MENTOR MARSH NEWSLETTER, SPRING/SUMMER, 2012

Mentor Marsh is an interpretative nature preserve of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the State of Ohio (ODNR) Division of Natural Areas and Pre- serves. Trails are open year-round, from dawn to dusk. The Nature Center is open on weekends, from noon to 5 p.m. April to October and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. the 1st Sunday of the month November through March.

Upcoming program details are posted at the kiosk outside of the Nature Center. Our program schedule is also listed on Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s Website http://www.cmnh.org, search for Mentor Marsh. There is no charge and all are welcome. Other programs for groups are available by appointment at a nominal charge.

Musings from the Marsh   Where did this winter go? Is it because there are so many fun, worthwhile & interesting events and programs planned at the Nature Center this spring & summer? It’s likely!

Mark your calendars & join in our larger environmental community with upcoming Marsh events:

∗         Build a rain barrel with us on April 21. Capture roof water before it runs out to your local waterway. Using rain barrel water to water around your yard saves you a little money when watering in the dry months ahead. Also see newly decorated rain barrels on display at the Nature Center-courtesy of two Mentor Elementary Schools.

∗         Marsh stewardship opportunities: Marsh Monitor with us, join our Garlic Mustard Pull on Saturday, May 5 and/or help us spruce up our stretch of the Buckeye Trail on National Trails Day on June 3.

∗         Come shop at the 4th Annual Marsh Yard Sale & Silent Auction on Saturday, July 28. Save donations for us as you spring clean, too. Thanks for your continued support!

Finally, keep current with Mentor Marsh news by “Liking” Mentor Marsh on Facebook. Look for updates on the nesting bald eagles, and see our photos and learn other news in a more timely

Inside the SPRING/SUMMER 2012 issue:

Mentor Marsh Spring/Summer Hikes         2 Marsh Education Updates         3 Bald Eagle Open House         3 Volunteering at the Marsh         3 4th Annual Yard Sale/ Silent Auction 3 Marsh Special Events         You can share your Marsh news and views on here, too!  —Becky Donaldson, Marsh Naturalist

Marsh News and Views   As spring continues to tease us here in Northeast Ohio, many beautiful thoughts of warmer weather and emerging life come to mind. This past winter has been mild, and sometimes I’ve had to check the calendar to remember that it still wasn’t over. The position of the sun in the sky as it passes over is really the only thing that remains constant to give us our shorter days and winter. As far as the sun goes, we have definitely seen a lot more of it this year as well.

For plants and wildlife, many different environmental triggers govern their behavior. With this mild winter, many creatures have been active in times when they are normally dormant. You may have seen chipmunks out and about through much of the season, or even heard spring peepers on a warmer day. Some trees’ buds have been just dying to burst. I even saw skunk cabbage in bloom in mid-January!

Most plants, insects and amphibians (frogs and salamanders) are waiting for the right weather conditions to begin life once again in spring. This means warmer temperatures and/or rain. The ground and vernal pools in which amphibians breed will then start to thaw out. Reptiles need warm temperatures and sun since they are cold-blooded and will typically come out later than some amphibians.

Mammals can go in and out of dormancy depending on the weather. Migratory birds are interesting because they undergo hormonal changes when there is more daylight in the Northern hemisphere, and this triggers them to come North to their breeding grounds, molt into breeding plumage, and begin singing to us while looking for their summer homes where they will raise the next generation.

All of these occurrences and phenomena in spring are exciting as the chain of natural events unfold. Despite the domination by phragmites (giant reed grass) in Mentor Marsh, the area still manages an amazing diversity of flora and fauna. The two biggest problems for biodiversity are the salt concentration in the Marsh that enabled the phragmites to take over, and the extreme overpopulation of white-tailed deer that eat mostly EVERYTHING.

Despite these two problems, there is plenty of hope for the recovery of habitats here, and there is much to see. Sign up for a Sunday hike with us and learn more about our diverse swamp forest habitat, the history of the Marsh, and seasonal wonders that occur here every year. Many raptors (including our resident bald eagles!) are exhibiting nesting behavior right now, and other birds are courting as well. Mole salamanders have made their way to the woodland pools to breed, and early migratory birds are arriving.

The chain of events that brings us into spring has already begun, so I hope that you come out and enjoy these beautiful spectacles— either on your own or on a guided Sunday hike with us!              –Doug Marcum, Naturalist

Mentor Marsh Spring and Summer 2012 Programs

Family nature programs & guided hikes are offered every Sunday we are open from 2-3:30 p.m. There is no charge & all are welcome. Bring your own field guides/ binoculars or we’ll have some to lend. Reservations requested.

The Mentor Marsh Nature Center is open weekends from 12-5 p.m. April-October. For more information & for program res- ervations, contact the Nature Center at: 440-257-0777, by mail at 5185 Corduroy Rd., Mentor, OH 44060, or email at rdonalds@cmnh.org.

April 1 Woodland Jewels- Vernal Pools! Learn about these woodland wetlands & hike to explore them looking for spring peepers & salamanders! We’ll be at the water’s edge, so dress for wet and/or muddy conditions.

April 8 The Nature Center will be closed on Easter Sunday. Trails open.

April 15 Signs of Spring. Join us for a springtime discovery hike. We’ll look for early spring wildflowers, buds bursting & wildlife activity on this week’s hike. Plus, take home materials on Cititzen Science Project Budburst to track budburst activity at your own home.

April 21 Special Stewardship Saturday  Celebrate the Earth & make a Rain Barrel 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Make & take a rain barrel home. $60 includes barrel, & kit for adapting your system to capture roof water. Call the Nature Center at 440-257-0777 or email rdonalds@cmnh.org to reserve your spot.

April 22 Celebrate Earth Day with the Birds! Spring is the time to bird in Northeast Ohio as migrating birds return and Earth Day is a great way to recognize how special this migration spectacle is. Amble through hotspots looking for some early spring migrants.

April 29 Sleuthing for Spring Wild- flowers-Oh, Deer! To find a thriving patch of wildflowers at our preserve, we’ll hike to our deer exclosures & see what’s growing out of reach of deer. Prepare to be amazed at the wildflowers protected behind the fences!

May 5 Special Stewardship Saturday   9 a.m.-12 p.m. Help us with restoration efforts around the Marsh. Grab your gloves & boots & join the volunteer attempt to round up invasive Garlic Mustard weed in our forest.

 May 6 Bald Eagle Open House! Celebrate eagles with hands-on activi- ties & learning stations from 12-5 p.m. at the Nature Center. Hike at 12:30, 2 or 3:30 p.m. to view eagle nest. Registration required for hikes.

May 13 Happy Mother’s Day! Spend this special day doing something fun & unique with your mother. Enjoy the outdoors, fresh air & discover the beauty of the season with your mom.

May 20 Observe Endangered Species Day We’ll learn about our area’s endangered species-both plants & animals, then we’ll hike to view the bald eagle nest.

May 27 Discover Wild Wetlands   Usher out Wetlands Month with a bang! Explore wetlands in this hands- on program & discover the wide diversity of life requiring wetlands & water to survive. Program is at water’s edge; dress for wet/muddy conditions.

 June 3 Celebrate National Trails Day ® at Mentor Marsh! Help us take part in the long standing celebration of America’s magnificent trail system and its countless supporters and volunteers. Help us “spruce” up our section-2 miles of the Buckeye Trail. Tools provided; wear sturdy footwear and bring work gloves.

 June 10 The Trees in Our Forest  Get into the shade of the woods & explore the upland forest & shrub ecosystem surrounding the Marsh. We’ll work on identification & discuss forest diversity & trends on this hike.

 June 17 Happy Father’s Day! Dads- get outside & explore with your kids. We’ll turn over logs and rocks, scoop critters-look for life at the Marsh!

 June 24 Discover the Marsh at the Lagoons. Meet at the Mentor La- goons City Nature Preserve trailhead (8365 Harbor Dr.) for a discovery walk at the western edge of the Marsh.

 July 1 Grow with Us! Let’s explore plants in our Nature Center rain gar- den & other landscaping & peek into the prairie. What’s blooming? Light landscaping help appreciated as we investigate these landscapes. Please bring tools, wear clothes for getting dirty & help us grow our plant life for both our enjoyment & for the wildlife! 

July 8 Seasonal Ventures Come with us on a hike, learn the natural history of what we find on our discovery walk.

 July 15 Why Do Native Plants Matter? Learn about native plants around the Nature Center & venture into the Marsh. Discover why these plants matter & which ones are important to plant in your own home landscaping.

 July 22 Wake Robin Wanderings.   What’s happening along the board- walk at Mentor Marsh? Let’s see what’s blooming, scoop for pond crit- ters & investigate the area around the Wake Robin Trail in the Marsh.

 July 28 Marsh Yard Sale & Silent Auction 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Come shop!

 July 29 Discover the Marsh at the Lagoons. Meet at the Mentor La- goons City Nature Preserve trailhead (8365 Harbor Dr.) for a discovery walk at the western edge of the Marsh.

 August 5 Seasonal Ventures Come with us on a hike, learn natural history of what we find on our discovery walk.

 August 12 Alien Grass Among Us?   Learn about our Marsh’s tall reed grass-Phragmites. Does wildlife use it? Any other uses? How can we control it? Hike into the Marsh to learn more about this invasive plant.

 August 19 Scouting for Butterflies in the Marsh Join local butterfly enthusiast, Mary Ann Wagner for a butterfly hike at the Marsh. We’ll explore the connection of providing nectar & host plants for these winged critters & look for both butterflies & caterpillars. We’ll provide identification materials.

 August 26 Discover the Marsh at the Lagoons. Meet at the Mentor La- goons City Nature Preserve trailhead (8365 Harbor Dr.) for a discovery walk at the western edge of the Marsh.

Mentor Marsh Education Programs   Mentor Marsh Field Trips Our Naturalists offer hands-on field trips for pre-K through college age classes. For more details on Mentor Marsh education programs, call 440-257-0777 or view the field trip description & science content standards for Mentor Marsh programs in CMNH’s School and Teacher Ser- vices booklet. It can be accessed digitally at:   ttp://cmnh.org/site/ClassesandPrograms/SchoolProgr ams.aspx .

Other programs, speaking engagements and/or hikes are available by appointment at a nominal charge.

 Mentor Marsh Nature Center is a now Satellite Lending Site!   Teachers, Scout groups and other Educators— We are now a “Satellite Site” of the Museum’s Science Resource Center (SRC) and have Thematic Teaching Kits and Dioramas to loan. Six kits available include: NASA Rocketry, Discovering Ohio, Soils, Desert, Trilobites & Stories in Stone. Two dioramas avail- able are: Backyard Habitat & Life Cycles. More information on these kits and dioramas is online at cmnh.org, search for Science Resource Center or contact the Mentor Marsh Nature Center.

Loaning is by appointment only at the Nature Center or during regular Nature Center hours. Donations for loans appreciated.

Bald Eagle Celebration at Mentor Marsh Open House on Sunday, May 6         12– 5 p.m.   Join us–   Explore the Nature Center exhibits & fun, hands-on learning stations from noon to 5 p.m. Find out more about bald eagles & the biology of these great birds.

Come along on a guided hike to view the eagle nest. Hikes at 12:30, 2 and 3:30 p.m. Reservations are required for hikes. Space is limited, so call 440-257-0777 or email rdonalds@cmnh.org to reserve your spot. Hike is about 2 miles round trip on an unimproved trail which can be muddy seasonally. Wear boots & gear for the weather conditions as hike is a go in light rain. Trail is not recommended for small children.

Learn more about local conservation opportunities from partner organizations & visit with Smokey Bear.

Help us collect scientific data as part of the Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program-a “Citizen Science” initiative to monitor marshes across the Great Lakes basin.

This program is designed to collect information about the presence & abundance of bird & amphibian species in the Great Lakes marshes, to contribute to our under- standing of these species & their habitat needs.

Training kit & materials are provided. Sampling takes place during spring & early summer months. What a fun & useful way to learn something new, practice your “Naturalist” talents or tune up rusty skills!

Do you have talent(s) or time to give to the Marsh?   We could use your help and talents in nearly every aspect of our work at the Marsh. Training is provided, if needed. Fun, purposeful work, & flexible times available. Adults or older youth can volunteer. Do you have specific talents/interests in:

∗Educational programming

∗Native landscaping

∗ Stewardship efforts & res- toration-plant & animals

∗Exhibit design/building ∗Marketing ∗Special events ∗Light office duties ∗Historical research

∗Graphic design

Call or email to volunteer & join our efforts at the Marsh today! 440-257-0777 or rdonalds@cmnh.org

4th Annual Mentor Marsh Yard Sale & Silent Auction

1st: Donate! Clean out your closets, basements, attics & garages and donate them to the Marsh! Drop off any gently-used items at the Nature Center on Saturdays or Sundays between 12 & 5 p.m. Please, NO clothing or non-nature books. Need pick-up of larger items? Call 440-257-0777.

2nd: Shop! Find super deals on nature items, furniture, camping/outdoor gear, fitness gear, yard gear, kids’ toys, housewares, collectibles & more! Bid on Silent Auction certificates & donated items from favorite local businesses. Includes restaurants, auto/home & personal care items.

Proceeds benefit the Mentor Marsh Nature Center education programs. Thank you for your support!

Carol H. Sweet-Mentor Marsh Nature Center 5185 Corduroy Rd. Mentor OH         44060

Phone: 440-257-0777 Email: rdonalds@cmnh.org We’re on the web! http://www.cmnh.org- Search for Mentor Marsh or visit http://www.cmnh.org/Conservation.aspx

Special Events at the Marsh

Go green for the Marsh! If you didn’t know, you can choose to receive this newsletter electronically rather than by mail. The easiest way to set this up is to contact Becky by email at rdonalds@cmnh.org or call the Nature Center at 440-257-0777. Thanks for your help! 

Reservation requested for most events and required for others. Call 440-257-0777 or email rdonalds@cmnh.org to reserve your spot.

Make Your Own Rain Barrel! Saturday, April 21, 10 a.m.-noon Make and take a rain barrel home. $60 includes barrel, & kit for adapting your system at home. RSVP required.

Garlic Mustard Pull, Saturday, May 5, 9 a.m.-noon Help us rid our forest of this pesky invasive plant.

Bald Eagle Fest, Sunday, May 6, 12– 5 p.m. Open House at Mentor Marsh Nature Center Explore the exhibits & hands-on learning stations to discover more about bald eagles. RSVP needed for guided hike to view the eagle nest. Choose from hikes at 12:30, 2 & 3:30 p.m.

National Trails Day, Sunday, June 3, 2-3:30 p.m. Hike our trails? Give back & help work on the Zimmerman Trail-our section of the Buckeye Trail.

4th Annual Mentor Marsh Yard Sale & Silent Auction, Saturday, July 28, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Shop gently used items & silent auction items and help fund education programs at the Marsh! Yard Sale & local business gift certificate donations welcome. Contact the Nature Center about donations.

BOARD MEMBERS   Bob Bartolotta Dr. James Bissell, Carole Clement, Becky Daresh, Sylvia Jayne Vice Chair, Betty Hollister, Sue Kaufman, Ray Kirchner, Jim Langford, Frank Lichtkoppler Secretary, Dr. Timothy Matson, Tom Rapini Chair, Dr. Michael Rowan, Dr. David Saja, Gary Schaefer Treasurer, Jo Schaefer, Diane Skipper, Harvey Webster, Bob Zeitz

EX-OFFICIO Mentor Marsh Naturalists: Becky Donaldson Natalie Gertz-Young Bapu Gokhale Doug Marcum Dolores Pinchot Cathy Platano, Adam Wohlever, Preserve Manager, DNAP, ODNR, Dr. Evalyn Gates, Executive Director and CEO, CMNH

Mission: Promoting stewardship of Mentor Marsh for its environmental & aesthetic value & providing educational, scientific, & recreational opportunities for visitors to the unique ecosystem & interactive nature preserve.

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