ANDREA KRAVA, Blendon Woods Naturalist
The wetlands and grasslands at Slate Run have always been a favorite place of mine. They opened up the same year I began working there as a naturalist, in the late 1990s, so I got to see those areas be born and then grow into the beautiful, diverse natural areas they are today.
Some of my favorite memories of the 15 years I spent working there include seeing gorgeous sunsets, watching sandhill cranes nest and raise colts, chasing and tagging monarch butterflies, coming face to face with a coyote while doing an off-trail wildlife survey, finding cloudless sulphur butterflies (and learning that they were the first ever of that species recorded in Pickaway County), listening to bobolinks and bobwhite quail sing, surveying migratory and breeding birds with other staff and dedicated volunteers, and catching big bullfrog tadpoles while doing pond studies with local school children.
The wetlands and grasslands are important and special not just as part of my Metro Parks career, but also on a very personal note. After my dad passed away in 2007, my family and I placed a memorial tree in his honor near the shelter at the wetlands. Even though I work on the other side of the park district now, at Blendon Woods, I try to visit Slate Run a time or two each year since it is such a special place to me, for so many reasons.
OHIO FALL COLOR FORECAST (see weekly updates on Ohio Dept of Natural Resources website)