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Nature Center - Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat

Local School Partners

The creation of a Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat is actually a "community" effort. Community involvement by concerned parents, dedicated administers, teachers, students, and local residents is essential in creating the 'outdoor classroom'. For those students participating in outdoor learning, all disciplines come alive. Students experience by writing a poem, measuring a tree, mapping a schoolyard, monitoring wildlife, and discovering the world around them by doing.

Ironton Middle School: (Ironton, OH)
Contact Person: Alice Brown
Description of Habitat: Ironton City Schools designated school property for the purpose of interdisciplinary outdoor environmental education. Enthusiastic teachers, school administrators, parents and community organizations are currently working to further programs and exploration in an outdoors setting. Ironton City Schools recently received an EPA mini grant to fund a project titled "Conservation in Cane". The project is an educational program in which elementary, middle, and high school students utilize their school's outdoor laboratory for the propagation and reintroduction of Arundinaria gigantean, commonly referred to as river cane. River cane is the only bamboo native to the United States and was once found in large stands or "canebreaks" along the Ohio River Valley. Click here for habitat photos.

South Webster Middle School: (Webster OH)
Contact Person: Candy Picklesimer, Science
Description of Habitat: The school has begun stage I of their wildlife habitat (planning) .

Chesapeake Elementary School: (Chesapeake, OH)
Contact Person: Jack Finch
Description of Habitat: Bringing students into the 'outdoor classroom' at Chesapeake Elementary certainly stimulates interest in nature and discovery. Principal Jack Finch and several enthusiastic and industrious teachers created this outdoor wildlife habitat that can be utilized by children in the outdoors and viewed from classrooms as well. The habitat is an amazing adventure with a butterfly garden, small pond, rain gauge, bird feeders and boxes, logs used as benches for students, compost pile, hot bed for raising seedlings and a vegetable garden. Old trees buried in the ground provide a perch for birds and home to many insects. This hands-on adventure will certainly be remembered by students long after school is over. Click here for habitat photos.

Technical Resource People

The following list of individuals and their respective organizations are providing planning and technical assistance to the OUSC Nature Center Partners while developing their schoolyard wildlife habitat plan.
Ohio University Southern Campus

Contact Person: Dr. Robert Culp, Ph.D., Director OUSC Nature Center
Address: 1804 Liberty Ave. Ironton, Ohio 45638
Phone Number: (740) 533-4563
Email: culpr@ohio.edu
Preferred Method of Contact: e-mail
Expertise: Robert Culp, lecturer of chemistry and environmental science at OUSC, is the director of the Nature Center. Dr. Culp has 25 years of petroleum industry experience (13 years of international experience) and 10 years of academic experience. Dr. Culp's experience as an environmental scientist with Ashland Oil Inc and as a lecturer of chemistry and environmental sciences allows him to offer students and instructors expertise in the field. He is an advocate of environmental awareness, having supervised oil spill cleanups and having conducted research in the field of biological degradation of oil.
Wayne National Forest

Contact Person: Becky Ewing, Fisheries Biologist
Address: 6518 State Route 93 Pedro, Ohio 45659
Phone Number: (740) 534-6500
Email: rewing@fs.fed.us
Preferred Method of Contact: e-mail
Expertise: Becky is a Fisheries Biologist for the Wayne National Forest. Becky plans, monitors, and give professional advice on programs to protect public lands. She can give advice to the public on how to protect aquatic resources, or conduct a stream studies program. (Check out June 2001 for Stream Monitoring Workshop conducted by Becky at OUSC Nature Center).
Ohio Division of Wildlife

Contact Person: Carol Wells
Address: 360 East State Street Athens. Ohio 45701
Phone Number: (740) 594-2211
Expertise:  Public Information Specialist for Ohio Division of Wildlife. The Ohio Division of Wildlife provides natural education materials and workshops for formal and non-formal educators. Project Wild and Project Wild Aquatics are interdisciplinary environmental programs emphasizing wildlife. The goal of Project Wild is to assist learners of any age in developing familiarity, knowledge, and skills in an understanding and appreciation for wildlife and the habitats in which they live.

Lawrence Soil and Water Conservation District

Contact Person: Carolyn Cheeks
Address: P.O. Box 144 Willow Wood, Ohio 454696
Phone Number: (740) 867-4737
E-mail: carrie-cheek@oh.nacdnet.org
Expertise: Education Coordinator for the Lawrence Soil & Water Conservation. The Soil and water Conservation offers schools and other groups in Lawrence County a variety of educational materials on soils, watershed pollution, groundwater contamination, and on farm and garden. When developing a schoolyard habitat, Soil & Water Conservation professionals can offer advice on drainage problems, pond construction, and soil testing. Local schools are also encouraged to participate in the annual Environthon.

Resource People Willing to assist with the OUSC Nature Center

Contact Person: Judith Doty Dumke
Address: 7302 County Road 15 Chesapeake, Ohio 45619
Phone Number: (740) 894-6859
Email: dumke@marshall.edu
Preferred Method of Contact: email
Expertise: Local Botanist. Judy is a botanist with extensive knowledge of Ohio's rare and endangered plant life. Spending a great deal of time in the field, Judy is familiar with the diversity of plant habitats in Southern Ohio. She can provide advice on native plant species suitable for the environment available.

Habitat Resources
The following resources will help you create a habitat which will provide wildlife with food, water, wildlife cover, and place to raise their young.

Planning Guide:
Ohio Environmental Education Fund
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency

P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049
For a free copy of the booklet and a free video call:

Native Plant Nurseries
Contact the following agency for a list of suitable nurseries:
Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves
1889 Fountain Square Court
Columbus, Ohio 43224
Phone: (614) 265-6453
Web site: http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/dnap/default.htm