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!!!
Puppet Pals: Are You Sleeping? Thursday, February 15 6pm Lowe-Volk Park Friday, February 16 11am & 1pm Lowe-Volk Park Join a Forest Puppet Pal that wanders a woodland in search of other forest animals that might be awake in the winter. From feathery birds, to furry mammals, our Forest Puppet Pal will have many adventures to find out “Are you sleeping?” Puppet show will include a kids’ activity. For kids ages 3-7 and their parents.
Birds & Coffee Saturday, February 17 8am-10am Lowe-Volk Park The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) happens every year in February. This count gives researchers a snapshot of bird distribution and abundance. Participants will help count birds at the Nature Center’s bird feeders and also be treated to some coffee and light refreshments. A take-home component of this program will enable participants to count birds at their own homes and submit data to the GBBC. Come for fifteen minutes or stay for the duration, just come and help with this great citizen science project.
Keeping Warm? Monday, February 19 6pm Lowe-Volk Park During this cold and frozen season, we often struggle to keep warm and comfortable. Did you ever wonder how animals stay warm enough to survive outside? Join Mandi Fruth as she digs into this question. You can expect a warm story, Nature Center scavenger hunt, and an animal craft all related to the many ways creatures survive the winter. For elementary school ages and younger.
Winter Hike Wednesday February 21 5pm Lowe-Volk Park Come out for a Winter Hike! We never know what Mother Nature has in store. We could have an unusually warm day or the heaviest snow of the season. Whatever the case may be, we’ll have an adventure!
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!"