Thursday, October 2, 2014

Go For a Walk?

... by John Deignan

Henry David Thoreau had this to say about living: “We must heap up a great pile of doing for a small diameter of being.”  And don’t we all know it.  Our lifestyles carry significant overhead. We move tankers of oil from the other side of the planet.  We drink coffee and wear clothes that are made far away from Wilmington.  As far as species go, it takes a lot to keep us going, and our trajectory has proven Thoreau’s axiom several times over.  Amidst our doing and being, we are slowly coming to the realization that we live within very real physical constraints.

And we’re not the only ones.

The struggle to live within limits is a drama played out everywhere in our ecosystem.  All forms of plants and animals are locked in a struggle just to make it through the day, often against odds that make our circumstances pale by comparison.  It’s high drama out there in nature.  And the stage (aka: our backyard) is filled with characters that are nothing short of Shakespearean.  Blue jays that hoard almost beyond comprehension, kleptomaniacal fox squirrels who can’t stop their thieving, carnivorous plants, insects that communicate via chemical trails, and snakes that mate simultaneously with so many others of their kind that they form a large slithering ball. And the cast of our neighborhood actors goes on and on and on!

For those who want to learn more about these complex local plot lines of interdependence, I’ve put together a series of self-guided audio stations along the bike paths that run behind the hospital and behind the southeast neighborhood park.  Some of the material may be familiar, but hopefully there will be some stations that offer something new for you to think about while you are walking along.  You will soon be able to download the audio files from this website, and you will be able to identify the stations by the numbered birdhouses and plaques along the routes, which indicate which audio file to play at that location.

You can experience the natural world from many different angles.  You can observe it scientifically, you can see it through how you live your lifestyle, and you can even consider it through a philosophical or spiritual lens.  As such, some stations will speak about one particular aspect of nature, while others will be more general, and I've even put in a few nature poems for good measure.

While you and I could probably waste an entire afternoon debating what constitutes “wilderness,” I think we can all agree that we don’t need to venture to Alaska’s North Slope or Zion National Park to experience the natural world.  From the raccoons raiding our garbage cans to the monarch’s migrating south for the winter, our local environment offers you a lifetime of discovery and enjoyment.  Mortality, rebirth and everything in between can be found among the meadows and woodlands of our region.  All that is required to see the show is a little bit of patience, a little bit of imagination, and a lot of observation.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lytle Creek Day - October 4, 2014

Saturday, October 4, 2014 we will once again celebrate the special natural resource we have here in our own backyard - Lytle Creek. We will celebrate at the Lytle Creek Pavilion on Davids Drive and the public is invited.  The program will begin at 1 p.m. and light refreshments will be served.

Lytle Creek League of Conservators invites you to celebrate our ongoing efforts to "create a living legacy" in the form of the Lytle Creek Greenway.  As is our custom, we will also be honoring the work of two local individuals who have made our natural environment a better place.  This year we will be honoring a man and woman who have impacted countless lives in their roles as educators and mentors.  

Harriett Hadley Clark is a retired naturalist from the Cincinnati Nature Center, published author, and local No Child Left Indoors volunteer.  A co-worker at the Nature Center wrote a lovely tribute to Harriett when she retired that rings so true - "Harriett's love of nature is like poetry.  She writes and speaks about nature with passion and purpose, and because of this, she inspires".  She truly delights in the wonders of nature and over the years has shared both her remarkable knowledge of and veneration for our natural world.

Monte Anderson, Wilmington College professor of agriculture, has been recognized many times for his teaching excellence.  He has played a key role in the success of the Wilmington College agriculture program, the Grow Food, Grow Hope program and directed many of the college's efforts to protect and improve the quality of Lytle Creek.

Please join us as we celebrate our natural heritage in the form of Lytle Creek and honor two outstanding individuals.

Please register early, as seating is limited. Register HERE or by calling Lori Williams at 725-3811.

The Lytle Creek League of Conservators is looking forward to seeing you October 4.  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Back by Popular Demand...Lytle Creek League of Conservators/No Child Left Indoors Canoeing at Cowan Lake State Park August 6

(Blooming American lotus flowers at Cowan Lake)
Whether you are joining us again or this is your first time canoeing, welcome! Its all about reconnecting kids to nature.

Wednesday, August 6, Cowan Lake State Park Naturalist, Erin Shaw, and No Child Left Indoors volunteers will lead guided canoe tours of Cowan Lake to explore the beautiful Lotus Cove area of the park. Canoes and lifejackets will be provided. This activity is geared toward children ages 5-14 and will focus on safety and proper paddling techniques. This is a great opportunity to introduce children to the lifelong activity of canoeing at one of the Ohio’s most beautiful state parks.

Please note that parents or adult companions must stay with the children during the event. (And why would you not want to be part of the fun?)

We will meet at Cowan Lake's Campground, parking lot "B". The campground is located at 1750 Osborn Road. A volunteer at the new Nature Center (old campground office) will direct you to our starting point. We will do a 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. session. Families are encouraged to bring a lunch and afterwards enjoy one of Clinton County's natural treasures.

This program is FREE, but space is limited. Register HERE and be sure to note which session you plan to attend. For more information, call Lori Williams (937) 725-5756.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Lytle Creek League Of Conservators No Child Left Indoors Insect Discovery Program

A visitor to Wilmington during a previous summer -an Actias luna, or luna moth.  This one obviously had a very hard, short life...

This Crecopia on the other hand has just emerged. 

Join the Lytle Creek League of Conservators/No Child Left Indoors volunteers, in their ongoing mission of reconnecting children to nature, August 1 at 9:00 p.m. near the J. W. Denver Williams Memorial Park pond for a night insect discovery hike and educational program.

This adventure has to take place on a dark summer night, so be prepared with flashlights and appropriate footwear.  Our nocturnal insect study will feature some of the state’s large night time Lepidoptera…..the moths. The order Lepidoptera includes all butterflies and moths. Some of our programs have featured our daytime fliers, now we want to see if we can attract and spot some of our more secretive night time ones….maybe a beautiful Cecropia or Polyphemus moth or one of the many species of sphinx’s moths. Since they are nocturnal, viewing sites will be set up after dark to attract the moths and will continue until 11 p.m..  Naturalists will be on hand to help identify what we see.

Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times.   Our gathering spot will be Shelter D, just off Fife Avenue near the pond and wooden playground.
Registration is required.  Please register HERE.  For additional information contact Lori Williams, (937) 725-5756.   

Sunday, June 15, 2014

THIS PROGRAM IS FULL - The Lytle Creek League Of Conservators/No Child Left Indoors Passport to Fishing Program - July 12

Anglers from a previous program.  

Update - as of 6/16 @ 6:20 p.m. this program is full.  We will take a few for a waitlist and let you know if anyone cancels.  

The Lytle Creek League of Conservators/No Child Left Indoors volunteers, in their ongoing mission of reconnecting children to nature, are offering the Passport to Fishing program at the J. W. Denver Williams Memorial Park in cooperation with the City of Wilmington Parks and Recreation. The program will be held July 12 at 9:30 a.m. near the park pond. This program is all about fun and education and is suitable for children ages 5-14.
The Passport to Fishing program provides skills, techniques and information that allows any beginning anglers to start fishing, fostering life-long outdoor interest and appreciation for the natural world. The volunteers hope children will be “hooked” for life on fishing!
The program consists of four stations and includes hands-on participation and a strong conservation message. When children complete the educational portion of the program, they will receive a free rod and reel.
Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times and anyone 16 years or older must have a valid Ohio Fishing License to fish at the park pond.
Registration is required and limited and we do expect this program to fill quickly. Please register HERE. For additional information contact Lori Williams, (937) 725-5756.

No Child Left Indoors Stargazing Event - July 5

Photo credit: Tyler Williams via an Iphone and Orion XT8.
Please join Lytle Creek League of Conservators/No Child Left Indoors volunteers in our first stargazing event.  Volunteers will help children and their accompanying adults explore the night sky with telescopes and binoculars.  We will meet near the Cowan Lake Campground beach (1756 Osborn Rd. Wilmington) at 9:00 for pizza and an educational program as the sky darkens and the night sky show begins.  This program is suitable for all ages.

If the weather conditions do not permit viewing that evening, we will need to re-schedule the event.  Lets hope for clear skies!

Consider bringing blankets you can lay on the ground and watch the night sky unfold.    As you can expect, we will have "light" limitations, so be prepared to operate in the dark.  This would be a great program to do some preparation with your children with books or internet sources that offer stargazing guidance.

 Additional telescopes would be welcomed, as well as experienced stargazers who can help us out.  If you have any questions, please call Lori Williams @ (937) 725-5756.

Registration is required HERE.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bike Rodeo - Safety and Skills for Young Cyclists

Kiwanis and the Clinton County Health Department, along with their partners, are sponsoring  non-competitive fun for bicyclists ages 5 to 12.
The event will take place on May 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at J. W. Denver Williams Memorial Park.  Pre-registration is required and can be done HERE
This is a great opportunity for your children to improve important skills to help them become safer bicyclists.  Prizes, fun, and free helmets while supplies last. 
Other partners include Clinton Massie Key Club, East Clinton Key Club, Aktion Club, Wilmington Bike Club, Clinton Trails Coalition, and the City of Wilmington Parks and Recreation.