Lend a Hand – Volunteer for Conservation

The loss of Ohio’s forests over the last two centuries has been well documented, and although there are more forested acres now in the state than at the turn of the 20th century, most of Ohio’s land is still in use for agriculture and urban expansion. As our forested landscapes have become smaller, fragmentation of forest communities has become greater.  Fragmentation happens when larger forest blocks are broken into smaller forested areas. Roads, housing developments and farms isolate these smaller woodlands from each other making it more difficult for wildlife to disperse, find nesting sites, areas to forage or just a safe refuge for migratory species heading to Canada.

Addressing these issues of fragmentation is one of many principles that guides our conservation strategy here at TWC. We are actively attempting to protect and restore contiguous tracts of land for the benefit of our local wildlife. As part of our conservation planning, TWC has established several reforestation sites here at the Center in Wilmot. One of these areas includes 10 acres of old farm field adjacent to our Sigrist Woods.

For this effort, we will be planting more than 4,000 native saplings on the site in early April. These newly planted areas will in time increase the size of the forest blocks, and in the meantime act as a corridor of safe passage between our woodlands.

In an effort to protect these trees from deer and rabbit browsing, and ensure a higher survival rate among these saplings, we will need to place “tree shelters” over each young tree. And we are in desperate need of volunteers to help! The process is simple and takes only three easy steps to complete: 1) place a shelter over each tree; 2) push a stake into the ground next to the tube and; 3) attach the tube to the stake. That’s all there is to it, we just need the extra hands to do it!

We are hoping to gather as many volunteers as we can muster and complete this task in a single work day, scheduled for Saturday, April 15th. Friends can come together as a team of three, or will be placed together with other volunteers for the day. If you can help out, please contact Gary at 330-359-5235 or email: gary@wildernesscenter.org. We’ll meet at the TWC maintenance building between 8:30 and 9:00 AM that morning rain or shine.


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