Cicadas make appearance

Outdoor educational events on tap at Meigs SWCD Conservation Area

By Jim Freeman - In the Open

The Meigs SWCD is sponsoring a free Forestry Workshop Monday, 6 p.m. at the Meigs SWCD Conservation Area on New Lima Road between Rutland and Harrisonville.

Southeastern Ohio is heavily forested, and forest landowners need to be aware of what is on their property, its value, and how to identify harmful invasive species that can damage the value of their timber.

Perry Brannan, a service forester with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, will discuss topics including invasive species, forestry practices, and the Ohio Forest Tax Law. He will also be available to answer questions that landowners might have about their forests.

The Conservation Area will also be the site of a free Wildlife Management Workshop on Thursday, June 2 starting at 6 p.m.

Wildlife management practices are suitable for many different types of property and beneficial for both game and non-game animals, birds and insects.

Topics will include: habitat, woodland management for wildlife, wildlife food plot planning and preparation, wetlands, and planting for pollinators (bees and butterflies). Pollinators, particularly the Monarch butterfly, are hot topics in the conservation field these days, and landowners can do things to easily promote the well-being of these beautiful and beneficial species.

Presenter will be John Morton, a private lands biologist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources-Division of Wildlife, and others.

The Meigs SWCD purchased the 174-acre Conservation Area almost 15 years ago with funding from the Clean Ohio grant program, with the intent of creating southeastern Ohio’s premier outdoor education center.

The Conservation Area naturally consists of hills, flatlands, woods and open areas, as well as Little Leading Creek which bisects a portion of the property. Over the years the Meigs SWCD has added a wetland, prairie areas, over two miles of walking/hiking trails, parking, a picnic shelter and restroom.

The Conservation Area and trails are open to the public daily from dawn to dusk, and the facilities can also be reserved with prior arrangement through the Meigs SWCD.

The workshop will take place rain or shine, so weather-appropriate dress is recommended.

Light refreshments will be served. Attendance is free but pre-registration is appreciated. For more information or to pre-register, contact the Meigs Soil and Water Conservation Area at 740-992-4282.

Periodical Cicada Brood V made its appearance in the area Wednesday morning, judging from the sheer number of Facebook posts and photos of cicadas emerging from the ground and coming out of their shells.

While many people are dreading the appearance of this 17-year swarm, and the resultant damage to their trees, I always encourage people to keep things in perspective: yes, they are going to damage small trees and small branches, but they don’t bite or sting, they don’t come into and infest your house or spread diseases, and they represent a smorgasbord for much of our wildlife (dogs and cats too).

Yes the singing can be annoying, but they only do it during the day, and you can take solace with the assurance that they will be gone in a few weeks, not be seen for another 17 years.

Jim Freeman is the wildlife specialist for the Meigs SWCD and his column, In the Open, generally appears every other weekend. He can be contacted weekdays at 740-992-4282 or at
Outdoor educational events on tap at Meigs SWCD Conservation Area

By Jim Freeman

In the Open