2023 ACTIVITY REPORTS AND EVENT HIGHLIGHTS
Seed collecting event is always a big hit with attendees
ONAPA held its popular prairie seed collecting event at Guy Denny's prairie on Saturday, October 7. It was well-attended with over 100 people on a somewhat cloudy, cool day. Natives in Harmony and The Wild Ones (Cleveland Chapter) were both on site to sell plants and other items related to native plants and pollinators. Guy and Dick Mosely talked about prairies, prairie plants, and seed collecting before attendees headed out in the prairie to fill their bags with the precious seeds. Several ONAPA board members and stewardship assistants were available to help people with plant identification and location of specific species in the prairie.
As always, speakers and field trips are highlights of ONAPA Annual Meeting
ONAPA’s 10th Annual Meeting on Saturday, August 5, at the Caesar Creek Lake Visitor Center in Waynesville enjoyed a good turnout of 60 people, which included 16 walk-ins. The first of our morning speakers, David Nolin, retired from Five Rivers Metro Parks, outlined research showing a more detailed evaluation of pre-European settlement flora in Ohio, which gives new knowledge about plant communities. DeVere Burt, retired from Cincinnati Museum of Natural History, gave an entertaining look at the creation of Birds of America and its author, John James Audubon.
After a brief business meeting, most attendees headed out to one of three field trips in the afternoon: Caesar Creek Gorge, led by Dick Moseley, Huffman Prairie, led by Daniel Boone, and Doorley Natural Area, led by Nolin.
Thanks to our caterers: morning refreshments were from the Coffee Hub and the box lunches were from Brock Masterson's Catering.
Daniel Boone led a small but engaged group through the historic Huffman Prairie in full bloom, explaining the uniqueness of this original prairie and its species. Thanks to royal catchfly, cup plant, spiked blazing star, and plentiful purple coneflower, the prairie abounded in color among the grasses and sedges. A giant swallowtail butterfly and a number of ruby-throated hummingbirds made an appearance, bringing even more life to our exploration of this vibrant tallgrass prairie. (Lydia Radcliffe)
Approximately 20 people joined Dave Nolin on the field trip to Doorley Natural Area, a private preserve. The property, protected by a conservation easement, has an impressive combination of native xeric prairie, small fen remnants, and a white oak woodlands. The group also took a short tour of the nearby Pearl's Fen, part of the Greene County Park District. (Jennifer Windus)
During the walk at Caesar Creek Gorge State Nature Preserve, participants enjoyed leader Dick Moseley’s knowledge of area plants. Participant Jack Laverty exclaimed in his Facebook post: “Imagine going hiking in a woodland full of so many species of plants that you might have just walked past, not knowing what most of them are. That sums up most of my 55-plus years of hiking and backpacking. But imagine doing that with someone who knows what all of those plant and tree species are! What an amazing experience.”