Ashtabula County Metroparks

For Fun, For Health, For Life



Wetland Wanderings December

By on December 26, 2018

Eyring Wetlands Metropark

Wetlands Wanderings

In the Eyring Wetlands Park

By Joyce Bond, December 2018

I arrived at the Eyring Wetlands Park to be met by the smiling face of the Ashtabula County Metroparks ranger Kristen Fortune.  The parks are currently advertising for a second park ranger.  But for now, Kristen patrols our parks maintaining the safety of the public and providing information as needed.  What a delight to see her out and seeing the evidence of the positive work of ACMP.

As I headed down the trail, all around me the birds flitted around in the rare winter sunshine.  As I discussed in last months blog, many of our feathered friends fly south for the winter. Food diminishes and the birds find better sources in the warmer climates.   But fortunately, many of them stay here in Ohio. While the snow, cold temperatures and gray days keep many outdoor enthusiasts inside, winter bird watching in northeast Ohio can be fascinating.  While the numbers and types of birds may be diminished, the ones that you can see are some of the most interesting species.

Feeding birds at backyard feeders is one of the most popular hobbies in the United States.  But our winter birds are resourceful and can find abundant food sources even when the snow is deep and the temperatures are below freezing.  The birds that I saw at the wetlands were in a group of dried goldenrod seed heads from the summer.  The birds could be seen perching on the plants and plucking the seeds from the plant.  Fallen seeds can also be eaten from the ground if the snow is not deep.

The Eyring Wetlands provide many different food sources for the winter birds because it is comprised of a diverse group of habitats.   In the lower interior areas, shrubs including serviceberry, dogwood, sumac, elderberry, and chokeberry and vines such as American bittersweet and scarlet trumpet vine provide fruit to the bird’s diet.  Though fresh fruit is not available in the winter, the dried and shriveled leftovers will remain on the bushes and vines as a welcome feast.  I saw evidence of the brilliant red sumac seed heads or drupes on the ground and partially eaten.  This may have been the work of the lone blue jay that I saw flying by or maybe a group of black-capped chickadees stopped for lunch. They may even have attracted a cardinal or a rafter of hungry turkeys.

Trees such as oak, pine, sweet gum, crabapple, and maple also produce nuts, fruits, and/or seeds that will be used by birds and other wildlife. The perimeter of the park is comprised of many of these tree species.   The blue jays and titmice have strong bills that allow them to crack acorns and beechnuts open to get to the meaty insides.  The finches are especially fond of the pine nuts that can be picked from the cones.  Tree sap is a sweet treat for the various woodpeckers in our winter landscapes.  These birds will drill deep into a tree’s bark to get any sap that is not frozen.

I can’t forget to mention the raptors.  These birds seem to be some of the most obvious birds of winter, in part because they are more conspicuous against the naked trees and barren winter landscapes. Red-tailed hawks are common and easily seen, as their bright white underparts shine like beacons from the bare trees and roadside fence posts. My backyard has recently been home to a northern harrier identifiable by his white tale.  They are of course after rodents, small mammals and smaller birds.  And like that harrier that I keep seeing may be eyeing the birds that frequent my backyard feeder.

Whether you are braving the elements on a hike or relaxing in your warm recliner beside the window near the birdfeeder, I hope you get the chance to observe some of northeast Ohio’s winter birds.  Below is a shortlist of the birds I tend to see from my recliner.

  • Mourning dove
  • Downy woodpecker
  • Red-bellied woodpecker
  • Blue jay
  • Black-capped chickadee
  • Tufted titmouse
  • White-breasted nuthatch
  • Northern cardinal
  • House finch
  • American goldfinch
  • House sparrow
  • Dark-eyed junco


Hope to see you on my next wandering or at one of the ACMP birding events.

ACMPRanger-180522 (003)

Help Wanted: Part-time Rangers (extended )

By on November 29, 2018

Park Rangers (Part – Time)

Park Ranger {Part-Time)
Job Description: Patrols assigned areas for the purposes of assisting park patrons to have an enjoyable,
safe and pleasant park experience. Provides information, education and assistance to park visitors to
achieve resource protection, as well as visitor safety and security. Serves as a commissioned Peace
Officer enforcing Metroparks rules and regulations, and other applicable laws under ORC 1545. Works
to prevent violations of park rules and other laws whenever possible. Protects life, property, and
maintains good order within the parks. OPERS Eligible.
Minimum Qualifications:
Associate’s degree or greater preferred; experience in parks and recreation, ranger services, or
equivalent experience. Valid Ohio Peace Officer Training certification, Excellent communication skills.
Valid Ohio driver’s license. Applicants must be 21 years of age and are subject to an extensive
background investigation including drug test. Applicants must be available to work varied shifts,
including nights and weekends.
Applications, Resume and cover letter must be submitted by 5pm, JANUARY 14TH, 2019 to or
MAIL ONLY to: Ashtabula Metroparks 91 N Chestnut Street, Jefferson, OH 44047. For more information (440) 650-4124. EOE.


For Full Job description click below:

Full Job Description


Wetland Wanderings November

By on November 29, 2018

Wetlands Wanderings
In the Eyring Wetlands Park

By Joyce Bond, November 2018

As the cold and gray descended on our Ohio landscape recently, I was fortunate to spend some
time in warm, sunny Florida. I participated in a couple of the local wildlife presentations put on
by some knowledgeable naturalists that included seining for fish and crustaceans in a tidal
estuary and identifying shore birds along a barrier island. It was an interesting venture outside
of what I might see here at home. But it had me thinking about the life of our wildlife during
the Ohio winter.
There are three basic ways that wildlife deal with winter. Like a some of our native Ohio
humans, many of the wetland bird species fly south for the winter. Waterbirds like the loon
and grebe have left the area followed by the seagulls that migrate from this area. Most of the
dabbling waterfowl and diving ducks have also left the area to avoid the frozen water surfaces.
If you find yourself catching a glimpse of a few hardy wetland birds there is a wonderfully
comprehensive catalog of Ohio wetland birds that I highly recommend available at
The other way that animals deal with the winter cold is to plan ahead. They store food, get
there houses ready and bulk up. I spied the winter retreat of the muskrat at Eyring Wetland.
Muskrats have year-around homes that are
either built burrowed into the bank or on the
marsh bottom by piling up the plants into a
dome-shaped mound. In these plant and mud
lodges, the muskrat then chews out an
opening and layers the removed material to
the top of the rising mound up to 2 or 3 feet.
Muskrats spend lots of time in their winter
homes and their shacks — eating food from
their autumn caches plus other marsh plants
foraged under the ice. They can dive for up to
15 minutes to gather plants because their
heart rate decreases under water, and oxygen
is drawn from stores in muscle tissue. Thick,
waterproof fur keeps them dry and warm.

Muskrats are in many ways well adapted to survive the winter. Diving muskrats can gather
food without swallowing water because their lips seal shut behind the incisors. Nimble front
paws manipulate the roots of cattails, water lilies, arrowheads, pondweeds and other marsh
I also saw evidence of beaver activity in the Wetlands. The beaver lives a similar winter
existence to the muskrat using its lodge and the food stored in the fall to stay warm and fed,
with occasional forays down into the water at the underside of their lodge to access food
caches that they have anchored to the bottom of the waterway.
One of our most common squirrels, the Eastern gray squirrels
forage for nuts, seeds, buds, and flowers of trees. As winter
approaches, squirrels carry their food and bury it in several
locations. Eastern gray squirrels have an excellent sense of
smell, which they use to help locate food that they’ve hidden
away. These critters are homeotherms, which means that
unlike some mammals, their body temperatures remain fairly
constant throughout the year; they don’t hibernate. In the
winter, squirrels spend less time foraging outside their dens,
and it’s more common for several squirrels to share a den.
Squirrels also prepare for winter by bulking up. Throughout
fall, they maximize food consumption and body mass. In
winter, when food is hard to come by, these reserves will
help the animals survive. Dens are typically
used by squirrels in the winter and are
constructed in healthy, living trees (often by the
expansion of abandoned woodpecker holes). A
second type of housing are nests or drays.
These are usually located high up in the forked
branches of large trees and consists of leaves and
twigs arranged as needed. Several of these can be
observed at the Eyring Wetlands Park. A dray
usually serves as a place for squirrels to seek
shelter during warmer summer months. However,
drays can also be used by squirrels during the
winter months.
Another animal that we were fortunate enough to
see on our wetland walk was a frog. Amphibians
utilize the third way of dealing with the Ohio
winter and that is to go into hibernation. Frogs
and toads are cold-blooded, so their body temperatures take on the temperature of theenvironment around them. Aquatic
frogs usually spend the winter at the
bottom of a pond or other body of
water. But they don’t burrow down
into the mud. Frogs can be found
hanging out on the bottom,
sometimes even slowly swimming or
moving around. On the day we were
walking, the temperatures had
“soared” to the mid-40’s and our frog
was slowly moving about on the
pond bank.
During my wetland walk, I identified
three typical ways that animals, and
sometimes humans, deal with the
Ohio winter.
 Migration to a warmer area;
 Storing food and preparing a nest to protect them in their year-round habitat; and
 Hibernation
In your yard and in your walks around the Ashtabula County Metroparks you should be able to
identify other animals that use these wintering techniques. So enjoy your winter time
wanderings wherever they may lead.

Sign up for a Bird Count!  December 29th, 2018:  National Audubon Society Annual Christmas Bird Count. People can sign up to count for a full day or a half a day, Mark Hanneman is the Ashtabula County contact person.  He can be reached at 440 -812-5986


Time to start Thinking About Snow Removal

By on October 26, 2018

Ashtabula Metroparks will be taking quotes for two snow plowing routes.   One in the Conneaut Area and one along the Western Reserve Greenway Trail. To pick up a packet or get more information contact Brett Bellas 440-536-1502

Proposals due by Nov. 13th 10 am.



Wetland Wanderings Eyring Wetlands Preserve Metropark October

By on October 25, 2018

Wetland Wanderings

In the Eyring Wetlands Preserve Metropark

October 2018, by: Joyce Bond

The temperatures have begun an inevitable dip.  On the day that I was able to get out and wander the wetlands, there was a high temperature of 45 degrees and the leaves were finally showing their colors. But as the cold increases, one thing that many of us look forward to is the demise of some of our most annoying insects.  So, I was surprised to learn on a nature walk with ODNR a few years ago that many insects overwinter in Ohio.  Now there are many different ways that insects can accomplish this. It can be as eggs underground or in logs, which is the cricket’s standard method.  Moths and butterflies run the gamut. They’ll winter over as eggs, larvae, pupae and adults. Which is why you might occasionally catch a glimpse of a butterfly or moth on an unusually warm December day.

Also, many Ectothermic (cold-blooded) animals use the temperature around them to regulate their body temperature. They have the ability to essentially pause their life for temperature purposes, and have chemicals that act like antifreeze in their bodies to prevent them from freezing. The process is called diapause. Insects basically shut down when it gets cold by producing a chemical compound in their bodies that acts like an antifreeze. The bugs become in effect supercooled, and that prevents any damage from the outside world when the weather turns super-cold.

So, as I was walking today, I decided to make an exploration of insect hiding places.   I looked for a slow-moving caterpillar in the leaf litter.  I uncovered a beetle scurrying over a leaf within the grass.  And I watched as a slug was getting it’s fill of what must have been a very tasty mushroom.


I was not able to spot any adult butterflies or moths sequestered beneath the loose bark of a tree.  But I did see some trees whose bark looked like a likely home for a butterfly.   I also saw some downy woodpeckers flying around in the understory where I also spied some telltale holes on the trees that seemed to indicate that even though I was not having much luck spying the insects that the birds were doing much better.

Not every insect species found in Ohio, however, will go unscathed this winter.  We can only hope that some of the invasives will find our cold temperatures unbearable. Specifically, I am thinking of the brown marmorated stink bug, a tiny, shield-shaped insect first detected in Ohio in 2007 that has since made a home here.  It exudes a pungent aroma when smashed that some compare to coriander, others to dirty socks. It also likes to invade our homes and has made itself quite unwelcome at mine.


Though I did not see any flashy colored flowers, or observe any intriguing examples of bird or mammal behavior, I did in fact have one of my most enjoyable walks through the park.  Looking for the smallest inhabitants of the wetland forced me to stop and observe, to look closely, to make my hike about the journey and not the destination.    So, I hope that you will enjoy a walk through the Eyring Wetlands Metropark to view the fall color, to listen for the calls of the gathering waterfowl and to maybe catch a glimpse of some busy mammals making their preparations for winter.  But give yourself a treat and don’t forget to look for those amazing insects making their winter home in the wetlands.



Covered Bridge Weekend Events

By on October 5, 2018

 Ashtabula County Metroparks Hosts Autumn Series of Hiking, other Programs

Horseplay, October 6

The Ashtabula County Metroparks is hosting a series of hiking, safety and other fun programing for all skill levels in our local Metroparks this Fall. The first event is scheduled for Saturday, October 6, 2018 from noon until 5pm at Ashley Moore’s Riding Stable, 1269 Doyle Rd, Jefferson for a horseback trail ride and scavenger hunt. Contact for more information or register at the Riding Stables.

5th Annual Safety Force Day, October 12:

Ashtabula Metroparks is participating in the Scare Crime Away event at the Metroparks’ SR Austinburg Staging Area (trailhead), State Route 307, Austinburg on Friday, October 12, from 11am -2pm and will focus on bicycle safety and children’s bike helmet giveaway. Meet Bike Patrol and others to help find the right fit for your new helmet. This event helps to kick off a weekend of county-wide activities, including the Covered Bridge Festival, Ashtabeautiful Scavenger Hunt and Fall Cycling tour. This will afford county residents and visitors to experience multiple parks all over Ashtabula County.

Western Reserve Greenway Trail Ride, October 13

Ashtabula Metroparks presents a 20-mile bicycle ride beginning on Saturday, October 13, at 9:30am at the Lampson Road Staging Area on Lampson Road east of State Rte 45. The ride continues to the Nature Conservancy Grand River Campus, 3973 Callender Rd, Rock Creek. Helmets are required.

Covered Bridge Festival/Ashtabeautiful Scavenger Hunt & Outdoor Activities October 13-14

Ashtabula Metroparks is pleased to partner with the Ashtabula County Covered Bridge Association and many other organizations to participate in the Covered Bridge Festival. In addition to a table at Festival Headquarters in Jefferson, Metroparks will have Board and/or staff at Camp Peet Metropark, and will conduct hikes and other activities there as well as at Lampson Reservoir, Eyring Wetlands and Harpersfield Covered Bridge Metroparks all at or within ½ mile of one of Ashtabula County’s covered bridge locations:

Lampson Reservoir Metropark. Fall colors and nature hike sprinkled with Lampson Reservoir history. The two- mile hike on Saturday, October 13, at 1:30 pm will be led by Ashtabula Metroparks’ Larry Frimerman and will originate next to the historic Doyle Road Covered Bridge from the Ashley Moore Riding Stables, 1269 Doyle Rd, Jefferson and connect with Lampson Road Metropark. The Sunday, October 14th 9:30 am and 11am guided nature hikes will be led by Western Reserve Land Conservancy’s George Warnock originate at Lampson Road Metropark at State Route 307 at Hickok Rd., Jefferson Twp.

Camp Peet Metropark, 405 Creek Road in Conneaut. Parking is available near the covered bridge. Please plan to meet in the parking area at the Ashtabula Metroparks table at the Camp Peet parking lot. Metroparks will conduct a low impact nature walk on a flat, designated trail approximately 1 mile in length will be led by naturalist Marc Hanneman of the Sam Wharram Nature Club. The Saturday, October 13 hike will be @1:30 and at 3:00. The Sunday, October 14 hike will be at 1:30pm. Conneaut Boy Scout Troop 34 and Cub Scout Troop 34 will be conducting hayrides, tours and camping displays throughout both days.  Camp Peet Metropark will be one of the designated Scavenger Hunt locations.

Harpersfield Covered Bridge Metropark, Harpersfield Road. The Saturday, October 13 1 mile guided hike along the Grand River will be at 11:00am and led by naturalist and landscape architect Joyce Bond. The Sunday, October 14, hikes will be at 11:00am and 1pm, also led by Joyce Bond. Meet at the north side of the park at the kiosk across from the pavilion.

Eyring Wetlands Metropark, 906 Windsor Mechanicsville Road in Austinburg Twp, Enjoy a 1.5 mile guided hike on Saturday, October 13 from the trailhead at 10:00 am led by Don Eyring, property donor to Ashtabula County Metroparks and creator of the Eyring wetlands.  On Sunday, October 14, at 1:00PM , the guided hike will be led by Marc Hanneman of the Sam Wharram Nature Club.

Other October Events:

Feeding Fall and Winter Birds Workshop Wednesday, October 17, 8:30am at Lampson Reservoir Metropark, 1259 SR 307, Jefferson Twp.

Join Mark Meyer of the Bird Feeder to learn best bird feeding mixes for fall and winter, how to make your yard a favorite destination for birds and hike and identify birds.

Exploring Wildlife in Saybrook, Saturday, October 20 at 9:00am, 4338 Lake Rd West, Saybrook Twp.

Plan to explore the soon – to be Red Brook Metropark which will be Ashtabula County Metroparks’ newest park which will be open in late 2018. Enjoy fall colors and whatever birds/wildlife may be active along  Red Brook at the former Harbor Golf Course. Meet at the parking lot next to Martinis Restaurant and hike along the old golf cart paths with Marc Hanneman of Sam Wharram Nature Club.

Trunk Or Treat Safety and Fun Event, Saturday, October 20, 10:00 am to 1pm, Lampson Road Staging Area

Lampson Staging area is located east of State Rte 45 in Austinburg. Join Ashtabula Metroparks’ Park Ranger as well as other public safety departments for candy, games, hand’s on experiences in police, fire and other emergency vehicles. Even the Ashtabula County District Library’s Bookmobile will be there.
For further information on this or future hiking and other programs in the Ashtabula County Metroparks, please visit the Metroparks website at, or our Facebook page. You can register on our Facebook page  or email:


Meanderings around the Ashtabula County Metroparks: Lampson Reservoir

By on October 2, 2018

Meanderings around the Ashtabula County Metroparks: Lampson Reservoir   

Blog: by Sheryl


Here I am, checking out the Lampson Reservoir Metropark on this beautiful sunny autumn afternoon.

When I arrived, there was one lone car in the parking lot, and a nature photographer off in the distance. I’ve been here several times to sit and gaze at the rippling of the water as crappie, largemouth bass and carp break through the plane of the smooth water. Today, though, the only fishing taking place is by several Canada Geese and ducks.  Two geese are standing close together on the dock, one of them perched on one leg! I think it is doing one of the yoga poses it observed during our sunset yoga class here earlier this summer!

As I scan the numerous wood duck boxes, it appears that some of them are indeed occupied! Hurray!

Before embarking on my hike, another car arrives with 2 bicycles on a bike rack. Shortly, a young couple take advantage of a picnic table under the shade of a tree overlooking the reservoir for their lunch. I have a feeling that they’re headed to the Western Reserve Greenway Trail afterwards.

I start down the well-marked path, forewarned by the nature photographer that I may wind up with wet feet.

Although my feet did not get wet, there were several areas where the water was spilling over the banks of the reservoir. Did someone mention that we got 5 inches of rain earlier this week?! I am confident that once I get into the woods that any wet areas won’t be a problem thanks to the many boardwalks and bridges over the boggy areas installed by our Metroparks Volunteers this summer!

The first thing that I come across along the trail are some woody shrubs with red berries that appear to be honeysuckle, along with lots of purple asters, goldenrod, pink clover, &  another white variety of asters resembling tiny daisies. I am happy to see these wildflowers, because it tells me that this area is free of pesticides and a great way for pollinators to feed on an uncontaminated food source. I realize that I am not alone, as dragonflies, bumblebees, monarch butterflies and other butterfly species zoom about. Uh oh, I never thought to wear any type of repellent as I am starting to see mosquitoes, but surprisingly, I did not get even one single bite!

The trail proceeds along the banks of Mill Creek, and I begin to hear the sounds of a waterfall! Along the way, I spot horse hoof tracks, deer tracks, and some scattered acorns. Several bullfrogs jump into the mud puddles as I walk by. The creatures of the forest serenade me: chipmunks, squirrels, a Pileated Woodpecker, tree frogs, a Red Tailed Hawk, and scolding blue jays.

As I approach the banks of the river for a better view of the waterfall, I startle an American Black Duck who hastily ascends across the water to “safer grounds”.

There is a strategically placed park bench in this location which is perfect for resting a spell and taking in the sounds of the rushing water.

When I begin again, I notice an area with an unusually large number of thin pieces of sycamore bark strewn about the forest floor. It is normal for sycamore trees to shed their bark, but this seems excessive. I am fairly certain, though, that the cause is the excessive rainfall this past year which resulted in a larger than normal growth of the cambium layer directly beneath the bark.

As I continue along the trail, I keep searching for the source of all of that shedded bark. I find some smaller sycamores, but they certainly could not have been the source of this. I then look way way up, and there it is, a stately sycamore , over 75 feet tall!

I am jilted back to reality when a gentleman on a mountain bike goes whizzing by. He shouts, “Hi! Glad to see someone else out here in the park!” And continues on his way. He passes me again on his way back, a local pastor out for some invigorating exercise and forest therapy.

Admittedly, there are a couple of areas where the trail splits and I am uncertain of which way to go. In one instance, there is a huge blue arrow painted on a tree to direct me, but the second time I’m just guessing. I am sure that the Metroparks will remedy this in short order.

On my way back, I startle a Great Blue Heron, who is almost as big as me! I am awe struck by its smooth and graceful flight.

Arriving back in the parking lot there is now a fisherman out on the end of the pier, and a mama and her baby standing close by. I choose not to intrude to ask what’s biting today. Maybe next time…..









picture of wetland pond

Wetland Wanderings

By on September 17, 2018

Wetland Wanderings

In the Eyring Wetlands Park

By Joyce Bond

Fall has arrived in Ashtabula County with the sporadic cooling of temperatures and some heavy rains.  A visit to the Eyring Wetlands Park this week began with moving a large branch from the parking lot entrance.  The heavy rains soaked the tree canopies and probably helped bring down an already rotted branch from a silver maple lining the drive.  Clean up of this kind of debris is an ongoing job for the volunteers and staff of the Ashtabula County Metroparks.

The silver maples (Acer saccharinum) at this park entrance are probably remnants of the residence that once stood on this site. It is one of the fastest growing deciduous trees of the eastern and mid-western forest and is often found in the riparian forest where it can receive adequate moisture and plenty of sun.  Because of the advantage of its fast growth rate in the past it was planted heavily in residential yards and along suburban streets.  Its disadvantage is the brittle nature of its wood as evidenced by the fallen branch.  For this reason, it has fallen out of favor as an ornamentally planted tree.  But its characteristics still make it a great naturalizing tree when placed on well-drained river bottom soils along with a similar maple species the red maple, Acer rubrum.  The abundant seeds of silver maples are eaten by many birds, including evening grosbeaks, finches, wild turkeys, ducks and other game birds, and small mammals, especially squirrels and chipmunks. The buds are an important food for squirrels in late winter and early spring. The bark is a food source for beavers and deer and rabbits browse the foliage. Silver maple tends to develop cavities that are used by cavity-nesting birds and mammals and provide shelter and breeding habitat for many other species, including raccoons, opossums, squirrels, owls, woodpeckers, and other birds. It also seems to be a preferred nesting site for the Baltimore Oriole.

The approach of fall is heralded by an explosion of late blooming wildflowers.  The wildflower most obvious walking around the Eyring wetlands park this month is Goldenrod (Solidago). Goldenrod is a perennial plant that reproduces through its roots, bulbs, stems and by its seed.  It has a bright gold terminal cluster of flowers that are loved by the bees, butterflies and other pollinators. The various species are not easily identified by this lay person.  So, I am content to enjoy the color and sway of the tall spikes. Goldenrod does not cause seasonal allergies as many tend to believe.

You can also observe the remains of late summer wildflowers such as the purple of Ironweed (Vernonia), and a few peeks of orange of Jewelweed (Impatiens).  Scattered lower among the goldenrod are the whites and purples of the asters.  The red berry heads of the smooth or scarlet sumac (Rhus glabra) are also widespread throughout the park.  The sumac leaves and the leaves of the blackgum tree (Nyssa sylvatica) are beginning to show hints of red fall color.

I visited the park late in the day, so I was not able to catch the bees, butterflies and other insects dancing around the flowers.  But they have been very busy in my yard recently, so I expect that a daytime visit to Eyring would provide quite an insect show.

Animals use the seasonal freshwater wetlands for hunting. In particular, red-tailed hawks, great blue herons, and Northern harriers hunt for mice and voles. Vegetation around the edges of the wetlands including wool grass (Scirpus), rushes (Carex), and a mix of pasture grasses, provide year-round shelter for sparrows, towhees, and juncos.  I heard several birds calling and flashes of wings in the underbrush, but could not identify the birds.  I saw several birds fly to an island in one of the wetlands and perch on the trees. I startled a lone waterfowl from the water and observed trails in the floating vegetation on the water surface that indicated either waterfowl or a swimming mammal had passed that way recently.

The sun was going down and painting the sky a beautiful pink against the clouds as I walked back to my car.  Just as I stepped out into the opening around the parking lot, two deer leapt up in front of me making a made dash for the shelter of the underbrush.  I am sure that I had disturbed them from an evening meal of the short grasses that surround the parking lot and that they were not happy with my intrusion.  But I was happy to catch a glimpse of that flash of white tail as they made their escape. That moment makes me look forward to my next wetland wanderings.






Yoga In The Parks

By on July 31, 2018

The Ashtabula County Metroparks is offering a series of yoga and hiking programs in our local Metroparks this summer. Following the first session on Saturday, June 23, 2018, programs will be conducted twice monthly in July and August. The 2 hour programs, for all skill levels, will each be located in a different park, affording participants the opportunity to enjoy nature and yoga in a variety of Metropark settings.

All programs will be held from 10 am until noon. (except for the Sunset Yoga). The first hour will be yoga led instruction followed by a second hour of hiking while incorporating gentle breathing exercises.

The Metroparks is excited to partner with Jennifer, Certified Yoga Instructor and owner of the Bhava House, LLC, and Community Wellness Co-Op.

The first program will take place on Saturday, June 23, 2018, from 10 AM until noon, at the Clara D Peet Preserve. The meeting will begin in the Pavilion near campsite # 4.  Limited to participants 15 years and older.  Please check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.  All participants will be required to sign a waiver, so please arrive 15 minutes early. Please bring a water bottle, and a towel or a yoga mat.   (sessions are free, but individuals are able to make a free-will offering if desired)


August 11th-Eyring Wetlands Preserve Metropark

August 25th-Friends of Conneaut Creek Metropark

September 8th-Camp Peet Preserve Campsite #4

September 22nd-Hatches Corners Metropark

To Register call: 440.576.0717 or email:


Fortune swearing in2

Ashtabula County Metroparks Hires its First – Ever Park Ranger

By on July 12, 2018

The Ashtabula County Metroparks has hired Kristen Fortune as its first-ever Park Ranger.  Ranger Fortune comes to Ashtabula Metroparks with five years of police and law enforcement experience, including three years as a fulltime patrolman at Roaming Shores and years of experience with the Ashtabula City Police Department. Ms. Fortune was sworn in as the officially designated Park Ranger by Metroparks Board President Paul Carpenter at its July 11 Board of Commissioners monthly meeting.

Metroparks park rangers are uniformed, commissioned law enforcement officers through the Ohio Revised Code and have been through rigorous training through the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy and will be connected to other law enforcement entities in the county.

“I’m excited to be a part of Ashtabula Metroparks as its first Park Ranger! It is an honor and truly a pleasure being a part of an excellent organization committed to delivering high quality parks and trails to Ashtabula County residents and tourists.  It is a privilege to have the opportunity to get our Ranger program off the ground successfully in order to help make your park experiences safe and enjoyable. I was born in Ashtabula County; I had my first baby in Ashtabula County.  I care about Ashtabula County,” commented Ranger Fortune.

Ranger Fortune will be working at various hours and times to protect all of Ashtabula County’s Metroparks and trails to keep them safe. “We are really pleased to have someone of Ranger Fortune’s experience and skills as a part of our Metroparks”, added Board President Paul Carpenter.

“We are blessed to have Ranger Fortune join our Metroparks team! Ranger Fortune has experience with nursing, is trained and certified in First Aid and CPR, in working with children and has a passion for the outdoors.  Our rangers are Metroparks ambassadors first, crime and mischief deterrents second, and expert law enforcement agents third,” noted Metroparks Executive Director Larry Frimerman. “Not only will our Rangers keep our parks safer, but they will add Ranger presence on top of the already existing Metroparks Bike Patrol. Hopefully, this will send a signal to would-be illegally riding four-wheelers or others that might have gotten into park mischief to respect Ashtabula County’s parks and residents,” Frimerman added.

Ashtabula County Metroparks is an Ohio Revised Code statutory park district providing quality park experiences in eight currently open parks covering nearly 1,000 acres of publicly accessible parkland throughout Ashtabula County and founded in 1959. It owns and manages 28 miles of paved, ADA accessible greenway and bike trails as well as nearly ten miles of primitive trails throughout its park system. Ashtabula County Metroparks is primarily funded through a five year parks levy which passed in 2014, which has permitted the significant expansion of its park holdings and open parks.  Metroparks has nearly tripled the number of open parks and publicly accessible acreage as well as adding amenities throughout the Greenway and each of its open parks.

For further information on Metroparks’ ranger program, its parks, events or other activities, please visit the Ashtabula County Metroparks website or Facebook page. You may reserve a pavilion/shelter free or enjoy the many programs offered by park volunteers for your outdoor experiences. You can register on our Facebook page or the Ashtabula County Metroparks website. For questions, please contact or  (440) 576-0717.