Working in and for communities has got to be one of the best things we get to do at MAD. We partner with municipalities to offer ecological programming, often focused on wetland, stream, and watershed education. This year, we were able to host, present at, and participate in over 20 programs! We are thrilled that families enjoy learning about the ecosystems we’re so passionate about, and are lucky to have the trust of our local communities to support this type of work. If you’re interested in having our staff work with your organization, please contact Jenny Adkins, our Education Specialist.
This summer MAD had the opportunity to work under contract to the Ohio EPA (with Burgess & Niple) collecting data on wetland habitat and quality throughout the state. Sites included natural and mitigation wetlands. Sites varied from agricultural fields, to fens, to forested vernal pools, and deep emergent marsh. Our task was to collect and summarize watershed level data and complete habitat quality and plant community assessments. The ORAM (Ohio Rapid Assessment Method for wetlands) and OMWAM (Ohio Mitigation Wetland Assessment Method) allow us to determine a wetland category (1-3) based on habitat characteristics. The ORAM was developed and calibrated for natural wetlands and therefore isn’t appropriate for restored or created sites. The OMWAM considers many of the same habitat features, but also includes measures […]
Grand Lake St. Mary’s (GLSM) is located in northwest Ohio, in a heavily agricultural watershed that produces a significant portion of our state’s grains and livestock. Runoff from row crop agriculture and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) has resulted in excessive nutrient loading to the lake, resulting in an increased frequency of harmful algal blooms (HABs). The proliferation of HABs can make the lake unsafe for swimming and adversely affects tourism, and this causes a damaging ripple effect on the local economy. Significant efforts by farmers and local officials have been ongoing since the HABs first appeared, and the lake conditions have been improving as a result of these efforts. Catalyzing these efforts, the State of Ohio has created the H2Ohio grant program to assist […]
Our largest wetland restoration to date is the Sandhill Crane Wetlands in the Oak Openings Region near Toledo, Ohio. Construction on this project was substantially complete by the end of 2021. We worked with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and B Hill’z Excavating to achieve this restoration on 280 acres of former farmland. For decades, this massive field has been used for conventional row crop agriculture. To be successful, these farming operations along the northern edge of the former Great Black Swamp required intensive water management. The land is flanked by deep ditches on three sides that help to lower the water table and improve drainage, and in the winter and spring, the former farmer would run multiple pumps to pull water from the field’s drainage […]
Some of our favorite work to do at MAD are ecological surveys. They often involve all staff members, who each specialize in collecting a certain type of data: aquatic biota, terrestrial insects, herptiles, wetland delineation, stream characterization, plant inventory, bird identification, cover mapping, etc. Basically, we get to be happy ecologists in the field, making lists, taking photographs, and mapping habitats. More than that though, we get to use this information to help clients determine what they have and what they can do with their properties. Oftentimes clients need this information for a baseline survey if the property is being put under easement or covenant. Other times, land managers wan to know where opportunities lie for restoration or where to avoid disturbance if rare species […]
A few of the awesome women in science at MAD discussing wetland science and the environmental career field with Cincinnati-area students as part of the Green Girls in STEM program. “…an immersive hands-on program for young women in high school to explore STEM careers, sustainability, and leadership development. Green Girls in STEM provides experiences that leave students feeling more connected to nature, their communities, and the wider world.” What a great program! We’re so grateful to share our experiences with young women and aspiring scientists. We would have loved to see the girls in person, but we were happy to have the option to present virtually and get to show them around one of our favorite wetland projects at Highlands Park. Thanks to the Civic […]
Every May, we celebrate National Wetlands Month with what we’ve come to call, Wetland Weekend. We kick things off with a Frog Friday event in the evening were community members can explore the wetland after dark and hopefully see some amphibian activity. The next morning, we host the Wetland Workshop, which is another free event for the public. We teach attendees about the process of wetland restoration and the role we played in restoring the Highlands Park Wetland. We also lead hands-on exploration throughout the wetland and provide stations showcasing wetland wildlife, plants, hydric soils, and water quality improvement capabilities of wetlands. If you’re in the Westerville area come May, we’d love to see you for one of these programs!
The interns have arrived! AND cicadas! We’re excited to start this year’s busy field season with three fantastic interns- Mackenzie Brown, Corbin Binkley (returning for a third season), and John Eshem.