Parks & Rec – January 3, 2013
Thursday, January 03, 2013
GEAUGA PARK DISTRICT
For more information, contact the park district at 440-286-9516 or visit www.geaugaparkdistrict.org.
A Deadly Disease For Bats
Last winter, biologists confirmed the presence of White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) in bats hibernating in the cave areas of The West Woods in Russell and Newbury townships and requested a 30-foot buffer around known hibernacula to prevent the devastating fungal disease from spreading.
Join Dr. Elizabeth Buckles, DVM, Ph.D. and senior lecturer in anatomic pathology at Cornell University, for a program on her research of the disease, which has been decimating bat populations in the eastern United States.
White-Nose Syndrome in Bats is Jan. 12 from 2-3:30 p.m. at the West Woods Nature Center, 9465 Kinsman Road in Russell Township.
The disease does not affect humans. But humans can still spread WNS from contaminated sites to new areas on their clothing, footwear and outdoor gear.
Geauga County is home to little brown bats, big brown bats, northern long-eared bats, eastern small-footed bats and tri-colored bats, all of which can be affected by WNS.
Registration is required; seating is limited to 50 people. Registered guests will be contacted and the program will be rescheduled in case of inclement weather. Adults only, please.
With questions or bat sightings in Geauga County, call park biologist Paul Pira directly at 440-279-0812.
Visit Observatory Park In Winter
For casual visitors, Observatory Park is open daily 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. at 10610 Clay St. in Montville Township. For those wanting a more guided experience, the astronomy naturalists, or astro-nat, will continue their special program offerings.
Each Friday and Saturday night Observatory Park buildings will be open from 6-10 p.m. through February, from 6-11 p.m. March through October and staffed with an astronomy naturalist for self-guided night sky viewing as weather permits.
Each Sunday, from 1-4 p.m., enjoy building open houses of the Robert McCullough Science Center and the Oberle Observatory to view the meteorite display and the huge Oberle reflecting telescope. These hours also include The Sky Tonight Planetarium Show each Sunday at 2 p.m., offering a naturalist-hosted preview of what's happening in the sky during the month.
More structured programming is available for visitors of all ages and interest groups, as well. Biweekly Friday programs, from 7-9 p.m., include Galileo's Discoveries on Jan. 11 and 25; Ohio's Place in Astronomy on Feb. 8 and 22; and Ohio's Mound Builders on March 8 and 22.
Programs to study the full moons are scheduled for Jan. 26 (the Wolf Moon), from 5-7 p.m.; Feb. 24 (the Snow Moon), from 5-7 p.m.; and March 27 (the Worm Moon) from 8-10 p.m.
Boy Scouts can earn their astronomy belt loops and pins on Jan. 12, from 4-6 p.m.
There will be a drop-in telescope clinic on Jan. 19, from 6-8 p.m. where an astro-nat will help clean, configure and figure it out so that one can go back to sky-watching.
In honor of Groundhog Day, visit on Feb. 2, from 2-4 p.m. for Weatherwise: Groundhog vs. Science and walk away with some meteorological know-how that's a bit stronger than a shadow.
Then, as winter comes to a close, visit Observatory Park on March 20, from 7-8:30 a.m. to watch the sun rise on the first day of spring.
Only the Boy Scout program and telescope clinic require registration; all others are free to attend without registration.
See The World From Your Seat
The popular Armchair Adventures Travelogue Series return to The West Woods Nature Center, 9465 Kinsman Road in Russell Township.
The first time Diane Valen, naturalist services director, did one of these programs, a slideshow on Alaska in the winter of 2006, it drew a record-breaking 90 people. Now the average crowd is 100; audiences have been known to brave blizzard-like conditions.
In addition to a variety of photos and storytelling techniques, many presenters also bring maps, souvenirs or the backpacks right off their backs so people can see what is involved in taking such a trip. The items are set up in the back of the room for pre- and post-meeting examination and questions.
The following travelogues run from 2-3 p.m.
• Girl Scout Adventure in Europe - Jan. 6
What's it like traveling to three countries in 14 days with five 16-year-old girls? Join Girl Scout Leader Holly Sauder and Troop 1969 to hear about their summer 2012 adventures to London, Paris and the World Girl Guide and Girl Scout Center "OUR CHALET" in Switzerland.
• Land of the Ice Bears - Jan. 13
Join Mike Sustin, West Geauga High School environmental science teacher, as he relates his experience in Arctic Svalbard as a National Geographic Governor Grosvenor Teacher Fellow during July 2012 a presentation to feature polar bears, walrus, sea birds and plants of the polar desert.
• Wildflower Tour of Manitoba - Jan. 20
Share Tom Sampliner's two-week journey from the prairies along the Manitoba-U.S. border to the shores of Hudson Bay at Churchill, exploring the flora and habitats of this Canadian Province with a few cultural encounters along the way. In conjunction with the Native Plant Society of Northeastern Ohio.
• Wildlife in White - Jan. 27
Special double feature: Travel with retired teacher Jean Strojan to view polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba, witnessing the annual invasion and learning their story, and then trek to Wyoming with naturalist services director Diane Valen in search of winter wildlife in Jackson Hole and Yellowstone.
• Paddling North - A Week in the Boundary Waters - Feb. 3
Journey by canoe late in the season to Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area with paddlers Bruce and Susan Bennett. Fall colors starting to show, gorgeous scenery and wildlife abounds in this rugged lake location.
• Adventures in Kenya - Feb. 10
Wildlife abounds as you accompany Roger Horvath and his family to three safari camps and two native villages in this program documenting their recent journey to Africa.
• Explorers in Iceland - Feb. 17
Join Bill and Sue Berger and their granddaughter, Kaitlin, for awesome photos and stories of puffins, whales, thermal geology, waterfalls and their GPS named Penelope.
• Out West by Bus - 12 Parks/26 Days - Feb. 24
Picture driving a group of 40 from Kenston High School on their "field experience" in a big white motor coach. Then, add to the mix numerous national parks, monuments and forests, plus a memorable drive over a Sierra mountain pass, and you have set the stage for this 6,500-mile photo journey presentation by bus driver Karen Morgan.
Registration is not required for any of these free programs.