The March 23 meeting of the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club featured the program by Adam Wohlever, District Manager of the Ohio State Parks Division of Natural Areas and Preserves.  He outlined his path from Amherst, Ohio (Sandstone Capital of the Nation) through the USMC, Hocking State and the U.S. Park Service to land in Nelson, Ohio, and Eagle Creek State Nature Preserve, among others.

Ohio has 136 nature preserves, beginning c. 1971 with the opening of Mentor Headlands, and serving as living museums preserved for their own good and the good of communities which interact with them.  Public access is low-impact but co-operative relationships with other entities are designed to efficiently carry out the purposes of the five districts’ ecological management goals.  State budget cuts have had an impact on operations; a major source of support now comes from the check-off on Ohio state income tax returns.  Check the boxes, folks!  The division—smallest in the system– strives to provide quality service to the public as well as invaluable experiences in nature.  There are volunteer opportunities and scheduled activities, showcasing unique wildflowers, plants and landforms—think cave protection, prescribed burns, hikes, etc.

Complementing this most informative presentation was information on the in-progress Fit & Fun Festival coming up on Saturday, May 30.  The Charles Auto Family has stepped up with a donation.  Ronald McDonald will make an appearance, the Portage Park District will be co-operating, new games and inflatables are on tap, family activities over the summer will be encouraged, Robinson Memorial will have input, a logo is coming, more is coming….  It’s all a big GO!

And…Tom Collins had more info on the student foreign exchange situation.  Delores McCumbers reported that the flowers planted around town, particularly along the creek, by the club, lo, these many years ago are coming up and could use some TLC.  Lisa Muldowney spoke of her attendance at the recent fund-raiser held by the Ravenna Rotary Club and presented some ideas gleaned for possible local application.  Ted Lysiak offered tickets and sponsorship opportunities for the upcoming Night at the Races held at the Ravenna Elks facility, sponsored by the JAG All Sports Boosters for the stadium project fund.  Trish Danku presented an idea used by the Medina Rotary Club involving flags: more to come.  The Christmas Tree from downtown will get a permanent home.  Amy Crawford gave a shout-out concerning the approaching production of  “The King and I” at Garfield High School.

G-H Rotary meets at noon on Mondays at  Cal’s II in the Sky Plaza.  Visitors are welcome.