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Thursday, July 31 2014 @ 07:38 PM EDT

Greene County Parks News

  • Non-native Fish in the Little Miami River Threaten Future of Local Aquatic Life
  • Nature on the Go:  Greene County Parks' Week-long Nature Day Camps Travel Throughout Region
  • Greene County Parks Host “Ancient Archeologists Artifacts” Day Camp for Local Children
  • Greene County Parks Doggie Dash ‘n Splash Accepting Nominations for King and Queen Honors
  • August Programs, Hikes, Events to Residents of All Ages

 

Non-native Fish in the Little Miami River Threaten Future of Local Aquatic Life
by Mel Grosvenor, Greene County Parks Naturalist

Typically when we think of non-native species we think of plants: honeysuckle, butterweed, purple loosestrife. In this case, it is an animal species that is having a negative impact on a habitat.

Northern Studfish are a type of topminnow. These are small surface-swimming fish related to the killifishes, which are found in fresh, brackish, and salt water throughout the U.S. Northern Stud-fish spawn in shallow water along the edges of streams.

Unlike most topminnows, they spawn on clean gravel substrate rather than on plants. They sometimes use the nests of sunfish species as spawning sites. They are adept leapers and can leap out of the water with a quick tail flip when attacked.

Males in breeding colors are quite stunning. They have a light brown back with a short gold streak down the center of their back just in front of the dorsal fin. The dorsal and anal fins set far back on their bodies. Their sides are silvery-blue with brilliant red spots that form horizontal lines as they go toward the tail. The tails have an orange margin followed by a black band. There are blue patches above the eyes that appear to glow much like the gold patch on their backs. Because of their striking coloration, the males are sometimes kept in aquariums.

They are quite aggressive, however, and territorial.

The Northern Studfish is native to areas such as the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains, parts of Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana. It was first documented here in 1995 where Massies Creek meets the Little Miami River. Most likely, they were either released aquarium pets or bait fish.

They have spread rapidly. In 1997, they were still only found in Massies Creek. In 1998, they had established populations in lower Massies Creek and in the Little Miami River just upstream from the mouth of Massies Creek. In 2000, they had spread about seven miles upstream in Massies Creek as far as the gorge at Indian Mound Reserve and were also found in the tributaries of Clark Run and Old Town Creek.

In the Little Miami River, they have now spread all the way from Jacoby Road Launch to State Route 42. They have not been documented thus far in the Ohio River. Local fishermen have been finding more and more of them over the years. When kick seining, they represent about 60 to 70% of the fish brought in.

Besides the fact that they compete with native fish for resources, they also pose a threat by residing in the nurseries of other fish and consuming what they find.

For more information about any native plants, wildlife or other natural resource topics, call Greene County Parks at (937) 562-7440.

Nature on the Go:  Greene County Parks' Week-long Nature Day Camps Travel Throughout Region

Blending nature, entertainment and education, Greene County Parks' Nature on the Go weeklong day camps are a popular destination for youth ages seven and up throughout the region.

The nature camps are hosted throughout Greene County to bring Greene County Park programs into each community. Each camp operates from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, at rotating sites.

"We bring our talented naturalist team into the community," says Greene County Parks Chief Naturalist Cris Barnett. "Our Nature on the Go units allow Greene County Parks to offer two camps each week in varying locations. We want everyone to have the chance to explore the natural world that is right in their community and in their own backyard."

Nature to Go Camps that are still accepting registrations will be offered at James Ranch Park, Xenia; Russ Nature Reserve, Beavercreek; Community Park East, Fairborn; Glen Helen, Yellow Springs; Phillips Park, Beavercreek; Spring Lakes Park, Bellbrook; Wright State University, Fairborn; and Crooked Creek Nature Sanctuary, Sugarcreek Township.

Cost is $35 per child for a Greene County resident; $45 per child for a non-Greene County resident.

For more information on dates of camps or to register, call Greene County Parks at (937) 562-7440 or email rgregory@co.greene.oh.us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pictures (Left to Right) 1) Seven-year-old Aaron Adkins of Xenia shows off the striped wolf spider he caught during an insect safari during a hike at Massie Creek Park in Cedarville. 2) Combine a group of young boys, Massie Creek and a wayward crayfish and an afternoon of excitement is guaranteed during a recent Nature to Go camp in Cedarville. 3) Stalking an unsuspecting insect in a field adjacent to Massie Creek Park in Cedarville, Gabriel Pabon, 12 of Beavercreek, mastered the art of catching insects for identification. 4) Greene County Parks’ seasonal naturalist Shandah Brennan helps young campers identify the insects they have caught and will release in Massie Creek Park. 5) Greene County Parks’ seasonal naturalist Erin Klosterman works with Gabriel Pabon, 12 of Beavercreek, to identify his butterfly at Massie Creek Park. 6) Aaron Adkins, Tyler Straume and Meghan Straume, all of Xenia, rest for a moment on a boulder in the shade before heading to Massie Creek to look for aquatic life.


Greene County Parks Host “Ancient Archeologists Artifacts” Day Camp for Local Children

Uncovering the secrets left behind by our Native American neighbors, local children between the ages of seven and 12 recently explored the mysteries of the Indian Mound Reserve in Cedarville at Greene County Parks’ Ancient Archeologists Artifacts summer youth camp.

A day camp held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the week included an archeological dig, drawing a map of buried treasure, unearthing how the Native Americans lived and searching the gorge for stories from the region’s past.  Children enjoyed hikes throughout the reserve, gorge and mound area, as well as participated in crafts and games enjoyed by Native Americans.

Summer youth camps and programs are still available to families, says Greene County Parks’ chief naturalist Cris Barnett.

“Our team offers a wide variety of one-day and week-long programs that meet the interests of any child,” she says.  “Our summer schedule is still full of events for adults and children of all ages.”

For more information on any Greene County Parks’ summer youth camps or special programs, call (937) 562-7440 or email rgregory@co.greene.oh.us.

Left to Right - 1) Greene County Park’s seasonal naturalist Abram Brown answers questions from several of his young campers. 2) Camper Jack Harmer makes sure he stays hydrated after a hike back from the Williamson Mound. 3) Campers enjoy their lunch break after playing a game of “Flinch,” an activity enjoyed by Native American children in the area’s historical past.


Greene County Parks Doggie Dash ‘n Splash Accepting Nominations for King and Queen Honors

Nominations are currently being sought for the 2011 Greene County Parks’ Doggie Dash ‘N Splash Canine King and Queen who will reign over this year’s festivities on Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Fairgrounds Recreation Center.

Owners may nominate their dogs by submitting their photos with a $5 donation to Greene County Parks.

All dogs are then voted on by the general public with a 25 cent donation.  Votes may be mailed or delivered to Greene County Parks, 651 Dayton-Xenia Rd., Xenia, 45385.

All nominees are posted on Facebook at Doggie Dash ‘N Splash. The top vote- getting pooches will be named King and Queen with the top ten honored as the royal court.

All proceeds benefit the Scout Burnell-Garbrecht Dog Park in Xenia with plans to build additional paddocks and other amenities.

For more information on nominating a favorite pet, call Greene County Parks at (937) 562-7440 or email rgregory@co.greene.oh.us.

 

August Programs, Hikes, Events to Residents of All Ages

Greene County Parks begins late summer with a full calendar of hikes, events and programs for residents of all ages.

"Predator Prowl" will be held from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Aug. 1 to 5, at the Narrows Reserve and Nature Center, 2575 Indian Ripple Rd., Beavercreek,  for children between the ages of seven and 12.  Participants will learn how a spider catches prey, how coyotes find their food, as well as the different methods of stalking and tracking.  Cost is $70 for Greene County residents; $80 for non residents.

The Sportsman's Seminar Series will be held beginning at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 2, at the Greene County Highway Garage, 615 Dayton-Xenia Rd., Xenia. Featured topic will be "Tips, Tactics and Equipment to Prepare for Squirrel Season." The event is free and open to the public.

Greene County Trail sentinels will lead a free night ride beginning at 7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 6, at Xenia Station and ride to Fifth Third Park in Beavercreek.  A night ride will also be held Saturday, Aug. 20, beginning at Yellow Springs Station and ending at Young’s Jersey Dairy.

"Let’s Go Creekin'" is a free event for families beginning at 2 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 7, to explore Old Town Creek at Sara Lee Arnovitz Preserve, 350 Kinsey Rd., Xenia, for fish, turtles and other aquatic life.  Dip nets will be provided but water or tennis shoes are required.

"Ultimate Challenge Camp" will ask participants to work as a team to blaze new trails, build a fort and more in the style of ‘Survivor’ or 'Amazing Race.'  Open to youth between the ages of 12 and 15, the camp will be held from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Aug. 8 to 12, at the Narrows Reserve and Nature Center.  Cost is $70 (resident) and $80 (non-resident).

For youth between the ages of seven and 12, insects will be featured in “All My Friends Are Insects” from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Aug. 8 to 12, at the Narrows Reserve and Nature Center.  Participants will learn about the adaptations made by insects, varieties and why some creep, crawl or even smell funny.  Cost is $70 (resident) and $80 (non-resident).

Listen to the sounds of a summer night beginning at 8:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 13, at Indian Mound  Reserve, 2750 SR 42 E., Cedarville, during the “Full Moon Night Hike.” This free event is for adults and for families. Participants should park in the Williamson Mound parking lot.

"Family Fun Day' will be held beginning at 2 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 14, at the Narrows Reserve and Nature Center, Beavercreek.  Families will spend time creekin’ to discover salamanders and other water critters.  Crafts and other activities are planned.  Cost is $20 per family of four (resident); and $25 for family of four (non-resident).  Each additional person is $5.

Want to get "Wet 'n Wild' this summer?  Children between the ages of seven and 12 will explore how water oozes, squirts, squishes and makes it way around the world at the camp offered from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Aug. 15 to 19, at the Narrows Reserve and Nature Center. Cost is $70 (resident) and $80 (non resident).

John Sheehan, local photography instructor, will lead “Shutterbugs” from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Aug. 20, at Greene County Parks’ Doggie Dash ‘N Splash. Participants will learn how to photograph animals and action.  Cost is $10, Greene County resident; $15, non resident.

A "Down River Canoe Float" will be held beginning at 6 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 21, at the Narrows Reserve, main parking lot, Beavercreek. The leisurely float will take two-and-one-half hours; canoes, paddles and personal floatation devices will be provided.  Experience in a canoe is recommended.  Cost is $10 per person; two adults maximum per canoe.

Children between the ages of two-and-one-half and four years old with their adult companion can enjoy a nature hike and story with Nestlings from 10 to 11 a.m., Wed., Aug. 24, at the Narrows Reserve and Nature Center.  Cost is $3 per child (Greene County resident) and $5 per child (non-resident). The topic is “Fish are Fish."

For children four-and-one-half to six years old, Nature Nuts will be held from 1 to 2 p.m., Wed., Aug. 24, at the Narrows Reserve and Nature Center and include a nature hike and story about “Water Wonders."

Join the “Hebble Creek Hike” beginning at 10 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 25, at Hebble Creek, Spangler Road, Fairborn, for a free hike featuring wildflowers in the wetlands.  Learn about wildflowers and other plants of a wetland during their prime bloom time.

A "Honey Harvest" will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Narrows Reserve and Nature Center.  The Greene County Beekeepers will harvest honey and honey comb from the hives. Participants will help spin the honey off the comb and watch as it is bottled for sale.  Honey will be for sale that day.

Anglers 14 years and older can participate in a free Fishing Derby from 6 to 8:30 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 28, at Spring Lakes Park, 2191 Ferry Rd., Bellbrook.  Contests will be held for the biggest fish caught (bass or bluegill), most creative bait and most fish caught over four inches in length.

Participants fishing during derby hours are not required to have a permit unless they plan on keeping the fish or fish beyond the derby hours.  The bait house will be open for permit sales, bait, snacks and fishing supplies.

For more information about any Greene County Parks program, event or facility, call  937.562.6440 or email rgregory@co.greene.oh.us/parks.  Information can also be found at www.greene.co.oh.us/parks or FB (Greene County Parks).

Upcoming Events

Sunday 27-Jul -
Saturday 02-Aug
Thursday 31-Jul
Friday 01-Aug
Saturday 02-Aug
Sunday 03-Aug
Monday 04-Aug
Tuesday 05-Aug
Wednesday 06-Aug
Thursday 07-Aug
Friday 08-Aug
Sunday 10-Aug
Monday 11-Aug
Tuesday 12-Aug