The long awaited Spring is fast approaching in the land lab. We watched all winter as the water moved through the stream exactly as designed. Snow melts or rain on top of ice were always interesting to watch as the flood plain would become just that…a flood plain. The no mow zone also handled a lot more intense run-off than in past years due to the raising of the grades on nearby athletic fields.
Now we have some new Spring residents – hopefully nesting residents. Red-winged blackbirds have been seen and heard in the past week. Three pairs of mallards (male and female) have also been seen frequently in the large pool behind the lower berm. The red-shouldered hawks that normally winter and sometimes nest here are still around as well. Looks like the birds at least are taking advantage of the new conditions here.
Another exciting event was the arrival of equipment for our stream and habitat studies that we will conduct this spring and fall. Thanks to the hard work and commitment of the all of our grant partners, especially Cuyahoga County Board of Health, we had a decent amount of money to spend on enhancing the land lab experience with fantastic equipment. This included a remote camera, trail cameras, a weather station, waders, nets, boots, field guides, survey equipment and so much more. We, the teachers and students, are really pumped about getting out and busy this Spring.
See pics below to get a better idea of all that has been going on…