2021 ACTIVITY REPORTS AND EVENT HIGHLIGHTS
Misty day does not dampen enthusiasm for Blackhand Gorge SNP field trip
Eleven ONAPA members joined Dick Moseley for an easy interpretive hike through Blackhand Gorge Nature Preserve on October 9. The morning was misty and wet, but beautiful with falling leaves of various shapes covering the trail. Moseley discussed the history of the purchase of the preserve and its significance geologically. He reviewed how the construction of Dillon Reservoir made major changes to the town of Toboso which was originally located where the entrance of the preserve is now.
The group toured the narrow gorge cut by the Licking River through the famous Black Hand sandstone formation. In addition to seeing fall wildflowers and glacial relic plants, members enjoyed their visit to see the remnants of the Ohio Erie Canal tow paths and canal Lock 16, as well as the Interurban railway tunnel and the “Deep Cut” through the Black Hand Sandstone.
After the tour ended, Jennifer Windus took some of the members to the top of “council rock” where they enjoyed a spectacular view of the Licking River narrows. If you have not visited this beautiful and historic preserve you should add this to your “to do” list.
(Photo by Jennifer Windus)
A bounty of seeds were collected in the prairie on a perfect autumn day for the task
Armed with snippers, paper bags and markers, some 30 prairie lovers spread out over 20 acres, harvesting dried seeds from the tall grass prairie October 2.
Backed by the table full of samples, ONAPA president Guy Denny gave a brief overview of seeds available in the prairie he established over many years before sending the collectors into the field. ONAPA stewardship assistants Maddie and Lydia manned the displays. ONAPA board member Dick Moseley and other ONAPA volunteers helped with plant identification in the field.
Natives in Harmony's Gail Martin from nearby Marengo made sure there was a large selection of plants for those of us who wanted to have a back up plan for our seed collections.
Denny's Prairie in peak bloom for field trip on spectacular summer day in July
Photos by Jan Kennedy
The Tallgrass Prairie Tour at Guy Denny's on Saturday, July 31, enjoyed a spectacular turnout, was higher than expected. The day's weather was perfect for small groups to experience the 20 acres of prairie forbes and grasses at peak bloom.
We estimate about 70 visitors enjoyed the group leaders' discussions of prairie establishment and management, and history of plant uses by indigenous people and early settlers.
Over four hours, tours were led by Guy, Dick Moseley, Jennifer Windus, and John Watts. Stewardship assistants Lydia and Makaila and board member Jim Mason helped with ONAPA displays and materials.