Conservancy Magazine Fall/Winter 2022

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FALL / WINTER 2022, VOLUME 8: ISSUE 1 THE RESILIENCE ISSUE THE RESILIENT MONARCH BUTTERFLY: The Monarch Journey & Protecting Monarchs in CVNP UNSUNG HEROES: Judy Hirschman & the CVNP butterfly monitoring team Q&A: What’s the Sitch with the Former Brandywine Golf Course Property? AND MORE!

OUR MISSION

MAGAZINE FALL/WINTER 2022, VOLUME 8: ISSUE 1 CORPORATE FRIENDS 04 06 10 SKYLIGHT PARK UNSUNG HEROES: JUDY HIRSCHMAN THE RESILIENT MONARCH 16 18 BEAVER WINTER ADAPTIONS Q & A: WHAT’S THE SITCH WITH THE FORMER BRANDYWINE GOLF COURSE PROPERTY? 20 KREJCI DUMP 22 SOCIAL CREATURES 09 MEET THE STAFF
The Conservancy enriches people’s lives and enhances our region by inspiring use, preservation and support of Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Deb Yandala, President and CEO

Donté Gibbs, VP of Community Partnerships

Sheryl Hoffman, VP of Philanthropy

January Miller, VP of Education

Janice Matteucci, Senior VP of Strategic Initiatives

Gregory Morton, VP of Administration

Zaina Salem, Editor

Sam Harsh Associate Editor DESIGN Agnes Studio helloagnes.com

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Steve Abdenour

Tamara Mora

Tushar Patel

Janice Radl

Curt Reynolds

Sandy Selby

Lisa Ramirez Shah Ken Smith

James Snider

V. Rena Suber

Irving B. Sugerman

Karyn Sullivan, Board Vice-Chair

Tom Tyrrell

Bob Vecchione

Nancy Wellener

A LETTER FROM THE CONSERVANCY

One of the joys of recent months has been the return to in-person events, meetings, volunteer activities, and more. Park visitors and supporters are great people and I enjoy watching the warm smiles, high fives, and occasionally even a hug or two, as people see each other in-person for the first time in a while.

It’s been such an unusual time with increased park visitation and appreciation for it, while many staff and volunteers have been forced to work from home. We have approached work in new ways and have discovered new reasons to value our national park.

Together, our supporters, our staff, and our volunteers, especially our Board of Directors, have gotten lots done. This is resilience—successfully adapting to changing circumstances. You will see examples of resilience throughout this issue. The resilience of nature, adaptions by park and Conservancy staff to protect land, hard work of volunteers, and more.

Our Board of Directors has bravely made hard decisions with measured risk this past few years, most especially around the purchase of the former Brandywine Golf Course. They have also led the way on raising funds and supporting the future of the Conservancy. We recently said good-bye to committed Board Members who completed their second three year term on the board, which then requires them to step down. We are grateful to the following for sharing their time and talents with us: Emily Holiday, Shawn Lyden, Brett Reynolds, Rick Taylor, and Gary Lobaza.

At the same time, we welcome the following leaders to their first term on our Board:

Scott Bindel, Operations Manager, Gilbane Building Company

Karlton Laster, Director of Federal Programs & National Advocacy, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, Inc.

Tamara Mora, Director of Development, University of Akron

Tushar Patel, Director of Finance, Digital Office, Eaton

Ken Smith, Attorney, Mansour Gavin LPA

Nancy Wellener, Community Advocate

Steve Wiezorek, Sr. Vice President of Product Innovation, The Sherwin-Williams Company

In previous years we listed names of donors in our fall/winter magazine. It has long been confusing that our fiscal year does not match the calendar year. While from a business perspective, this works well for us, as it keeps a school year within a fiscal year and is close to the federal fiscal year, from a donor’s standpoint, it doesn’t quite match. We have decided to recognize donors based on the calendar year. For this year only, all donors from September 1, 2021 –December 31, 2022, will be recognized in the Spring/Summer 2023 magazine. Going forward, donors will be recognized in the spring for donations within a calendar year.

Thank you for making great things happen in Cuyahoga Valley National Park!

Phil LiBassi, Board Chair

Steve Wiezorek

CONSERVANCY MAGAZINE Fall/Winter 2022 Volume 8: Issue 1
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SKYLIGHT PARK

IMAGINE STEPPING INTO A PEACEFUL, GREEN RESPITE AMIDST DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, COMPLETE WITH CLASSIC MIDWESTERN FOLIAGE AND ORGANIC GREENERY.

This is something you don’t have to just imagine – the new Skylight Park, unveiled this past summer, is part of the continued transformation of Tower City Center, offering engaging experiences in downtown Cleveland.

Bedrock Cleveland, a full-service commercial real estate company specializing in the strategic development of Midwestern urban cores, collaborated with Cuyahoga Valley National Park to bring the national park to the core of Cleveland. Skylight Park offers a place to commune and relax through a reimagined space. It features hand-selected native Ohio foliage including Eastern Purple Coneflower and the Black-eyed Susan. You will also find CVNP and the Conservancy’s “Mindfulness Moments,” encouraging quotes and mantras, posted among the greenery.

At the onset of the pandemic, we were sharply reminded of the benefits nature has on our mental health and physical well-being.

“The point is that in Cleveland and Akron, we are not lacking in the sense of quality outdoor green space systems, but we do deserve options,” said Donté Gibbs, Vice President of Community Partnerships at the Conservancy. “We can have great outdoor spaces and we can have amazing indoor spaces. It is critical that we remain on the leading edge of vibrancy while enhancing our community engagement and partnerships.”

The space not only serves as a quiet place for reflection, but a gathering place for the community and local businesses.

“Skylight Park is a space that allows for flexible meeting space and quick Wi-Fi access in addition to a mix of live and artificial foliage to provide the perfect backdrop to our everyday lives in and around the city,” Gibbs said. “Businesses can benefit from residents and visitors who now spend time in the space. The community at large has an indoor option to enjoy nature and the many exciting changes happening at Tower City all year long.”

The Conservancy strives to connect, honor, and work with our neighboring communities. An indoor park creates opportunities for purposeful connection in one of Cleveland’s most historic places.

“We were created as a ‘Parks to People’ intentionally. This partnership lives and breathes those words of that legislation,” Gibbs said. “As we continue to give, love, hope, and laugh, we must believe in the shared spaces we have and create and learn from.”

“Skylight Park is a space that allows for flexible meeting space and quick Wi-Fi access in addition to a mix of live and artificial foliage to provide the perfect backdrop to our everyday lives in and around the city.”
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PHOTOS COURTESY OF ZAINA SALEM

UNSUNG HERO

JUDY HIRSCHMAN

Most weekends when the weather is warm, you can find Judy Hirschman at Indigo Lake or Terra Vista, clipboard in hand, doing one simple thing: counting butterflies.

Just about ten years ago, Judy knew almost nothing about butterflies. She started out volunteering for the former Polar Express program and happened to stumble upon a volunteer opportunity for butterfly monitoring after a recommendation from a ranger. Having just retired from an administrative career at Kent State, she decided to try something new.

Butterfly monitoring is a process through which park scientists are able to keep a regular inventory of butterfly species in the park. By keeping track of what types of butterflies are where, and how many there are, we’re able to draw more informed conclusions about how habitats and local ecologies are evolving.

“It was really overwhelming at first. I remember I had this butterfly field guide that had hundreds of species in it, and I felt like I had to learn them all,” she said with a laugh.

After her first couple of monitoring sessions, however, she quickly learned that there was a short list of about twenty butterfly species park scientists referred to in their field work, and it became much less intimidating after that. These twenty species are the most commonly found in CVNP.

When you’ve got an idea of our native species, then you have to work on differentiating between butterflies and moths – a common occurrence during monitoring – while also taking note of differences in behavior between individual species.

“One thing I tell people is that butterflies have antennae shaped more like golf clubs, while moth antennae are more feather-like,” Judy said. “It’s one of the most accurate ways to tell them apart while you’re out there.”

Monitoring is all about using your powers of observation. You have to be able to locate, quickly identify, and record the butterfly on your data sheet. It’s important to keep moving in order to not accidentally turn around and count the same butterfly twice. For some species that fly fast and low to the ground, like skippers, monitors will put them in a jar to get a more accurate count.

One observation in particular stands out in Judy’s memory in all her years of butterfly monitoring. While she was recording an orange sulphur butterfly on her data sheet, a bird swooped down and ate it – a perfect example of how the circle of life can be seen in nature.

“Honestly, my first thought was whether or not I should still write it down,” she said. “But it did end up still counting!”

Almost more than anything else, Judy wants people to know that butterfly monitoring in CVNP is always a team effort. A core group of six to eight volunteers and park scientists give their time on a weekly basis to keep this butterfly data ongoing and accurate.

“Everyone is so welcoming and encouraging, and has so much passion and enthusiasm for butterflies to share,” Judy said.

Judy said she’s just one part of a larger park-wide effort to track and understand the impacts of climate change in Northeast Ohio. The past couple years of butterfly monitoring have shown them moving farther north, along with shifts in population numbers.

“Butterflies are like the canary in the coal mine for signs of climate change,” she said.

While butterflies can tell us a lot about what’s happening in the world around us, there is also a magic to them that you can’t quite find in any other insect. Perhaps there is something all of us can learn from a caterpillar’s journey to becoming a butterfly.

*PEOPLE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN PARK CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECTS CAN CONTACT THE VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT OFFICE. YOU MAY ALSO PARTICIPATE IN MONARCH CITIZEN SCIENCE INDEPENDENTLY OF THE PARK. MONARCH WATCH PROVIDES WAYS FOR EVERYONE TO GET INVOLVED.

CONSERVANCY FOR CVNP VOLUME 8: ISSUE 1
MEMBER SINCE 2007 | VOLUNTEER SINCE 2009
“When a caterpillar moves into its chrysalis, it decomposes into a goo-like substance and completely recreates itself,” Judy explains. “And I think that is a wonderfully spiritual sort of thing.”
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PICTURED FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: JUDY HIRSCHMAN, SANDY JAMES, ROGER GALBRAITH, & CHERYL OSGOOD PHOTO COURTESY OF ROGER GALBRAITH

JENNIFER BAKO

Marketing & Communications Director

Jennifer is excited to join the Conservancy team and align her passion for the park with her communication and marketing skills. Prior to joining the Conservancy, she was Public and Donor Relations Director at The Goodwill Industries of Akron, Ohio, Inc. There she led marketing, public relations, fund development and events. Prior to joining Goodwill, she spent nearly 21 years at Diebold, Incorporated (now Diebold Nixdorf) in various communications roles within internal communications, marketing communications and investor relations. Jennifer has a bachelor’s degree in business management and master’s degree in business administration, both from Walsh University. In addition, she has an associate degree in sales and marketing from Stark State College.

JENNIFER BAKO

1. A favorite way to spend an evening or Sunday morning is riding bikes with Justin, her husband, along the Towpath Trail.

2. She loves to take kickboxing and Taekwondo classes from her son, Stephen, and is even a second-degree blackbelt!

3. Through her travels, she has visited every national park in the United States.

The Trails Now Fund provides immediate support for trail maintenance, visitor amenities, and new trailheads. There are many ways for CVNP lovers to support various Trails Now projects, including a chance to double your impact with the exciting $500,000 matching grant award from the NPS Centennial Challenge to build a new trailhead on Stanford Road, just north of the Stanford House. forcvnp.org/give2022

JANUARY MILLER

ANSWERS Attend an Upcoming Event Give a YearEnd Gift forcvnp.org/events

JANUARY MILLER

1. She knows how to pour concrete and enjoys doing it.

2. She named her daughter after a name she found on a very old headstone while hiking in the Smoky Mountains.

Vice President of Education

January’s career in education has spanned over twenty years. She has worked in classrooms with infants to master’s degree candidates and every level in between. While she is a teacher at heart, January also cofounded an experiential and social-emotional learning non-profit, Embarc, that helps young people identify and access their post-secondary goals. Expanding on that experience, January launched Chicagoland Career Pathways, a free and open online directory of employment training programs to support people moving into sustainable economic prosperity. January is happy to be home in Ohio again and exploring CVNP with her husband and two children.

Number 3 is the lie. January ALMOST did. A man 2 rows behind her dove in front of her before she could grab it.

Number 3 is the lie. This is a bucket list item for Jennifer.

BELOW! ANSWERS: Together, we can truly make a difference in our environment, our community, and our lives. This holiday season, invest in the Conservancy and leave an impact forever.

MORE WAYS TO GIVE: forcvnp.org/donate/more-ways-to-give VOLUME 8: ISSUE 1 8

CONSERVANCY FOR CVNP VOLUME 7: ISSUE 2
YOUR
3. She caught the first career home run of a rookie White Sox player while she was pregnant with her son. CHECK SUPPORT THE CONSERVANCY! Discover new ways to engage with Cuyahoga Valley National Park and help make this notable natural resource available for generations to come. Check out our exciting events that immerse you in our national park, including concerts, lectures, arts and culture programs, and more!
TWO TRUTHS & A LIE ...can you guess which statement is a lie? Meet the Staff
Trails Now Fund
forcvnp.org/trailsnow

CVNP GUEST COLUMN

At face value, monarch butterflies seem dainty and vulnerable, with their striking black-and-orange wings, fragile frame, and delicate flight. Upon further examination, however, the monarch butterfly proves to be unassumingly resolute, a remarkably mighty migrant.

As a testament to their resiliency, monarch butterflies complete one of the longest insect migrations in the world. Monarchs are one of about twenty species of butterflies seen in Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP), and in the summer, some stop here to breed. In September, they find essential food sources as they head to their overwintering grounds. Monarch migration occurs over several generations, and miraculously, each generation knows its part of

the migration route. Monarchs spend the winter in central Mexico, crowding into overwintering colonies in oyamel fir forest, a unique mountain habitat. Scientists track the size of the colonies. Last winter, they covered about seven acres, up from the previous year, but down from the long-term average. Imagine the risk of an entire population using such a small area for their survival.

In early March, monarchs leave the forest and begin their northward journey. Milkweed, a group of flowering plants in the genus Asclepias, becomes the critical plant during breeding season. Monarch caterpillars are specialists, just eating that one type of plant. The monarchs that leave the overwintering grounds seek the nearest milkweed fields to lay eggs. These monarchs then die. Their

offspring continue the journey north as Generation one. It takes three or four generations to migrate north, with each generation mating, laying eggs, and dying along the way.

The summer monarchs that we see in CVNP are Generation three. Some stay to breed and others venture across Lake Erie into Canada. Those that breed typically lay one egg per plant on the underside of a milkweed leaf, showing a preference for younger shoots. After three to six days, a tiny caterpillar emerges and starts eating the milkweed. The caterpillar grows rapidly, molting every three days until it becomes nearly two inches long. At this point, the caterpillar is conspicuous with yellow, black, and white stripes.

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THE MONARCH JOURNEY
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Monarch Butterflies’ Fall Migration Pattern

PROTECTING MONARCHS

IN CVNP

After the final molt, the caterpillar hangs upside down like the letter J, sheds its skin for the last time, and forms a magnificent greenish chrysalis with gold spots. After two weeks, the chrysalis becomes transparent. The black-and-orange butterfly is visible inside.

In the fall, Generation four heads south. These individuals will make it all the way to Mexico, overwinter there, and then start the cycle again. Southbound monarchs can travel as far as fifty miles a day. They must replenish their energy reserves at stop-over areas. In the butterfly stage of life, monarchs

KEY:

SUMMER BREEDING

SPRING BREEDING

NONMIGRATORY POPULATION

SPRING & SUMMER BREEDING

NO MILKWEED / NO BREEDING

SUMMER BREEDING AREAS

POTENTIAL MONARCH BREEDING

FALL MIGRATION

NORTHERN LIMIT OF MILKWEED

Monarchs are in the news this year for being classified as “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (ICUN), a worldwide network of organizations focused on the environment. By adding the monarch butterfly to its red list of species, the ICUN drew attention to the conservation status of monarchs. However, the monarch has yet to be added to the federal endangered species list. Until that happens, it does not have formal, legal protection in the United States. In 2020, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that “adding the monarch butterfly to the list of threatened and endangered species is warranted but precluded by work on higherpriority listing actions.” In this announcement, the USFWS said that they would continue to review the status of the monarch for potential future listing.

to flower while feeding on their nectar. Pollinators as a whole—not just monarchs— are facing significant population decline due to loss of habitat and use of pesticides. Climate change is also a concern because the distribution of flowering plants and insects can become out of sync as each adapts to changing climates.

The National Park Service’s general approach to wildlife protection is to focus on ecological health. Its first desire is to allow natural processes—including wildlife survival—to occur unimpeded by human activity. In CVNP, we have worked for years to turn lands impacted by agriculture, mining, and other human use into natural habitat. Like many conservation-oriented organizations, we have been including flowering plants used by pollinators in our restoration projects.

Park biologist Ryan Trimbath noted, “Typically we don’t manage for specific species. Instead, we focus on providing different habitat types. But we are very interested in our role related to monarchs.”

are generalists in their food preference. They seek old fields in the afternoon where they can feed on nectar-rich flowers, such as ironweed, joe-pye weed, and goldenrod, before retreating to nearby forests in the early evening. In September, you can spot monarchs in the prairie near Brecksville Nature Center, Kendall Hills near Pine Hollow, and Terra Vista Natural Study Area.

Even though monarchs don’t have legal protection in the US, there is still much that can be done to support their survival. While the wintering grounds in Mexico might seem like the most important location for monarchs, we cannot overestimate the importance of habitat that supports each breeding generation and the long trip back to Mexico. Places like CVNP are essential – common and swamp milkweed, relatively tall flowering plants with larger leaves, grow commonly in the park.

In Cuyahoga Valley, NPS resource management staff is actively working to restore high quality natural habitat throughout the park. A piece of this work is focused on pollinators, including monarchs. Pollinators are insects that help plants reproduce by passing pollen from flower

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In partnership with the Conservancy, volunteers contribute to the effort to restore habitat. They remove non-native plants with low habitat value, collect native plant seeds that are propagated in the park’s greenhouse, and contribute to native plantings. These volunteer activities include small-scale dropin activities and larger days of service, as well as youth and corporate events. You can see pollinator habitat planted by volunteers at Brandywine Falls and Oak Hill trailheads.

You can also make a difference by planting milkweed in your yard. Often, larger areas of habitat are needed for wildlife protection, but this isn’t the case for milkweed and monarchs. “Just one plant in your yard can bring value. This species doesn’t need to be suffering as much as it is. We can all do something to protect them,” Trimbath said. He also noted that milkweed is a generally advantageous plant for insects, attracting diverse pollinators.

In addition to ecological restoration, inventorying and monitoring natural conditions are routine parts of resource management work in national parks. Tracking

species across time illuminates changes in wildlife populations and habitat health, including those that might be caused by climate change.

The National Park Service participates in large-scale monitoring programs, allowing park data to contribute to the understanding of broad population trends. NPS has monitored butterflies at three survey sites in CVNP since 1997, and a group of passionate volunteer citizen scientists play a key role in this data collection. The park has joined in the Ohio Long-Term Butterfly Monitoring Project run by The Ohio Lepidopterists, an Ohio butterfly tracking group. Once a week from May to October, the team walks the same routes, following a pre-determined “transect” line. As they walk, they look for butterflies within 15 feet of the transect and identify as many as possible. Afterward, they submit their data to a statewide database run by the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

From there, scientists from The Ohio State University use the data in their research and post findings to The Ohio Lepidopterists. Along with hundreds of other

submissions from around the state, these observations are key to butterfly research. CVNP volunteer observations are just one slice of a much bigger pie. Researchers use these observations to look for trends, draw conclusions, and predict the future.

The monarch butterfly is a charismatic species—the endurance that they demonstrate in their long—distance migration inspires curiosity and wonder, and the challenges they face provide a window into the preservation of many species. By caring about and working for their survival through parks and at home, we can all make a difference.

JENNIE VASARHELYI

Chief of Interpretation, Education & Visitor Services for Cuyahoga Valley National Park

A native of Maryland, Jennie Vasarhelyi has lived in Northeast Ohio and worked at Cuyahoga Valley National Park for over twenty years. In her current position as Chief of Interpretation, Education & Visitor Services, Jennie is responsible for creating learning and interpretive experiences that help visitors to enjoy and appreciate the park in the areas of natural science, history, culture, and recreation through life-long learning. She manages partnerships, visitor centers, exhibits, publications, volunteer programs, cultural arts, education, and ranger-led programs.

HOW TO CREATE A BUTTERFLY GARDEN

To read about where you can buy native flowers locally, how to certify your garden, and how to contribute to the citizen science monarch tagging project, visit forcvnp. org/cuyahoga-connectionsmonarch-butterflies

1) CHOOSE THE PERFECT LOCATION

Sunlight is key! Most native plants that attract butterflies will require full sun for at least half of the day. You’ll also want to consider the quality of the soil – if it’s acidic, rocky, or mostly clay, you may want to add compost or buy nutrientrich topsoil.

2) CHOOSE THE RIGHT PLANTS

Choose plants that grow naturally in our region. Planting monarch-friendly vegetation such as milkweed and essential late-blooming flowers can aid in the monarchs on their migration journey. According to the Cleveland Metroparks, “White Snakeroot, Ironweed and Goldenrod are essential to the survival of the Monarch butterfly population.”

When planting your flowers, clump them by species and color. Doing this will make the colors easier to see and butterflies will be more likely to use them. Butterflies are primarily attracted to red, orange, yellow, and purple flowers.

3) PROVIDE SHADE & WATER

Butterflies need more than just plants! You can help butterflies regulate their temperature by providing a few flat rocks for sunning and some shady spots for resting. Some butterfly gardens also have water features that allow butterflies to obtain hydration and mineral nutrients.

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WINTER ADAPTATIONS

EYES

Did you know beavers are near-sighted? Beavers have transparent eyelids so they can keep their eyes open underwater.

EARS

Beavers have little flaps of skin over each ear that can seal them closed for when they are swimming underwater.

NOSE

Beavers can close their nostrils while underwater.

TEETH

A beaver’s teeth are constantly growing, so they must constantly use them or they’ll get too long and they won’t be able to eat. Their teeth are specially adapted to grind wood into edible fibers.

FEET & LEGS

Really dexterous front feet for dam-building. Beavers have split nails on their back feet so they can groom/comb out their fur. Beavers only swim with their back feet!

FUR

Beavers have multiple layers – thick, heavy outer layer for warmth, and undercoat for insulation. They also have a layer of shiny, oily guard hairs that are good for swimming because they repel water.

MANY OTHER SPECIES OF WILDLIFE IN CVNP, LIKE THE BEAVER, HAVE BEHAVIORAL AND PHYSICAL ADAPTATIONS THAT GIVE THEM THE RESILIENCE THEY NEED TO MAKE IT THROUGH OUR COLD, SNOWY WINTERS.

TAIL

The center of their tail is actually an extension of their spine. It stores fat/food energy during the winter. They can use their tail as a rudder to change direction while swimming, and they will slap their tail against the water’s surface as a signal to other beavers in the area.

FUN FACTS!

HABITAT: streams, rivers, lakes

DIET: inner bark of trees, twigs, leaves, grass, fruits/berries, etc.

LIFE SPAN IN THE WILD: 10–12 yrs

Beavers don’t technically hibernate during the winter, but they are relatively inactive. Their dams regulate temperature well, and they can also store food in them during colder months.

Beavers are monogamous, which means they mate for life.

Beavers are the largest rodent in North America, weighing anywhere between 24–60 lbs.

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WHAT’S THE SITCH WITH THE FORMER BRANDYWINE GOLF COURSE PROPERTY?

WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH THE FORMER BRANDYWINE GOLF COURSE?

The Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park purchased the 207-acre property in September 2021 with the plan to sell 191 acres to the National Park Service and retain 15 acres for Conservancy programming.

The property sits on both sides of AkronPeninsula Road and the Conservancy’s 15 acres are on the west (river) side of the property.

We are forever grateful to our 76 private donors for their incredibly generous gifts to secure the property and the five foundations that stepped forward with recoverable grants to help us bridge this purchase.

NOW THAT YOU OWN IT – CAN I HIKE ON IT?

Not yet!

The property is currently closed to the public for safety and liability reasons. Mother Nature quickly reclaimed the land, eroding many of the original cart paths. Tees, greens, and fairways are overgrown, and we have some trees down as well. The property is slated for remediation work starting later this year through the spring of 2023.

WHAT DOES REMEDIATION MEAN?

Remediation, in this case, means the removal of contaminated soil. Sampling on the property identified the presence of mercury in the shallow soil of the tee boxes, putting greens and some fairways. The use of fungicides and herbicides containing mercury dates to the 1950s and continued through the 1990s. These products were routinely applied multiple times per year using industrystandard practices and applicable product label information.

Mercury is a cumulative bioaccumulative toxin in wildlife, meaning that once ingested, mercury is not excreted but accumulates in fatty tissues and organs. Wildlife potentially affected include animals that are consumed by “top of the chain” predators (raptors, for example, that prey on shrews and voles).

WHAT IS THE PROCESS AND HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

The process is called a dig and haul. A firm with a background in handling toxic waste will dig down and remove the soil. Further sampling and testing will indicate whether we must go a little deeper or broader or tell us that the area is clean enough to meet the required National Park Service standards for becoming a part of the national park. Mercury in this form is relatively immobile and there is no threat to humans on the property. The contaminated soil will be taken to a landfill equipped and approved to accept this kind of soil and it will be managed there in perpetuity.

The Conservancy was awarded a $4.5 million Brownfield Grant from the Ohio Department of Development. This grant will enable the Conservancy to do the work quickly and without donor support.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER REMEDIATION IS COMPLETE?

The property becomes part of the park! Most of it will belong to the National Park Service and a small piece will be owned by the Conservancy. Both agencies are working together to develop plans for the space, and both are very excited to give park visitors more access to the Cuyahoga River and the State of Ohio’s 13 th official Water Trail. This designation identifies over 90 miles of the river with 24 current access points (and plans to increase with this property!) that encourage

public use of waterways, promote ecotourism, and encourage conservation.

The National Park Service is already beginning to look at the conservation needs on the property. Plans include restoration of two streams that were channeled and buried to assist in creating fertile farmland and later a golf course. The park will monitor the site’s plants and animals, and take steps to protect and improve habitats.

WHAT ABOUT PLANS FOR VISITOR AMENITIES?

The Conservancy engaged PROS Consulting from Indianapolis, Indiana the fall of 2021 to complete a conceptual plan for the acreage on the west side of Akron-Peninsula Road. Input from Conservancy board leadership, Conservancy staff, National Park Service staff, community stakeholders, and partners was used to help create a vision for this area. That vision includes: increasing opportunities for river access, supporting creative programming, and welcoming new, diverse audiences to the national park. It suggests possible amenities such as accessible trails, access to the river, beautiful river vistas from

pavilions and nature play spaces, space for public programming, and a bridge connecting to the Towpath Trail.

The next layer of planning is to look more closely at the site and establish a site plan in coordination with community/public input to allow us to prioritize projects and raise funds to activate the site.

IT IS TAKING FOREVER – HOW LONG BEFORE I CAN GET OUT THERE AND EXPLORE?

The Conservancy recognizes the excitement surrounding the new property. We know people are eager to explore and enjoy it and we want to share it as soon as we can. We are moving as fast as we can through a thoughtful and manageable approach that will add depth and value to Cuyahoga Valley National Park for generations to come.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO SHARING MORE WITH YOU AFTER WE COMPLETE THE NEXT PHASE OF PLANNING. WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR YOUR PATIENCE AND SUPPORT!

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PROPERTY BOUNDARY TOWPATH TRAIL CVSR CONSERVANCY ACRES KEY:
The Former Brandywine Golf Course Property
We answer your frequently asked questions. CONSERVANCY FOR CVNP

KREJCI DUMP

BEFORE DURING AFTER

ACROSS THE MIDWEST REGION AND OTHER POPULATED AREAS OF THE COUNTRY, MORE AND MORE NATIONAL PARK UNITS HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED IN PLACES LIKE NORTHEAST OHIO WHERE THE INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE OF THE AREA HAS SOMETIMES CREATED ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES LIKE THE TOXIC WASTE FOUND AT THE KREJCI DUMP IN 1985.

The Krejci Dump in Boston Township, Ohio operated as a salvage yard and waste disposal facility from 1948 to 1980, receiving solid and hazardous wastes from nearby cities, towns, and companies. Dumps were largely unregulated at the time, and toxic materials were buried in unlined pits and allowed to seep unchecked into the environment.

In 1985, Cuyahoga Valley National Park acquired the property and soon realized the scale of the pollution. The level of contamination from the dump site prompted an emergency response action and cleanup. NPS certified the work as completed in December 2020. Now, the site is open to the public as intended by Congress when the park was established. In addition, the restored wetlands and meadows provide a healthy ecological system for wildlife, including the great blue heron.

The decades-long effort set a legal precedent that cleaned up Krejci as well as other National Park Service (NPS) sites around the country. At the Krejci site, we can see the cumulative results of a partnership at the federal, state, local, and community levels of over 25 years. With some stimulus provided by an interdisciplinary team of dedicated agency professionals, scientists, park rangers, and community members, a site like this can be transformed from a landscape filled with barrels of toxic chemicals back to rolling meadows, forests, and thriving wetlands.

On August 25, 2022–the 106th birthday of the National Park Service–it was fitting that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the Krejci Dump site as the winner of a “National Federal Facility Excellence in Site Reuse” award which recognizes the innovative thinking and cooperation among federal agencies, states, local partners and developers that have led to noteworthy restoration and reuse of federal facility sites.

The Krejci Site restoration and reuse is symbolic of the spirit and inspiration at the core of Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the river valley for which it is named.

“The site is also a testament to perseverance to cause and sometimes the need for taking on a marathon mentality, as those who first rallied to initiate the joint restoration effort and established the vision and desired future condition for the site likely passed the baton on to others who have followed to see the mission through to completion.”

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF TED TOTH, CHRIS DAVIS, & THE NPS COLLECTION

social creatures

MILKWEED FUNDRAISER

The Conservancy partnered with Riverside Native Perennials in Delaware, Ohio, for a fundraising opportunity that benefited both the park as well as monarch butterflies and other native pollinators. Participants were able to purchase Ohio native milkweeds in one-gallon containers that will serve as hostplants for monarch caterpillars and as a nectar and pollen source for countless insects and even hummingbirds.

Over 100 milkweed plants were sold, raising a total of $488 for the Conservancy!

Riverside Native Perennials began in the fall of 2019 as a natural extension of their native tree and shrub nursery. Their goal is to bring high quality plants to customers wanting to improve their backyard habitat or land holdings. Riverside Native Perennials also provide trees, shrubs, and more to the volunteer program in CVNP.

Shout out to Jen Marie Photography for capturing this beaver traffic jam in CVNP!

THANK YOU TO RIVERSIDE NATIVE PERENNIALS FOR AN AWESOME FUNDRAISER!
HELP DISTRIBUTE MILKWEED PLANTS TO PARTICIPANTS
YOU
MEMBERSHIP COORDINATOR SAM HARSH (LEFT) AND VOLUNTEER PROGRAM MANAGER ANDREW O’LEARY (RIGHT)
CUYAHOGA VALLEY NATIONAL PARK IS THE PERFECT PLACE TO SNAP A PHOTO AND SHARE A MEMORY—JUST TAKE A LOOK AT ALL OF YOUR BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS! KEEP TAGGING #FORCVNP IN ALL YOUR POSTS AND
JUST MIGHT FIND YOURSELF IN THIS MAGAZINE!
PHOTO COURTESY OF @NE_OHIO_PARKS PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHAEL MURRAY PHOTO COURTESY OF @MYCUYAHOGA
VOLUME 8: ISSUE 1 22 23

CASCADE SUBARU DONATES BLANKETS TO HELP FIGHT CANCER AS PART OF THE SUBARU LOVES PROMISE

sponsors several of the Humane Society’s events as part of the Subaru Loves Pets program.

“These blankets will be well received by patients who come into our program,” said Cozy Richard, president of the Falls Cancer Club. “They need the support and comfort of knowing that their neighbors in the

care about them.”

The Subaru Love Promise is Subaru’s commitment to improve lives. “Like Subaru, we believe in being a positive force in our community not only through donations but also by taking action and encouraging our employees to volunteer and help the community wherever they can,” said Pat Primm, Internet marketing manager. “Our corporate philanthropy position aligns perfectly with the Subaru Love Promise.”

The Love Promise has several components. For example, Cascade Auto Group sponsors pet adoptions through the Summit County Humane Society and

The company also donates classroom materials and makes a financial donation to local schools as part of the Subaru Loves Learning “Adopt a Classroom” initiative.

In a similar way, as part of the Subaru Loves the Earth program, Cascade Subaru gave students at Woodridge Primary School the chance to bring science standards to life by helping students build and maintain their very own wildlife certified habitat.

Finally, Cascade Subaru has been a corporate sponsor of the Conservancy for CVNP for many years and is proud to support its many programs and fundraisers. The Conservancy nominated Cascade Subaru for the Corporate Leadership Award presented by the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). Cascade Subaru has been announced the winner and will receive their award on November 4 at the National Philanthropy Day Awards and Luncheon

At the donation of blankets event in the summer, Cascade Managing Partner Michelle Primm said, “We hope these blankets will spread warmth, love, and hope where they’re needed most and will let these strong people and their families know we care.” That is a perfect summation of the Subaru Love Promise.

Thriving Together

At The J.M. Smucker Co., we are inspired by our Purpose, “Feeding Connections That Help Us Thrive – Life Tastes Better Together.”

We deliver on our Purpose through the guidance of our Thriving Together agenda, which is focused on five key target areas:

· ACCESS TO QUALITY FOOD

· ACCESS TO EDUCATION

· MAKING CONNECTIONS TO COMMUNITY RESOURCES

· ENSURING EQUITABLE AND ETHICAL TREATMENT FOR ALL

· SUPPORTING A HEALTHIER PLANET

Through this focused approach and the help of our important partners, we maximize our resources to make the most meaningful impact in the areas we are best equipped to assist.

We are proud to partner with organizations like the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park who share our passion for making a difference in our community and our world.

VOLUME 8: ISSUE 1
PICTURED LEFT TO RIGHT ARE MICHELLE PRIMM, MANAGING PARTNER AT CASCADE AUTO GROUP; SARAH VOJTEK, DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT AT STEWART’S CARING PLACE; PAT PRIMM, OWNER, CASCADE AUTO GROUP; AND DAVID HURTE, BRAND MANAGER, CASCADE SUBARU. THIS SUMMER, CASCADE SUBARU PRESENTED 80 PLUSH BLANKETS TO STREWART’S CARING PLACE AND THE FALLS CANCER CENTER AS PART OF THE SUBARU LOVES TO CARE INITIATIVE TO HELP PATIENTS IN THEIR FIGHT AGAINST CANCER. community
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1403 West Hines Hill Road Peninsula, Ohio 44264 forCVNP.org

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