area, Oakwoods Nature Preserve Meadow & CR 9, Litzenberg Memorial Woods, Blanchard Landing, and Liberty Landing, Lawrence Farm
Responsibilities: Volunteers independently conduct weekly monitoring and record progress of nest building, egg laying, hatchling development, and fledging of the birds that utilize these boxes. Sparrows are deterred from nesting, but other species such as tree swallow, tufted titmouse, chickadee, and wren are permitted and monitored along with the bluebirds.
Back to top
Frog and Toad Survey
Are you a night owl? Frog & Toad Monitoring might be for you! A brief overview and training session will be offered for those interested in helping with the Frog & Toad Calling Survey during the month of February at Oakwoods Nature Preserve inside the Discovery Center. Nine townships across Hancock County have been established and monitored for several years. Monitoring kits will be available for designed route leaders to pick up. Participants may attend this free activity with no registration required. Contact Sarah Betts at email@example.com for more information.
Locations: Volunteers request a desired Township in Hancock County (current routes include: Allen, Cass, Eagle, Jackson, Liberty, Marion, Pleasant, Portage and Orange)
Responsibilities: Volunteers stop at each of ten pre-chosen sites; listen for frog/toad calls, and record information.
Background: This program is part of The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife that is conducting long-term frog and toad calling count surveys throughout Ohio .
Back to top
Spring woods come alive across the forest floor in a flurry of shapes and colors. Journey through the spectacular stages of development for these short-lived woodland beauties. Identification and documentation of wildflowers will be the primary focus. Dress for weather and ground conditions. Participants are welcome to attend this free activity with no registration required. Monitoring generally lasts approximately 1 ½ hours or more and is recommended for participants 12 years and up.
Visit the "Calendar" for monthly dates and times.
Responsibilities: Staff and volunteers walk the trails while recording developmental stages of the spring wildflowers in the wooded areas before the summer flowers begin to take over and the tree canopy begins to shade the forest floor. Species locations are also kept as descriptions and/or GPS coordinates. Photography is encouraged and utilized to record development.
Project Feeder Watch
Duration: November- April
Occurrence: We count the birds for 2 consecutive days, every other week. Count days vary. One count day time is usually held in the morning from 8 AM to 10 AM and the other count day time varies from late morning through the afternoon from 11 AM to 5 PM.
Location: Oakwoods Nature Preserve, Discovery Center
Responsibilities: Count the birds that are in the feeder area behind the Discovery Center. We keep a record of the birds we see, plus a few weather observations.
2013-2014 Project Feeder Watch Bird Counts & Species List
2012-2013 Project Feeder Watch Bird Counts & Species List
2011-2012 Project Feeder Watch Bird Counts & Species List
2010-2011 Project Feeder Watch Bird Counts & Species List
2009-2010 Project Feeder Watch Bird Counts & Species List
2008-2009 Project Feeder Watch Bird Counts & Species List
2007-2008 Project Feeder Watch Bird Counts & Species List
Back to top
Bird Monitoring - Diversity & Population Census
Migration, Migration, Migration! Flocks of birds fly through this area during the spring and put on a grand display for all to view. Join Bob Sams, Natural Resource Assistant, and lend a watchful eye to help create a list of all the different types of birds that migrate through and stay in Hancock County. All skill levels are welcome; it’s a great way to learn about birds or become a better birder. Participants will count all observable birds. Hiking distances and times will vary. Please be prepared for weather, ground conditions, and at least 1 ½ - 2 ½ hours on the trails. Attend this free activity with no registration required. Children under the age of 16 should be accompanied by an adult. Visit the monthly "Calendar" for times and dates.
Responsibilities: Count birds along the trail. A record of birds observed is recorded.
Here's the link to the birding checklist:
Back to top