Conservation Leadership at the Geauga Park District

by Gideon Johnson

At the Geauga Park Board meeting on Monday August 8th, Park Biologist and Natural Resource Manager, Paul Pira, gave a presentation on the District’s plans for stream restoration work at Veterans Legacy Woods that would create a habitat for the endangered brook trout. The park, formerly a golf course, contains a rare cold water spring that is slated to be altered into a new stream bed.  This pristine cold water stream will be the perfect habitat for brook trout.  This fish was thought to be extinct in Ohio until the 1970’s when it was discovered in Spring Brook, a feeder into Bass Lake, near Chardon, Ohio.  Spring Brook is now a Nature Preserve managed by the State of Ohio.

Paul spoke about the effort to determine whether these fish were native trout, or offspring from a restocking program.  In the late 1990’s it was confirmed via DNA analysis that these fish were truly native brook trout.  They are reproducing in a hatchery and have been introduced to several other cold water streams in Geauga and neighboring counties.

Photograph by Dave Partington

As part of the restoration work, trees will be planted for shade along the stream to keep the water as cold as possible. This project, estimated to cost a cool million dollars, is being submitted to the Ohio EPA as a grant proposal.

Several other streams on the property that have been buried or diverted into culverts are being naturalized as well as part of the current restoration work that has closed Veterans Legacy Woods for the year. During the meeting the park commissioners worked on passing a budget of multiple millions of dollars for construction projects over the next several years, yet no money was allocated for Pira’s project.

Categories: Information, News

2 replies »

  1. Did you see the viewing tower at Welton’s Gorge? Also G.P.D. is under the impression that grape vines are native to North Eastern Ohio. They are not. Wild grapes are but our native grapes do not turn into tree destroying vines!


  2. Wild grapevine IS Native. It is like Poison Ivy, a native invasive. It is opportunistic in a healthy forest it thrives in openings created by storm damage or holes made from the death of a large canopy tree. The more “holes” we open in the forest the more prevalent/ invasive the grape vine (and other native and non-native) opportunistic species take hole and cause damage to the healthy remaining trees. The fragmentation of the parks for roads, paths, bike paths, shelters etc… increase both the opportunities and introduction of more annd more invasive species.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s