Scientists and community volunteers will come together in Akron on Saturday (July 11) to identify as many plants and animals as possible at Haley’s Run, a restored stream that is now part of an urban greenway.
The public is invited to help biologists and natural resources experts find and record different species at the Haley’s Run Bioblitz and Birthday Bash, a celebration of the fifth anniversary of the stream restoration project. Parents and children are welcome to take part in this event, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in southeast Akron near the Goodyear World Headquarters.
The event, which is sponsored by Western Reserve Land Conservancy in cooperation with Summit Metro Parks, is free and open to the public. There will be hands-on activities, a visit from the Akron ZooMobile, exhibits and food for purchase. Free parking is available at 1452 Archwood Ave., just west of Seiberling Street.
Bioblitz leaders – those who will be guiding participants through the greenway, searching for and recording species – will come from Summit Metro Parks, The University of Akron and EnviroScience.
The University of Akron will be represented by Dr. Randy Mitchell, director of the University’s Field Station at Bath Nature Preserve, and doctoral candidate Guarav Amarpuri, who is working with Dr. Todd Blackledge on a study of spiders and spider silk. Joel Bingham of EnviroScience, the firm that designed and monitors the Haley’s Run restoration, will also be on hand.
Exhibitors and contributors will include: the National Park Service, the Summit Soil and Water Conservation District, the Northeast Ohio Four County Regional Planning and Development Organization (NEFCO), which will provide information on the Little Cuyahoga River Balanced Growth Plan, Lockheed Martin Corp., Summit Metro Parks and Western Reserve Land Conservancy.
Haley’s Run is part of the South Akron Greenway, a network of trails and natural areas that will eventually extend north to the Little Cuyahoga River. The Land Conservancy owns property along nearby Adam’s Run and worked with Lockheed Martin on the Haley’s Run restoration, which was finished in 2010. Instead of doing the minimum to clean up a polluted, PCB-laden waterway called Haley’s Ditch, Lockheed Martin funded a complete restoration project that included a trail, native plants and a meandering stream. The Land Conservancy helped with land acquisition.
Western Reserve Land Conservancy preserves natural areas, coastal lands and farmland in northern and eastern Ohio and does urban revitalization work statewide through its Thriving Communities Institute. To date, the Land Conservancy has permanently preserved 560 properties and more than 42,000 acres.
Summit Metro Parks manages 13,000 acres, including 15 parks, several conservation areas and more than 125 miles of trails, with 22.4 miles of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. Annual attendance averages 5.2 million visitors.
For more information on the event, contact the Land Conservancy’s Emily Bacha at [email protected] or (440) 528-4178.