The Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District (JSWCD) hosted their 5th annual “Off the Beaten Path” Bus Tour on Saturday, September 12, 2015, where attendees had the chance to take the day and experience the different natural resource aspects of Jefferson County. We want to thank everyone who attended and hope enjoyed your experience!
The first stop on the tour was the Toronto Band Camp Fathers. The president of the establishment, John Hartline, spoke on the history and origins. Volunteers put in much time and effort in maintaining the property. There have been many additions and restorations over the years, but the area has suffered from stream bank erosion, along with other issues from the remnants of Hurricane Ivan in 2004 Joel Bingham, Restoration Biologist from Enviroscience, Inc., spoke on the issues the camp has been facing and what steps are being taken to correct the problem. JSWCD has teamed up with EnviroScience, Inc and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) to help tackle the problem. While at Toronto Band Camp, attendees also were able to witness a fish shocking demonstration presented by Chad Kinney, Biologist from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Mineral Resources. This is a method used by surveyors for research to determine fish abundance, density & species composition.
The next stop on the bus tour was the farm of Curt and Virginia Glenn. Participants took a ride around the farm in horse-drawn wagons. The Glenns also gave a tour of their home which included many works of art, including originals from artist Dave Barnhouse. They have worked with JSWCD for many years to implement best management practices (BMPs) in addition to being very active in the Yellow Creek Watershed Restoration Coalition. The Glenn’s have also partnered with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to protect a portion of their property under the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) Easement. To end the day, attendees dined at the Johnson’s White Bear Bar & Grill in Bloomingdale.