Monday, April 4, 2016

2016 Ohio Prairie Association Annual Conference

2016 Ohio Prairie Association Annual Conference 

Online Registration is now closed. If you would still like to attend please contact conference organizer Cinda Stutzman -

Wood County Prairies and Savannas

Saturday, August 13

Conference Location: 
Simpson Building 
1291 Conneaut Ave. 
Bowling Green, OH 43402  

Time:   9 AM (door open at 8) with field trips ending by 4:30 PM

Cost:  $35 for Professionals (lunch included) 

           $15 for Students (lunch included)

Lunch choice=Vegetarian or Turkey or Ham or Roast Beef

Save the date and join us for a day of prairies and savannas in the flatlands of Northwest Ohio! 

We will begin our day in Bowling Green at the Simpson Garden Park for speakers and lunch. From there we will branch out through the county to explore some prairie remnant gems, a fabulous greenhouse and seed nursery operation, and several prairie restorations and recreations. Mark Your Calendar For questions please contact Cinda Stutzman, Bowling Green Parks and Recreation.  

Hosted by Bowling Green Parks and Recreation, with support from The Wood County Park District, The Black Swamp Conservancy, and Bowling Green State University


Lori Stevenson, USFWS, State Private Lands Coordinator  USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program

The Partners Program is a voluntary program that works with private landowners to improve fish and wildlife habitat on their lands. Lori will be speaking on upland wetland restoration in NW Ohio and the Ohio Pollinator Initiative. 

Cinda Stutzman, Bowling Green Parks and Recreation, Natural Resources Specialist The Bowling Green and Wood County Landscape, Past and Present and Future

The short version of the story could be that Wood County was a swamp and now it is farmland. But there is so much more to the story. It has been 17 years since an OPA conference has been hosted in BG. What progress have we made? What does Bowling Green and the county have to offer with respect to natural areas conservation, enhancement and restoration? What role do we play?

Brianna Witte, Wood County Park District, Woodland Specialist

Discover new parks or rediscover an old favorite as Briana Witte, Woodland Specialist, takes us on a journey through some of the restoration work being done at the Wood County Park District.

Sarah Betts – Hancock County ParksPrairies and the Management Crusade

Finding the holy grail for prairie management continues to elude land owners.  Review tools in your holster to whip your prairie into shape and see the healing effects on existing prairies.

Field Trip A: Plant Propagation and a Large Field Conversion – Wood County Park District’s greenhouse and seed nursery at Reuthinger Preserve and The Black Swamp Conservancy’s Homestead
Reuthinger Tour: When you visit the Native Seed Nursery and Greenhouse at Reuthinger Memorial Preserve you won’t believe it has only been in operation for 8 years. Tour the 2,880 ft² greenhouse, coldframe and 144 nursery beds on site. You can also see the Northern Bobwhite Quail flypen as well as the honey bee hive. Learn how the Stewardship Department of the Wood County Park District uses this facility to further the restoration work being done in 19 parks across Wood County.
Black Swamp Conservancy Tour: Historically, the Great Black Swamp featured dense forests of giant oak, sycamore, hickory, maple and beech. In areas where limestone ridges projected above the level drift of the topography, shallow bedrock failed to support the growth of trees. Some of the eastern-most prairie remnants were found at these locations. Such a ridge is located at the Black Swamp Conservancy Homestead Prairie. Here, 25 acres of tall-grass prairie have been restored at a site where it would have likely existed in previous times. Restoration efforts began in 2005 with the planting of native grass and wildflower mixes and the creation of ephemeral ponds. Today, the prairie has sprung to life with Big Bluestem, Indian Grass, Tall Boneset, Prairie Dock, Butterfly Weed, Monkeyflower, White Indigo and more. A one-mile mowed trail winds through the property allowing for easy navigation and viewing of the prairie.

Field Trip B: 
Remnant Gems - Baldwin Woods, Rudolph Savanna followed by Wintergarden/St. John’s Nature Preserve
Baldwin Woods: Purchased from Brown University in 1993, the 124-acre preserve is a mix of woodlands, prairie and wetlands.  No established trails exist allowing visitors the opportunity to explore this jewel in a more natural state.  A sand ridge runs through the preserve, a unique natural feature rarely found in the Great Black Swamp that once covered Wood County. It is home to species of rare wildflowers, including members of the orchid family.
Rudolph Savanna: Rudolph Savanna was originally acquired by the Wood County Parks in 1998. An open, sandy area amongst swamp woodlands, this place is a delight to botanists. The savanna is managed with prescribed burns on a regular basis. Uncommon wildflowers that may be found here include dotted horsemint and blue lupine.
Wintergarden/St. John’s Nature Preserve: The preservation of what was to become a 100 acre nature preserve at the edge of town was not the intent of the City of Bowling Green when the first parcel of land was purchased in 1946. But time marches on and plans change and evolve.  The preserve has been put together over 60 years via 5 land parcels, each with a different land use history (former farm fields, a grazed savanna and woodland, a second growth woodland, and a semi-mature swamp woods). Along with the variety of soil types, this foundation for restoration proved to be a unique and amazing opportunity. Come see the progress from the planting of the first lupine in 1996 to where the preserve stands today.
Wintergarden/St. John’s Nature Preserve: See above
Prairie at University House: Come and explore this amazing back yard! In 2009, BGSU planted a nine-acre shortgrass prairie to serve as the backdrop for University House, the official residence of the BGSU President. By planting a prairie in this setting, the University has demonstrated a commitment to sustainability in the community. 

Field Trip C:  
Re-greening Bowling Green – Wintergarden/St. John’s Nature Preserve followed by the Prairie at University House 

Online Registration is now closed. If you would still like to attend please contact conference organizer Cinda Stutzman -