Month: May 2010

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National Get Outdoors Day:MRC Kayak, 31-Mile Picnic and Hike to PA

Jamie On the River
Image by lcthulou via Flickr

Taken Directly from the Mahoning River Consortium Newsletter and Website:

Special June Event: “31-mile Riverside Picnic Party”
When: June 12, 2010 (sunup to sundown).
Where: All along the Mahoning River!
What: The idea of this event is to get as many families, groups, and individuals of the Mahoning Valley as possible to picnic somewhere, anywhere, along the river on this day. The goal of the MRC’s is to get folks to see the beauty of the river, so they will want that beauty embellished by the cleaning of pollutants from the river bed. We would like canoers, kayakers and motor boaters to cruise the river that day; and hikers and runners to cruise the shoreline. We picked June 12 because that is the second ‘National Get Outdoors Day.’

BYOK: From Mill Creek to Center Street
Start Date/Time: Saturday, June 12, 2010 10:00 AM
End Date/Time: Saturday, June 12, 2010 1:00 PM
Recurring Event: One time event
Importance: Normal Priority
Category: Recreation
Description: Today is “National Get Outdoors Day.” The Mahoning River Consortium is participating with a “31-mile Riverside Picnic Party.” This special kayak is offered for ADVANCED kayakers with their own boats. Free, but call FNC by June 11 to register and for details
Along the Mahoning
Start Date/Time: Saturday, June 12, 2010 8:00 PM
End Date/Time: Saturday, June 12, 2010 10:00 PM
Recurring Event: One time event
Importance: Normal Priority
Category: Hikes & Walks
Description: We’ll support the Mahoning River Consortium’s participation in today’s “National Get Outdoors Day” with this hike to Pennsylvania and back. You’ll be treated to wonderful views of the Mahoning River! Meet at the newly repaved Stavich Bicycle Trail at the eastern end of East Liberty Street in Lowellville. Moderate difficulty due to length and hill, 4 miles.
Recreational Hikes are generally fast-paced for outdoor exercise.
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New GPS Game From Groundspeak, Creators of Geocaching

Magellan Blazer12 GPS Receiver.
Image via Wikipedia

What is WhereIGo?

It’s the next generation of GPS games. It’s Geocaching on Steroids. It’s a Virtual Scavenger Hunt in the real world.

WherIGo replaces the traditional plastic box with a virtual location. Start a game, follow the clues and instructions to progress. Get to your goal, and your Wherigo enabled Smartphone gives you the next leg. Think Amazing race type games.

Oh, And just like Geocaching, you build these games yourself using their toolbox. How Cool Is that? You control the game. You Make the game and write the story. Imagine. Summer’s coming up. A scavenger hunt for the Summer Camp Kids? A state Park Adventure for the family reunion? A night life cruise for the adults?  The choice is yours.

Check out Wherigo.

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SwimSafe! At your Ohio State Park Pool or Beach

Beach Chairs and Sand Castles, Golden Lake
Image by Valley Vistas via Flickr

COLUMBUS, OH – With the upcoming Memorial Day holiday upon us, Ohio State Parks remind adult visitors to keep an eye on children in their charge when they go swimming.  This is the focus of SwimSafe!, a beach safety program in its 10th year, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

“Safety is an important part of a successful family outing in our parks,” said John Hunter, acting chief of Ohio State Parks.  “Our SwimSafe!program is a reminder that in addition to remembering the lotions, beach toys and snacks, parents and adult guardians must remember to be aware of their children during any outing to a state park beach.”

To fully enjoy a safe outing at a park beach, follow these SwimSafe! tips:

● Keep a sharp eye on young children while they are in or around the water.

● Swim only in designated areas at the beach and the lake.

● Lakes are not swimming pools, the water is murky and you may not see where it becomes deeper, so exercise caution.

● Bring a cell phone to make emergency calls if necessary.  Check to ensure there is cell phone service before swimming.

● Use the buddy system and designate one member of your party to remain on the beach to keep watch on the others while they are swimming.

● Alcohol and swimming do not mix.  Leave these beverages at home when you come to the beach.

● Enjoy the fun that water offers, but take regular breaks and relax on the beach.

● It just can’t be said enough, please keep an eye on the kids!

Ohio State Parks offer 78 beaches on 47 inland lakes in addition to nine beaches on Lake Erie.  There are also 20 swimming pools in the state park system.  Last year, more than 4.5 million people visited state park beaches and pools across Ohio.

Ohio State Parks are operated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Parks and Recreation.  ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all.  Visit the ODNR Web site at

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Brady's Run Lake to be Drawn Down: Unlimited Fishing

Somerset, PA – Anglers visiting Brady’s Run Lake in Beaver County can harvest an unlimited number of fish beginning May 15, the date the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) will lift all seasons, sizes and creel limits in preparation of a summer drawdown of the lake.

“Removing all harvest restrictions provides additional recreational opportunities for anglers and can help reduce the number of fish that could potentially be stranded when the water level drops,” said Denny Tubbs, Outreach and Education Coordinator for the PFBC Southwest Region. “Once the draining of the lake begins, all public access to the lake will be prohibited.”

The lake will be closed beginning on June 14 and will be drawn down to remove sediment that has accumulated behind the dam over the past 24 years. The drawdown is expected to occur during the last weeks in June. The lake is a 28-acre reservoir owned by Beaver County and is the central attraction in Brady’s Run County Park, located southwest of Beaver Falls in Chippewa Township. The lake was similarly rehabilitated in 1985 – 1986.

The PFBC will attempt to salvage as many game fish as possible from the lake and relocate them to other waters in the area. The dates of the fish salvage will be announced once set. When the lake returns to full pool, it will be restocked with warm-water fish, returned to the list of Approved Trout Waters, and stocked with adult trout.

These temporary modifications will be in effect until further notice but in no event will it remain in place after January 1, 2011. All other rules and regulations remain in effect.

The mission of the Fish and Boat Commission is to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities. For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website at

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Teachers: Wild School Grant Deadline May 31st

Image by lcthulou via Flickr

COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio teachers who have successfully used Project WILD in their classrooms can now provide students additional hands-on learning about wildlife and habitat through grants available from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.

Grants of $500 each will be awarded on a competitive basis to 40 schools currently participating in Project WILD, a supplemental environmental education curriculum for grades K-12.  Project WILD uses wildlife and wildlife management techniques to teach traditional school subjects, such as math, science and language arts. Through this grant program, now in its fourth year, teachers can use the funds for materials, equipment and activities to develop “WILD School Sites” on their campuses.

“A WILD School Site project allows teachers to take lesson plans outdoors, bringing environmental education concepts to life in a real way for students,” said Jen Dennison, wildlife education coordinator for the ODNR Division of Wildlife. “An added benefit is the improvement of schoolyard habitat for wildlife and people, making for better outdoor learning experiences.”

Grants will be awarded to applicants that best meet the WILD School Site criteria. Criteria includes project feasibility, benefit to students in understanding the needs of wildlife in Ohio, and participation of students, teachers, staff and the local community in developing and maintaining the site.

Funding for the WILD School Site grant program comes from state income tax check-off donations to the Wildlife Diversity Fund and fees generated from the sale of cardinal license plates.

Interested educators should submit an application between now and May 31 to the ODNR Division of Wildlife, 2045 Morse Road, Bldg. G, Columbus, OH 43229. Complete details of the grant program and an application packet can be found at To learn more about Project WILD or to find an area workshop, please call 1-800-WILDLIFE.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at

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National Park Service: New Summer Adventure Portal

Photo of National Park Service sign
Image via Wikipedia

Washington — Summer is the time for… climbing the peak … hitting the trail … rafting the gorge …even discovering our history. Before heading out for adventure, all but the most spontaenous traveler spends at least a little time planning an itinerary, negotiating routes and researching the environs. If you’re looking for great places and things to do, we’ve got the site for you.

The National Park Service’s 2010 Summer Adventure trip planning website connects visitors to travel resources, events and services at national parks across the country. Visit the site at

An easy-to-navigate design links visitors to sites of interest, lodging, upcoming events and tips to get the most out of their national park adventure. An interactive calendar makes it easy to search for special events by state or by park. Visitors will also find information about educational programs in the national parks and an array of travel guides.

Last year more than 285 million people visited national parks. Make this the year for your national park adventure.

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National Safe Boating Week: Ohio Events

Image by lcthulou via Flickr

COLUMBUS, OH – As Ohioans prepare for the summer boating season, which traditionally begins Memorial Day weekend, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is reminding all recreational boaters of the importance in properly wearing an approved life jacket or vest while boating.

“Four people died this year in boating-related accidents—none of them were wearing a life jacket,” said Pamela Dillon, chief, ODNR Division of Watercraft. “We believe that a good boating experience is a safe one and boating safety begins with the choices boaters make before leaving the dock, such as wearing an approved life jacket.”

In observance of National Safe Boating Week, which runs May 22-28, the Division of Watercraft kicks off its third “ Wear It Ohio!” summer life jacket awareness campaign at Alum Creek, East Fork, Caesar Creek Lake and Portage Lakes state parks. The campaign includes special promotional events at each of the four lakes, from May 22 through July 25, focusing on a life jacket loaner program. Eligible participants may qualify to receive, on loan, free use of a new U.S. Coast Guard approved inflatable life vest during the 2010 boating season.

In addition, state and local marine patrol officers will conduct free vessel safety inspections this weekend at various public boat launch ramps statewide. The free courtesy inspections are offered  to ensure that boaters have the required safety equipment on board their boats and that it is in good working condition.

As National Safe Boating Week concludes during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the Division of Watercraft will launch its statewide boating safety awareness public service message campaign to remind boaters of the importance of wearing a life jacket and staying sober while boating. Boating safety messages will be broadcast each weekend during the summer on more than 40 radio stations and several cable TV systems.

“We have seen a 33 percent decline in boating-related fatalities on Ohio waterways over the past decade as more boaters become aware of the importance of boating safety,” said Chief Dillon.

A complete listing of “Wear It Ohio!” events, as well as information on boating safety programs, tips and where to enjoy boating, may be found

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at

(Editor’s Note – A complete listing of Wear It Ohio! events follows below.)

Alum Creek Lake State ParkDelaware County

  • May 22, Hollenback Ramp, 11am-3pm
  • May 30, New Galena Ramp, 11am-3pm
  • June 20, Cheshire Ramp, 11am-3pm
  • June 26, Hollenback Ramp, 11am-3pm
  • July 10, New Galena Ramp, 11am-3pm
  • July 24, Cheshire Ramp, 11am-3pm

Caesar Creek State ParkWarren County

  • May 22, Wellman Meadow Ramp, 9am–1pm
  • May 30, North Pool Ramp, 9am–1pm
  • June 6, Furnas Shores Ramp, Noon-4pm
  • June 19, “Beach/Lake Fest” at the Beach, Noon–4pm
  • July 17, Wellman Meadow Ramp, 10am-2pm
  • July 25, North Pool Ramp, 10am-2pm

East Fork LakeClermont County

  • May 22, Tate Ramp,11am-3pm
  • May 23, Tate Ramp, 11am-3pm
  • June 12, Tate Ramp, 11am-3pm
  • June 13, Tate Ramp, 11am-3pm
  • July 10, Tate Ramp, 11am-3pm
  • July 11, Tate Ramp, 11am-3pm

Portage Lakes State ParkSummit County

  • May 22, Manchester Road Ramp, 10am-2pm
  • June 5, State Park Drive Ramp, 10am-2pm
  • June 13, State Park Drive Ramp, 10am-2pm
  • June 27, Manchester Road Ramp, 10am-2pm
  • July 10, On the water from a pontoon boat, 1-5pm
  • July 11, Demo Day on the Beach, Noon-4pm– Try out different types of powerboats, PWC, canoes and kayaks. Pontoon boat rides also available.
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Ohio Turkey Season Harvest Up for Third Year: Go Ashtabula!

COLUMBUS, OH – Hunters checked 21,909 wild turkeys during Ohio’s four-week, statewide spring turkey-hunting season that ended May 16, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.

The preliminary total represents nearly a 16 percent increase over last year’s preliminary harvest number of 18,936.

Ashtabula County again led the state in the number of turkeys killed with 923. Counties with additional high harvest numbers were: Clermont-664;  Harrison and Tuscarawas-621; Guernsey-618;  Highland-612; Adams-606; Trumbull-588; Monroe-576; and Coshocton-563.

In addition to the turkeys taken during the regular season, young hunters harvested another 2,184 birds during a special hunt for ages 17 and younger held April 17-18.

The Division of Wildlife estimates that more than 70,000 people hunted turkeys during the season. Prior to the start of the spring hunting season, state wildlife biologists estimated the wild turkey population in Ohio to be more than 200,000 birds.

Wild turkeys were nearly extirpated in Ohio before being reintroduced in the mid-1950s by the Division of Wildlife. The first spring turkey-hunting season opened in 1966. Wild turkeys are now present in all 88 counties.

Turkey hunters are reminded that licenses purchased now are also valid during the 2010 fall hunting season. Spring turkey permits are good for spring season only.  Those participating in the fall turkey season will need to buy a fall turkey permit. The 2010-2011 licenses will not be printed on weatherproof paper.  Sportsmen and women should protect their licenses and permits from the elements by carrying them in a protective pouch or wallet.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at

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BuddyPress Beta: Take Part in the Community

Stalls at the Summer Festival of the Arts
Image by lcthulou via Flickr

OK. I think I got the BuddyPress install working. Unfortunately, it uses a different forum backend than I had used before. That means new tables, and a new setup.

Right now it appears to be working for registered users. I had to set the avatars to use Gravatars: I can’t get the uploads working, but my pictures might just be too big to upload.

Go ahead and create a few groups and let me know how it’s working. If you like the new Community features, drop me a line or bookmark them.

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Kayaking Lake Newport: Mill Creek Park, May 16th

Just got back from Kayaking in Mill Creek Park With the Girls:


I know I say this is the first Podcast. I’ve got the PodPress Plugin up and running. That’s the embedded Player instead of Youtube. But I haven’t set up the RSS feed or iTunes yet.

Also, this video came out really short. Jamie was kind of embarrassed to be caught video taping this short paddle. I’ll get some video next week at the Venture Outdoors Fest in Pittsburgh and finish setting it up.

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