long ppd logoWinter News

Conserving our natural and cultural heritage
February, 2012

I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter.  Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.

                          ~Andrew Wyeth


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Trail Tracks  
Winter is a great time to scout for animal tracks. 
Think Snow

Sledders at Towner's Woods

Unfortunately, the cross-country ski race that was planned by Advanced Rehabilitation and Health Specialists and the Geiger Ski Haus for February 18th  has been cancelled, due to lack of forcasted snow. Stay tuned next year!
Congratulations Eagles!

Portage Parks benefited from the following Boy Scouts who led their troops completing park improvement projects to earn the rank of Eagle in 2011. They sought donated materials and coordinated work days to make it happen and we appreciate all of their hard work!

Brian Karavantus: Constructed and installed information kiosks
Joey Folan: Constructed and installed information kiosk
Alex Landgraf: Made and installed trail markers at the Berlin Lake Trail
Matt Ryan: Installed orienteering course at Towner's Woods
Save the Date
April 22-28

Who's Your Mama?
Earth Week Festival

Presented by
Standing Rock Cultural Arts
more info here

April 22  4th Annual Vegan Iron Chef Competition.  KSU
April 27  Environmental Film Festival. KSU Campus.
April 28  Main Street Block Party.  Downtown Kent
Save the Date
 July 14, 2012
Headwaters jpg logo
Run, Pedal & Paddle
for trails and watershed conservation
PayPal donate

Contact Information
Christine Craycroft
Portage Park District
Morgan Preserve Wetlands Restoration  

This project is a terrific partnership.  The Park District was awarded a Surface Water Improvement grant from the Ohio EPA under a provision of the Clean Water Act, to restore wetlands and a stream at the Morgan Preserve in Shalersville. Davey Resource Group won the contract to conduct the restoration of approximately 7.5 acres of wetlands and 1,470 feet of stream.  They're doing it by breaking drainage tiles and moving earth in a former farm field, planting wetland trees and shrubs (in yellow on the map), killing alien invasive plants (pink), and restoring the stream (a tributary to the Cuyahoga River) that had been channelized years ago (purple).  The restoration will have a variety of benefits, including increased aquatic wildlife habitat and improved water quality.  Increasing the wetlands area should help to moderate stormwater as well, by allowing it to soak in instead of run off.

The project is also being used as a hands-on service learning opportunity for Kent State University Biology and Conservation students who are assisting with the planning, documentation, planting and public education.  A Special Topics course entitled "Service Learning in Environmental Biology:  Riparian Habitat Restoration Methods" has been developed for this Spring, with work coordinated between the Park District, the contractor, professors and students by work study student liaisons funded in part by a grant. 

VOLUNTEERS WANTED to help plant trees and shrubs on April 14th from 9-3:00.

A public tour of the completed restoration site will be held on River Day, May 21st at 1:00. Contact the Park District for more information, or if you'd like to help out. (330) 297-7728 or ccraycroft@portageparkdistrict.org

 14th Annual Portage County
Environmental Con
servation Awards Dinner 
    PC Environmental Roundtable logo

April 21, 2012 6:00 p.m.

American Legion Hall, Kent


live music, local food appetizers, open beer and wine bar (cash bar available),  

silent auction, buffet dinner (including vegetarian option)  

Environmental Conservation Awards Presentation

  Guest Speaker: Gordon Ober

Chairman, Robinson Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees

"Healthy Parks, Healthy People"


Presented by

Portage Park District Foundation

proceeds of the fundraiser will support maintenance of your parks and trails 

For more information call (330) 297-7728   

 Nominate an Environmental Conservation Hero 

Dinner $35/person; online registration is now open, click here for more information 

Tell AMATS what you think about their Draft Bike Plan

The purpose of the Bike Plan is to enhance and increase bicycling in the region as a viable transportation option and recreationally by providing safe, accessible and efficient bike routes and facilities.  The Bike Plan will contain recommendations that include both on-road facilities, such as bicycle lanes, wide shoulders and sharrows, and off-road facilities, primarily trails, to increase the bicycle network.   


Click here to see the DRAFT Bike Plan.


The staff is asking for discussion and input on the draft Bike Plan recommendations. Please contact Krista Beniston at kbeniston@akronohio.gov or 330-375-2436 with any comments you may have.

Program Coordinator Dawn Alber Retires 
holding a snake
Dawn sharing her love of snakes 
For over 10 years, Dawn Alber has been providing education programs on behalf of the Park District to thousands of Portage Countians of all ages, sharing the wonders of the natural world and inspiring future conservationists.  From teaching about the history of wildlife in Portage County to exploring Native American history in this area, Dawn has always found creative and thoughtful ways to make learning about our natural environment fun and engaging. 

Even though she's retired now from regular Park District employment, we plan to continue our partnership with Dawn and Meadowsweet Farm, the non-profit organization she runs with her partner Ken, for occasional programs.  This Spring we'll be offering wildlife programs that will be funded by a special grant from the 'Hole in the Horn' Chapter of White Tails Unlimited. If you have a group that would like to schedule a wildlife program, please contact the park office. 
Sky Ranger 

 Astronomy program series 


Join park volunteer Guy Gillespie, otherwise known as the "Sky Ranger" in an introduction to the night skies astronomy series.  Guy completed the "Astronomy from the Ground Up" training program presented by the National Science Foundation and he's ready to share tips for navigating the night sky. 


April 20th: Make and take your own planisphere, followed  by a viewing at Dix Park 


May 26th: Tour the night skies with telescopes from the bridge of the Berlin Lake Trail


June 23rd: Learn about binoculars for skyviewing, and practice at Dix Park

Call (330) 297-7728 for info 
Commissioner Abbott RetiresDick Abbott

As always, boards change and this year we have a major change in our Portage Park District Board.  Park Commissioner Richard E. Abbott retired his commission at the end of 2011. Dick had been with the Board since he was appointed by Portage County Probate Judge Thomas Carnes in 2006, when the board expanded from three to five members.


Current President of the Board, Elizabeth Tomasko said of him: "His absence will bring a big void to our Board as Dick has brought to the table many inspirational ways to make our park district work on a shoestring budget.  Dick has offered his time, his expertise and even his home for park events.  Such dedication to our county's most wonderful outdoor arena is inspirational to the rest of us who struggle to match his enthusiasm and support.  Thanks, Dick and so long, but don't go too far away.  Your input is always welcome!"