Department Manager: Chris Roshon
740.524.8600, ext. 8
The Natural Resources Department protects and enhances the district’s native habitats through restoration and active management of park lands. Below is a brief introduction into what we do to ensure each park is a valuable part of the local ecosystem.
People often are surprised to learn that many colorful, pollinator friendly prairie species are native to our area. Prairies rely on disturbances, and are maintained through periodic prescribed fire. The Ohio Prairie Association, www.ohioprairie.org, is a comprehensive source for information related to prairies in Ohio.
Besides the many benefits to water quality, wetlands act as a magnet for wildlife. It has been estimated that Delaware County currently has 2,253 acres of wetlands, a significant loss from the estimated 74,834 acres pre-settlement. In addition to protecting our existing wetlands, wetlands are being restored where they were eliminated in the past. The Ohio Wetlands Association website, www.ohwetlands.org, provides information related to wetlands in Ohio.
Our forests range from newly established seedlings to mature towering oaks. Many of the former agricultural fields within the Park District have been planted with native trees, and are in the process of reverting to woodland.
Invasive, non-native plants spread quickly and can often out-compete native species. Areas with abundant non-native plants often have low species diversity and contribute little to the local ecosystem. A variety of invasive plant species threaten the native species found in our parks, and are managed as time and resources allow. The Ohio Invasive Plants Council, www.oipc.info, is a resource for information related to invasive plants in Ohio.
Species and habitat inventory is an ongoing process, intended to document the species living within our parks and guide management of our natural areas. Several BioBlitzes have been conducted in our parks to survey plant and animal species. BioBlitz events are intended to serve a quick surveys of many species in an area, usually done by several individuals over a 24-hour period.
Click below for the results of two BioBlitz events, recently held within the park district.
Interested in Volunteering?
We rely on volunteers to help plant trees, monitor nest boxes, collect prairie seed, survey plant and animal species, remove invasive plants, photograph parks, and more. Click here for volunteer info