Crawford Park District 2401 SR 598 Crestline, Oh 44827 419-683-9000
Lowe-Volk Nature Center Hours: Mon-Sat: 8:00am-4:00pm Sun: Noon-4:00pm
Look What's Happening at the CPD!!!
Planetarium I Saturday, March 24 10am Lowe-Volk Park Join Dan Everly for a planetarium program in the Nature Center. This program is FAMILY FRIENDLY. You will explore the Milky Way Galaxy. Dan will also highlight numerous constellations and how they relate to Greek, Roman and Native American mythology. Call the Park District to reserve your spot.
Vernal Pool Exploration Saturday, March 24 1pm Heckert Vernal pools are a diverse habitat to study. Join Josh for an investigation of the vernal pools at Heckert looking for bugs, frogs, and SALAMANDERS, of course! We'll even explore the new wetlands because if you build it, they will come. All ages welcome. Wear rubber boots.
Planetarium II Saturday, March 24 7pm Lowe-Volk Park Join Dan Everly for a planetarium program in the Nature Center. This program is DESIGNED FOR ADULTS and will be much more detailed than the earlier "family friendly" showing. You will explore the Milky Way Galaxy. Dan will also highlight numerous constellations and how they relate to Greek, Roman, and Native American mythology. Call the Park District to reserve your spot.
Viewing the Night Sky Saturday, March 24 8pm Lowe-Volk Park Join members of the Lowe-Volk astronomy club as they share their knowledge and telescope skills with all who are interested in the celestial sights. Targets for the spring months will include M1 (Crab Nebula), M42 (Orion Nebula), M44 (Beehive Cluster), and M65 (Spiral Galaxy). Bring your own telescope or allow the volunteers to assist you with those provided. It's a spectacular universe!
Hi-Tech Easter Egg Hunt Sunday, March 25 1-3pm Lowe-Volk Park Kids! Bring your GPS or borrow one from us. Join Don Hatfield's family and friends for an Easter Egg Hunt around Lowe-Volk Park. Using your GPS you will find the eggs hidden in the park, and answer a nature based question in the egg. Kids finding eggs and answering questions will receive a small prize. Come join the fun!
Our New Wildlife Ambassador
A newcomer has been added to our collection of reptiles and amphibians, one that has been long awaited. Affectionately referred to as "Lasagna Lizard", "Waterdog", "Allegany Alligator", and (the staff favorite) "Snot Otter", an Eastern Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) is now on display at the Nature Center. Native to rivers and streams in the Ohio River Watershed, Eastern Hellbenders are Ohio’s largest salamander, reaching lengths of two feet! In the streams and rivers in which they live, hellbenders literally live their lives under a rock. Not just any rock will do; hellbender rocks are typically the size of a truck hood! Eastern Hellbender populations have seen unfortunate declines. Comparing mid-1980’s surveys to surveys conducted in 2006-2009, Ohio hellbender populations have declined over 80%. In 1990, the Eastern Hellbender was listed as an Endangered Species by the Ohio Division of Wildlife. With its listing status and population declines, the Ohio Hellbender Partnership was formed. This partnership includes many state and federal agencies, zoos, universities, SWCD’s, and park districts that coordinates and supports actions to recover hellbender populations in Ohio. A key component in recovery is to head-start hellbenders in labs and repatriate/augment them where populations have declined or been extirpated. Head-starting consists of collecting eggs from the wild (the CPD has been involved in this facet) and rearing them in captivity for a period of three years The juveniles are then released in streams where present or former populations occur. Another component to the Ohio Hellbender Partnership’s conservation plan is to have "education and outreach" animals available for programming purposes. Since taking an adult Eastern Hellbender out of a viable population is not an option, it was determined – due to the success of the head-starting program – to loan out juveniles intended for release. The CPD was on the list to receive one of these animals and on August 24, Lisa brought our new wildlife ambassador to its home at the Nature Center! Our new amphibian has been named "Crypto." Crypto will be used much the same as our other reptiles and amphibians. It will also be available to members of the partnership who do not have an animal, but still need to provide education on hellbender conservation. To get an up-close look at Crypto, stop by the Nature Center and see our Eastern Hellbender in its aquarium located in the Kids Library!
Volunteer Spotlight: Rising through the Ranks
Some Park District volunteers have been assisting since the Park’s inception, while others may have just recently signed on. Our "Volunteer Spotlight" was not even born when the Park District was formed, yet has contributed greatly to the mission of the CPD. Alison Longwell, of Galion, has been assisting with our summer programs and other events since she "graduated" from Nature Camp. Alison has long had an interest in the natural world, particularly with amphibians. (She has collected toads and frogs to observe for as long as any of the staff can recall.) Alison’s knowledge about our reptiles and amphibians has made her a first choice in finding volunteers to man a table at our Animal Extravaganza and Halloween Family Fun Night. While others may shudder at handling snakes and salamanders, Alison steps up to the plate. "At Halloween Family Fun Night, there are so many people" Alison said. "When they see the snakes and are freaked out, but then come up and touch or hold them…I like helping people face their fears." Alison continued about assisting with events "I really liked helping out with Mud Day. Where else can you volunteer to help people play in mud?" She also enjoys working with and meeting others during the events. Having attended Nature Camp for many years, she has truly risen through the ranks. Alison has helped with Nature Camp for over three years, serving in many respects as another intern. Her mother told her to make sure she is teaching the kids something each day. To that end, Alison can be seen showing kids the flattened petiole of a Cottonwood Tree leaf, which allows it to wave in the wind, or picking up a river rock and pointing out the various macroinvertebrates on the underside. She is always eager and willing to do anything to engage a kid in the joy and wonder that is nature. To show her commitment to the Nature Camp program, one year she decided that each day of the week she was going to wear a different "throwback" camp shirt from previous years. When asked why she didn’t wear one of the earlier shirts, with eyes cast down and a kick of the stones, she very disappointedly said it didn’t fit anymore. As Alison journeys down the trail of becoming an environmental educator, one knows she is taking in all the knowledge she can that will help her become a better teacher. The CPD is grateful and feels inspired to know that Alison wants to volunteer to not only help herself, but, more importantly, to use her skills to teach others about nature. "Besides," she says. "It’s always fun!"