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 Main Office at 419-425-PARK/7275. There may be age requirements for some of these activities, Adult Education, requiring min. 18 years old. 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 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.
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Frog and Toad Survey
Occurrence: Once a month, third week of each month, after dark.
Locations: Volunteers request a desired Township in Hancock County (current routes: Allen, Cass, Eagle, Jackson , Liberty , Marion , Orange , Pleasant, and Portage )
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 .
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Join Natural Resource Coordinator, Sarah Betts, on a journey of documentation of wildflowers as they emerge and bloom along the trail throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Dress for weather and ground conditions. Meeting Places: Litzenberg Memorial Woods - main parking lot, Oakwoods Nature Preserve - at the outdoor fireplace by Discovery Center. No fee or registration required. Monitoring generally lasts approximately 1 ½ hours or more. No fee or registration required. Must be at least 18 years old to participate. 2014 monitoring dates and locations include:
Litzenberg Monitoring (Wednesdays): Oakwoods Monitoring (Thursdays):
1 pm - March 26 1 pm - March 27
1 pm - April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 1 pm - April 3, 10, 17, 24
1 pm - May 7 1 pm - May 1, 8
10 am - June 11 10 am - June 12
10 am - July 9 10 am - July 10
10 am - August 6 10 am - August 7
1 pm - September 10 1 pm - September 11
1 pm - October 8 1 pm - October 9
Aeraland Monitoring (Sundays):
2 pm - April 13
2 pm - May 4
2 pm - June 8
2 pm - September 14
2 pm - October 5
Responsibilities: Staff and volunteers walk the trails once a week 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.
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Project Feeder Watch
Duration: November- April
Occurrence: We count the birds for 2 consecutive days, every other week. One count day is in the am, usually 7:30-9:30am or 8-10am and the other count day is during lunch from 11am-1pm. Count days vary – are not held on the same days of the week.
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.
2010-2011 Project Feeder Watch Bird Counts & Species List
2009-2010 Project FeederWatch Bird Counts & Species List
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Bird Diversity & Population Census
Obervance: Join Bob Sams, Natural Resource Assistant, once a month throughout the year to conduct a Bird Diversity and Population Census. Participants will count all observable birds. Hiking distances and times will vary, but be prepared for weather, ground conditions, and at least 1 ½ - 2 ½ hours on the trails. No fee or registration required. Must be at least 18 years of age to partcipate.
Dates & Locations:
Friday, January 3 - 1pm. Riverbend, Shelter 3
Saturday, February 8 - 8am. Oakwoods, Discovery Center
Saturday, March 29 - 8am. Riverbend, Shelter 3
Friday, April 25 – 1pm. Oakwoods, Discovery Center
Friday, May 9 - 1pm. Litzenberg, Gatehouse
Sunday, May 11 - 8am. Riverbend, Shelter 3
Saturday, June 14 - 8am. Riverbend, Shelter 3
Saturday, July 19 - 8am. Litzenberg, Gatehouse
Saturday, August 9 – 8am. Oakwoods, Discovery Center
Sunday, September 7 - 8am. Oakwoods, Discovery Center
Saturday, October 11 - 8am. Litzenberg, Gatehouse
Sunday, November 23 - 8am. Riverbend, Shelter 3
Friday, December 12 - 1pm. Litzenberg, Gatehouse
Responsibilities: Count birds along the trail. A record of birds observed is recorded.
Annotated Checklist of Birds of Hancock County - April, 2014 Update
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Volunteers will help survey earthworms in our HPD properities as part of the Great Lakes Worm Watch, Earthworm Survey. Locations will be determined and earthworms will be extracted with the Liquid Mustard Extraction Method. No experience necessary. Dress for weather and ground conditions. Fun for the whole family!
Tuesday, April 8 - 7 pm. Litzenberg
Wednesday, April 9 - 7 pm. Riverbend
Sunday, April 13 - 1 pm. Aeraland
Wednesday, April 23 - 7 pm. Oakwoods