Wednesday, September 24, 2014 was a very special day at Caesar Creek State Park. Wild School Site Program Coordinators, Jen Dennison and Kathy Garza-Behr of the Ohio Division of Wildlife visited the park in order to Dedicate the Caesar Creek Nature Center as the 144th Wild School Site in Ohio. Caesar Creek Park Naturalist, Erin Shaw accepted the certificate.
The Caesar Creek Wild School Site has been in the making for the past two years. Many dedicated volunteers including Ohio State Parks VIPs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and SW RiverLands OCVNs worked to create this educational site. Land Labs were created, interpretive signs installed, new raptor cages built and many other improvements to the Nature Center and grounds were added. Families, school groups and individuals will have fun exploring all of these new discovery areas at the Nature Center.
Several Ohio State Park Staff Members attended the ceremony along with the many volunteers involved with the project. Several pre-school age children were in attendance and enjoyed touring the Wild School Site and interacting with the animals.
"It’s all worth it when we see families enjoying their time, learning and playing together in the park. We all have an important role in making this possible. We are now an official ‘Wild School Site’! Our Nature Center is a special place for connecting people with nature education. It was an honor celebrating our Land Labs and Wild School Site dedication with everyone! Yes, our Nature Center has come a long way. Thanks to all of the volunteers who support us by giving their time and funding. . We could not have done this without you! - Erin Shaw, Park Naturalist
For more information to create a Wild School Site in your area visit:
Photos of Caesar Creek Wild School Site in attachments below.
Funding for part of the construction costs associated with the creation of this Wild School Site were provided by a grant from the SW RiverLands OCVN Chapter.
Press Release from Division of Wildlife
State Park Nature Center Dedicated as a “Wild School Site”Caesars Creek becomes 144th site certified by the Division of WildlifeWAYNESVILLE, OH – Caesars Creek State Park Nature Center was dedicated as an official WILD School Site (WSS) during a recognition ceremony on September 24, 2014 according to ODNR Division of Wildlife. The nature center becomes the 144th site dedicated in Ohio and the second certified site in Warren County.Caesars Creek naturalist Erin Shaw and a dedicated group of parks volunteers as well as the Southwest Riverlands OCVN Chapter performed projects to help park visitors learn about and benefit from wildlife and the environment while enhancing habitat for wildlife. Together Shaw and volunteers constructed a bird blind, a prairie habitat, pond habitat, added new interpretive signage, and improved housing for wildlife in the nature center.As a Certified WILD School Site, Caesars Creek commits to a sustainable environmental education program that uses the nature center grounds as an outdoor classroom. It also signifies the parks commitment to maintain a place for wildlife within that program.The WILD School Sites program is considered an action extension of the national Project WILD program. Any public property used by students, teachers, and the school community as a place to learn about and benefit from wildlife and the environment can be certified. The sites function within the premise that every educational facility, regardless of size and location, can provide outdoor educational opportunities that can and should be part of an integrated environmental education program. WILD School Sites that demonstrate program development and site enhancement consistent with the premises outlined in this program are eligible for certification as an official Ohio WILD School Site.For more information about wildlife-related education programs in Ohio visit www.wildohio.comor call 1-800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).-30-Editor’s note: Photo credit Division of Wildlife. Left, Wildlife Communications Specialist, Kathy Garza-Behr, presents State Park Naturalist, Erin Shaw, with WSS certificate. Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist (OCVN) gives tour of prairie habitat.For more information contact:Kathy Garza-Behr, Wildlife Communication SpecialistDivision of Wildlife(937) 347-0920 Office-or-Erin Shaw, Park NaturalistDivision of Parks(513) 897-3055 Office(513) 897-2437 Nature Center