There are a variety of ways to help with inventorying and monitoring projects in Your Hancock Parks
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.
A great way to get involved! Many volunteers are utilized to conduct or assist with a variety of inventories and continued monitoring of our natural areas. The current program consists of the following:
- March 23, 8 AM, Riverbend, shelter 3
- April 20, 8 AM, Oakwoods, Discovery Center
- May 10, 1 PM, Litzenberg, Gate House
- May 12, 7 AM, Riverbend, shelter 3
- June 8, 8 AM, Litzenberg, Gate House
Occurrence: Once a week monitoring of the houses at a site, during the day.
Locations: Riverbend Recreation Area, Oakwoods Nature Preserve, Litzenberg Memorial Woods, Blanchard Landing, and Liberty Landing
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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Help us document wildflowers as they emerge and bloom along the trail throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Dress for weather and ground conditions. Meeting Places: L- main parking lot, ONP - at the outdoor fireplace by Discovery Center. No fee or registration required. Must be at least 18 years old to participate. Spring monitoring dates and locations include:
Litzenberg, Gate House (Wed): Oakwoods, Discovery Center (Thurs):
1pm - March 27 1pm - March 28
1pm - April 3, 10, 17, 24 1pm - April 4, 11, 18, 25
1pm - May 1, 8, 15 1pm - May 2, 9, 16
10am - June 5 10am - June 6
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 4 - 1pm. Oakwoods Nature Preserve, Discovery Center
- Saturday, February 23 - 8am. Riverbend Recreation Area, Shelter 3
- Saturday, March 23 - 8am. Riverbend Recreation Area, Shelter 3
- Saturday, April 20 - 8am. Oakwoods Nature Preserve, Discovery Center
Responsibilities: Count birds along the trail. A record of birds observed is recorded.
Additional surveys in HPD Areas and Hancock County are conducted as volunteers, finances, and needs arise. Other agencies such as Hancock Soil and Water Conservation District, EPA, ODNR, and OSU Extension can be contacted directly for information relating to their inventories.
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