Stewardship of HPD Natural Resources

Stewardship Land Management
Taking care of your parks is a matter of good stewardship. Land management of the woods, water and wildlife is an important part of everyday work in the parks by HPD staff and volunteers. Planting trees, burning prairies and controlling invasive species are all part of the best management practices in place for open spaces and natural areas.

With increasingly complex and challenging environmental issues arising, there comes the need for a broad-based planning of natural resource management. By using the Inventory & Monitoring program results, a greater understanding of the status and trends of each park's natural resources become the basis for making decisions to protect the natural systems and native species in our park areas.


Habitat Restoration Projects for 2014
Oakwoods Nature Preserve was hit hard by the summer storms of 2012. This park will be the focus of habitat restoration from March through October. Be prepared to help with various seasonal outdoor tasks such as grapevine cutting, invasive species removal, seed collecting, reseeding, tree guard installation and repair, pruning, weeding, planting, trial maintenance, etc. Please bring work gloves and dress for the weather. Tools will be provided for the activities of the day. Please register by the day before each session, so we may be better prepared to contact you with changes due to weather or unforeseen project opportunities. If weather is unfavorable for outdoor activities, participants may be able to assist with indoor activities such as animal care, enclosure cleaning, seed cleaning, etc.
Saturdays: 10am-12pm Tuesdays & Wednesdays: 6pm-7pm
 March 22
April 19
(May - no Saturday scheduled)
*9-11am: June 28
*9-11am : July 26
*9-11am: August 16
September 27
October 4
(* Indicates different summer hours)
March 25, 26
April 22, 23
May 13, 14
*7-8pm: June 24, 25
*7-8pm : July 29, 30
*7-8pm: August 12, 13
September 23, 24
October 14, 15
Lake/Pond Habitat

HPD has two lakes; Giertz Lake at Riverbend Recreation Area and Shank Lake at Oakwoods Nature Preserve. Fishing is permitted at both sites. A cooperative agreement with ODNR is in place to monitor fish populations and restock when needed.

Cleaning up a brush thicketPrairie/Meadow Habitat

A prairie or meadow is not just “grassland.” Although they will vary in composition and percentage of grasses and forbs (flowers), they generally are areas that do not contain trees. HPD has or helps manage over 150 acres of this type of habitat that can be seen in nearly all of our areas.

Volunteers are needed to annually collect seeds and spread where needed to enhance specie diversity. Plants are started in the HPD greenhouse and volunteers are needed to help plant in spring, summer, and fall. Assistance with invasive and undesirable specie control is also needed in these areas.

Wetland Stream HabitatWetland/Stream/Riparian Habitat

These areas are one of the most complex habitat types, and one of the habitat types that Ohio has lost the most. The loss of upland wet woods and low-land floodplains greatly contributes to flooding. Many of our park areas are helping to restore and preserve these sensitive areas so they may continue to function as they should.

Wetland Mitigation is a process that has also helped to create or enhance wetlands in several of the HPD properties. (Wetland Mitigation is when companies that have destroyed wetlands during the building process pay to have wetlands created or enhanced on other sites.) Volunteers are needed to help control invasive species from creating monocultures (one-specie growth) in these areas.

Wooded Floodplain Area CleanupWoodland Habitat

Wooded areas are extremely diverse throughout HPD properties, ranging from wooded floodplain to upland Maple/Hickory forests and everything in between. Each wooded area is unique and likewise each has a different management plan.

Volunteers are needed to help control invasive and undesirable species, such as garlic mustard and grapevine, and other various specialized stewardship.


1424 East Main Cross Street
Findlay, OH 45840

Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 8am - 4:30pm