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

Duration: March-September


Garlic mustard, honeysuckle, privet, and autumn olive are the focus of spring habitat restoration efforts. Oakwoods Nature Preserve is a wonderful park, but it is overrun with these and other non-native, invasive plant species. Join us as we work to restore the beautiful native habitat back into this park. Participants should bring work gloves and dress for weather conditions. Tools will be provided for the activities of the day. Register no later than the day before each session, so that we may be better prepared to contact you with changes due to weather or unforeseen project opportunities. Groups and individuals are welcome. Visit the "Calendar" for monthly dates and times.

If your group or organization is interesting in helping, but none of the following dates work, feel free to contact the Park Office at (419) 425-7275 to arrange another time. 

Lake/Pond Habitat

The Park District has several lakes. Cooperative agreements are in place with ODNR to monitor fish population and restock Giertz Lake at Riverbend Recreation Area and Shank Lake at Oakwoods Nature Preserve when needed. Fishing is permitted at both sites as well as Goose Lake at Aeraland Recreation Area. Dold Lake is currently closed to fishing due to poor fish habitat.

Cleaning up a brush thicket

Prairie/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 Habitat

Wetland/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 Cleanup

Woodland 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