2018 was an especially productive year for wetland habitat improvement. In total, we completed nearly 13 acres of wetland restoration/creation across 5 Ohio Counties (Lucas, Delaware, Franklin, Greene, and Hamilton). Wetland types included deep emergent marsh, shallow marsh, sedge meadow, and wetland fringe. These wetlands were created or restored for many purposes, including education, stewardship, public park amenities, recreation and mitigation. We have several projects in the works that we anticipate will add nearly 30 acres of wetland to Ohio’s landscape in 2019! If you have a wetland project in mind and need professional guidance implementing your plan, please give us a call!
This year brought us the opportunity to reach a diverse audience seeking environmental and ecological knowledge. We had the pleasure of working with local elementary-middle schools, City of Columbus High Schools, college students, as well as individuals and organizations that participated in several community projects. Activities included team-building games, wetland exploration, planting and invasive species control, science fair displays, and wetland illustration assistance. Wetlands can be fun learning environments for people of all ages!
MAD Scientist Associates is always happy to team with the City of Westerville Parks & Recreation Department to connect with the community in sharing about wetlands and the natural wonders held within sites like Highlands Park. On Friday, May 18, the third of our Frog Friday events was held, and nearly 100 community members of all ages came out to learn about the frogs on site: American toad (Anaxarus americanus) adults and tadpoles, bullfrog (Ranas catesbeiana), green frog (Ranas clamitans), and gray treefrogs (Hyla versicolor). Toad tadpoles were also seen in abundance, and a large mass of gray treefrog eggs were observed. MAD provided nets that children used to collect frogs for closer observation (then released them).
On Saturday of the Wetland Weekend, we hosted our annual Wetland Workshop, also at Highlands Park. Mark Dilley welcomed the 75 attendees and gave them a brief introduction to wetlands and their importance to our drinking water and overall ecosystem. MAD staff members and interns hosted stations around the wetlands to help visitors learn about its various aspects: soils, amphibians, invertebrates, and wildlife. Exploration was also encouraged, allowing participants to wade into the nature play area wetlands to use small nets to discover the life forms below the water. Some notable wildlife observations include: mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos), and great blue heron (Ardea herodias), and a nesting blue bird pair (Sialia sialis). The rain caused us to wrap up a bit early, but a lot of fun and learning took place!
A big thanks to Schneider's Bakery for donating a box of doughnuts for our event participants to enjoy. Watch our events calendar next May to join in the Wetland Weekend fun!