Group seeking writer to chronicle history of Trail
COLUMBUS – A volunteer organization committed to maintaining and promoting the Ohio to Erie Trail, a 320-mile multi-use bicycle trail that crisscrosses Ohio from Cincinnati to Cleveland, hopes to publish a book soon chronicling its history.
“The Ohio to Erie Trail offers one of the most beautiful and unique bicycle adventures in the world,” said Tom Moffitt, President of the Ohio to Erie Trail Board. “It started with one man’s idea and then a group of dedicated volunteers joined together to make it become a reality. Many of those original volunteers are still active today with the Ohio to Erie Trail and we want to capture this story before it’s too late.”
The late Ed Honton, a civil engineer with the Ohio Department of Transportation originally came up with the idea of a paved path that connects the Ohio River to Lake Erie, and in 1991 he founded the Ohio to Erie Trail. Nowadays, bicyclists come from around the world to spend 5 or 6 days riding the trail through Ohio’s rural farmlands, quaint small towns and bustling metropolitan areas.
The work will require interviewing past and present Ohio to Erie Trail board members, searching the files of the organization, reviewing minutes as well as photos and maps to develop a chronological historical account of the 26 year-old organization and its success in creating one of the longest recreational trails in the United States. To learn more, contact Lisa Daris at email@example.com.
More information, maps and trip-planning tools are available online at www.ohiotoerietrail.org.
No ‘Boaty McBoatface?’
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The nation’s largest recreational boating advocacy, services and safety group, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), issued its 2017 Top Ten Boat Names list, a tradition dating back a quarter decade. The names come from tallying up requests for boat names to the BoatUS Graphics service, and each reveal much about the personality of the vessel’s owner.
The BoatUS 2017 Top 10 Boat Names:
1. Serenity: The utter calm and quietude boating brings
2. Seas the Day: A nautical wordplay on the Latin saying “Carpe diem,” taking boating to its fullest
3. Andiamo: “Let’s go!” in Italian and a perennial favorite boat name
4. Irish Wake: Mourning and merrymaking after the death of a family member or friend
5. Freedom: Patriotic name that first appeared on the Top 10 Names List in 2004
6. Adagio: Italian for “at a slow tempo.” Represents how boating reduces stress in our hectic lives
7. Ohana: From the Hawaiian culture, meaning “family” in an extended sense
8. Oasis: A fertile spot in a desert where water is found; symbolizes boating’s ability to refresh and nourish our daily lives
9. Happy Ours: A playful take on the good feeling you get at the afternoon communal cocktail time
10. Firefly: Making the list for the first time, it’s thought that the kids picked this one
For a look at all of the BoatUS Top 10 Boat Names lists over the years as well as a directory of over 9,000 boat names, go to BoatUS.com/boatnames. The BoatUS Graphics service offers an online design tool to easily create custom boat graphics with fast turnaround times. BoatUS also has simple video instructions on how to install graphics on your boat.
Zoombezi Bay now open
POWELL – Zoombezi Bay opens for another exciting season. The regular season will begin May 25, with daily openings until Aug. 18. Zoombezi Bay is then open on weekends only from Aug. 19 through Labor Day.
This season will offer new perks and special extended hours for Zoombezi Bay guests. Presented by Swedish Fish, Zoombezi Bay Summer Nights (formerly known as Dive-In Movie Nights) will provide guests the opportunity to enjoy extended park hours on Fridays in July and the first Friday in August. Select rides will remain open while a family-friendly Dive-In Movie plays on the jumbo inflatable screen at the Wild Tides Wave Pool until 11 p.m. (The show schedule can be found online on the calendar page of Zoombezi Bay’s website.) It’s a whole new park after dark!
Continually striving to provide the best value for summer fun in Central Ohio, Zoombezi Bay is offering even more benefits to season pass holders. In addition to getting free admission and parking at Zoombezi Bay and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, season pass holders will also now enjoy “Extra Splash Hours” on June 15, July 13 and Aug. 3. On these select Thursdays, after Zoombezi Bay closes for the general public at 8 p.m., select attractions will remain open from 8–11 p.m. exclusively for season pass holders and gold members.
The perks don’t end there! This year’s season pass holders will also receive: early admission at 10 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays for themselves and their friends, who will receive a discounted rate ($12.99 per guest for up to two guests); a $5 discount on ZOOMPASS, the waterslide reservation system that electronically holds guests’ place in line while they explore the rest of the park (a ZOOMPASS season pass option is now available this year for an additional fee); exclusive access to the season pass entrance, picnic shelter and Cooler Cove; and free admission to all Summer Nights, featuring Dive-In Movies.
“Last year was a splashing success with the new and improved SoundSurfer: King of the Beats raft ride, and it is our goal to keep that momentum going this year. With even more perks for our season pass holders and general admission guests, we are excited to offer our guests a fun-filled summer,” said John Gannon, Vice President of Zoombezi Bay.
May is National Water Safety Month, and guest safety is the top priority at Zoombezi Bay. Before they arrive at the water park, guests have the opportunity to check out a video series on the Zoombezi Bay’s website and Facebook page that provide a behind-the-scenes look at the park operations. From the lifeguard staff and security to visitor tips and policies, the information provides guests helpful information to enhance their experience at Central Ohio’s wildest water park.
At the park, all Zoombezi guests can opt to have access to 752 electronic lockers for an additional fee. Guests can access their rental locker using a pin code keypad, minimizing the need to wait in line.
Zoombezi guests looking for a little more privacy can also reserve a cabana. The park offers a total of 35 cabanas of varying amenities and prices. All cabanas include a private, shaded shelter with chaise lounges, dining table and chairs, and mini lockers; Standard and Deluxe cabanas offer the additional full service food and beverage menu and private attendant service.
For more information about how you can turn your summer into a wild adventure at Central Ohio’s premier water park, visit ZoombeziBay.com.
About Zoombezi Bay
Zoombezi Bay is a 22.7 acre water park that features a new multi-level play structure, 17 state of the art water slides, a wave pool, an action river, a lazy river, private cabanas, a kiddie play pool and more. The 2014 Theme Index and Museum Index, a publication of the Themed Entertainment Association, recognized Zoombezi Bay as having the largest percentage increase in attendance for any waterpark in North America. Admission to Zoombezi Bay includes the Columbus Zoo and proceeds from the waterpark support the Zoo’s operation and mission. Please visit www.zoombezibay.com for more information.
Ohio Crew Called for Georgia Wildfire Assistance
COLUMBUS — An Ohio wildfire crew consisting of six people and one wildfire engine from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) departed Saturday (May 20) to travel to Georgia, where they were dispatched to the West Mims Fire in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) near Kingsland, Georgia, to help fight the wildfire.
“Ohio is again responding to the call for assistance with a national emergency, this time in Georgia,” said Robert Boyles, Ohio’s state forester. “Our crew and engine are well-prepared for initial attack, structure protection and other special assignments to protect life, property and natural resources under very challenging circumstances.”
Rapid rates of fire spread, wind direction changes and hazard trees are challenging suppression efforts, although moist weather early in the week has helped firefighters. However, the weather conditions at the end of this week are hot and dry, which may cause the fire to pick back up and start running again. The cause of the West Mims wildfire was reported as lightning/natural, and the fire is more than 152,000 acres in size. Although mostly in the Okefenokee NWR, the fire also affects private residences. Numerous evacuations are in place, and some structures have already been lost. The perimeter of the fire was 40 percent contained as of Thursday. The fire is being attacked with engines, tractor plows and aircraft. When the swamp burns, it usually burns for a long time. The estimated controlled date of this fire is Nov. 1.
The ODNR Division of Forestry trains ODNR, federal and private natural resource agencies, as well as fire department personnel from across the state, for inter-agency wildland fire detail and emergencies to protect life and property in Ohio; manage prescribed fire for forest regeneration; and to provide assistance to other states as part of the national effort.
Ohio crews and individual management personnel have assisted with hurricanes, floods and wildfire incidents since 1986. Crews and overhead staff are normally dispatched out-of-state for two-week assignments. Travel and wage costs are reimbursed by requesting agencies. Last year, Ohio’s engine crew responded to southern wildfire assignments in Tennessee, Alabama and North Carolina.
ODNR Hosts Hunts for Disabled Hunters at Pike and Blue Rock State Forests
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) recently hosted two special hunts organized for disabled hunters to enjoy the outdoors while hunting for wild turkey. The first annual Thunder in the Hills wild turkey hunt at Pike State Forest and the 11th annual Wheelin’ Sportsmen hunt for wild turkeys at Blue Rock State Forest were held in Pike and Muskingum counties.
“The weekend hunts at Pike State Forest and Blue Rock State Forest were successful due to the wonderful partners that helped us offer these special opportunities for a great group of outdoorsmen,” said Robert Boyles, Ohio state forester. “We strengthened relationships and enjoyed our time in some ideal wild turkey habitat created by sustainable forest management practices on Ohio’s state forests.”
Thunder in the Hills wild turkey hunt at Pike State Forest was coordinated by the South Central and the Clinton County chapters of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), and the ODNR divisions of Forestry and Wildlife. More than a dozen organizations assisted with donations and volunteers. Three turkeys were taken during the event, which had 13 participants.
The Wheelin’ Sportsmen hunt for wild turkey at Blue Rock State Forest was sponsored by the NWTF’s Wheelin’ Sportsmen program. The ODNR divisions of Forestry and Wildlife worked with the Y-Bridge Longbeards and other chapters of the NWTF to coordinate the event with donations and volunteer efforts from many local individuals and businesses. Six turkeys were taken during the event, which had 19 participants.
Hunters at both events provided their own shotguns and ammunition, as well as the necessary licenses and permits. Guides were provided for each hunter. The participating hunters were from various parts of Ohio. Some of the hunters were in wheelchairs, while others walked with the assistance of canes or braces. Several of these hunters were disabled veterans.
The ODNR Division of Forestry works to promote the wise use and sustainable management of Ohio’s public and private woodlands. To learn more about Ohio’s woodlands, visit forestry.ohiodnr.gov.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.
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The ODNR Division of Forestry also coordinates agreements and wildfire training, prevention, suppression and enforcement with 325 fire departments in the southern and eastern part of the state and around Maumee State Forest in the state’s northwest corner.
The ODNR Division of Forestry works to promote the wise use and sustainable management of Ohio’s public and private woodlands. To learn more about Ohio’s woodlands and the fire management program, visit forestry.ohiodnr.gov.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.
High Water on the Great Lakes: Boom or Bust for Boaters?
BoatUS offers safety tips
SODUS BAY, NY, May 18, 2017 – With Great Lakes water levels on the rise and expected to continue to increase into summer, recreational boaters could find that deeper water under the keel may open a whole new range of cruising, fishing or sailing grounds to navigation. That same deep water, however, may present unique safety concerns on the water and at the dock, says Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the nation’s largest advocacy, services and safety organization.
According to the US Army Corps of Engineers, Lake Ontario is expected to see the largest increase at 17 inches higher over last year and lowland flooding is already hampering the boat-launch season on the lake. The second largest year-over-year increase goes to Lake Superior at 12 inches higher sometime in August, while Lake Huron and Lake Michigan are both predicted to rise 8 inches. Lake Erie is expected to be up 5 inches over last year.
BoatUS offer the following tips for boaters on the Great Lakes in these flooded conditions:
On the water: The good news is that deeper draft vessels may have more options for mooring, anchoring and slip rental, as well as increased access to the water. However, high water shifts sandbars. Traveling at slower speed can reduce the risk of grounding or running gear damage. Transient boaters can contact local TowBoatUS operators on VHF channel 16 for local information. In you’re headed into unfamiliar waters post an extra lookout, and if you’re traveling far, check ahead as locations to tie up may be inaccessible.
On the dock: Many fixed (non-floating), boat docks with electrical service are submerged, potentially compromising wiring and electrical connections. When waters recede and before power gets turned on, inspect the electrical service and consider installing a ground fault protection device if your dock power system does not already have one. Without it, the risk of Electric Shock Drowning (ESD) increases. A dock electrical maintenance check-up is also a good idea to schedule at the beginning of the each season.
While Enjoying America’s Waterways Play It Safe
HUNTINGTON, W.Va – Before you head out for a day on or near the water, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) encourages you to make sure you have life jackets for everyone and that you wear them.
In the last 10 years, 88 percent of all USACE public water-related fatalities were men and 68 percent were between the ages of 20 and 60, according to data compiled by the USACE National Operations Center for Water Safety. The center also reports that 84 percent of all public water-related fatalities involved people not wearing life jackets and found that the greatest number of water-related fatalities involved people swimming in areas not designated for swimming. In addition, 27 percent of boating fatalities involved people falling overboard.
Several people who drown never intended to be in the water; they unexpectedly fell from a boat or dock into the water. When this happens, a person will reflexively gasp and can inhale up to one liter of water and drown in less than a minute.
Even a strong swimmer can drown from a fall into cold water because it causes an involuntary gasp (or torso) reflex. A life jacket can help save your life by allowing time for rescue. Some researchers believe cold water is anything lower than normal body temperature of 98.6°F.
Others get into trouble swimming out to retrieve a boat that floated away, or swimming in association with a boat. Swimming in natural waters is not the same as swimming in a pool. Even strong swimmers can get into trouble and be gone within seconds. It takes an average of 60 seconds for an adult to drown and just 20 seconds for a child to drown. Swimming ability also decreases with age.
Swim at a designated swim beach. These areas have been inspected to provide a safe swimming environment. At all USACE beaches you swim at your own risk so adults please watch your children, because most people drowned within 10 feet of safety. Many shore lines at USACE lake and river projects have drop offs and you can be in water over your head instantly or pulled under by the current.
Always wear the right size and type of life jacket for the activity you are enjoying. Life Jackets Worn…Nobody Mourns.
Learn more at PleaseWearIt.com.
USACE is the nation’s largest federal provider of water-based outdoor recreation, managing more than 400 lake and river projects in 43 states and hosting more than 250 million visits per year. They provide a diverse range of outdoor activities close to home and to people of all ages. For more information on USACE recreation sites and activities, visit www.CorpsLakes.us.
Ohio Hunters Have Checked Nearly 21,000 Wild Turkeys During Spring Wild Turkey Season So Far
Ohio hunters checked 20,819 wild turkeys to-date during the combined 2017 spring wild turkey hunting season and statewide youth wild turkey hunting season, April 22-May 21. The northeast zone, which includes Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull counties, remains open through May 28.
Hunters checked 18,899 birds during the first four weeks of the 2017 wild turkey season compared to 16,229 birds in 2016. Young hunters checked 1,920 birds during the 2017 statewide youth season compared to 1,564 in 2016.
Ohio’s 2017 spring wild turkey season was open from Monday, April 24 to Sunday, May 21 in the south zone and is open from Monday, May 1 to Sunday, May 28 in the northeast zone. The Statewide youth season was April 22-23.
Editor’s Note: A list of all wild turkeys checked during the 2017 combined spring turkey hunting seasons is shown below. The first number following the county’s name shows the harvest numbers for 2017, and the 2016 numbers are in parentheses. An * designates a northeast zone county, which will remain open to wild turkey hunting through Sunday, May 28.
Adams: 503 (432); Allen: 91 (89); Ashland: 275 (202); Ashtabula*: 562 (569); Athens: 408 (363); Auglaize: 60 (50); Belmont: 532 (491); Brown: 425 (347); Butler: 189 (166); Carroll: 447 (322); Champaign: 89 (95); Clark: 17 (15); Clermont: 418 (396); Clinton: 45 (40); Columbiana: 332 (361); Coshocton: 648 (418); Crawford: 75 (74); Cuyahoga*: 9 (12); Darke: 45 (40); Defiance: 290 (324); Delaware: 102 (111); Erie: 57 (55); Fairfield: 130 (102); Fayette: 15 (26); Franklin: 23 (21); Fulton: 140 (120); Gallia: 472 (418); Geauga*: 215 (264); Greene: 24 (16); Guernsey: 564 (428); Hamilton: 107 (117); Hancock: 52 (53); Hardin: 86 (87); Harrison: 550 (425); Henry: 58 (72); Highland: 456 (387); Hocking: 379 (309); Holmes: 376 (217); Huron: 170 (113); Jackson: 447 (347); Jefferson: 399 (410); Knox: 435 (285); Lake*: 73 (54); Lawrence: 293 (274); Licking: 418 (281); Logan: 137 (141); Lorain: 165 (141); Lucas: 67 (60); Madison: 6 (13); Mahoning: 231 (228); Marion: 37 (35); Medina: 171 (138); Meigs: 533 (419); Mercer: 20 (21); Miami: 24 (20); Monroe: 592 (508); Montgomery: 19 (18); Morgan: 426 (308); Morrow: 181 (174); Muskingum: 612 (462); Noble: 481 (349); Ottawa: 1 (3); Paulding: 113 (126); Perry: 390 (260); Pickaway: 19 (26); Pike: 300 (278); Portage: 287 (205); Preble: 93 (114); Putnam: 66 (87); Richland: 346 (280); Ross: 389 (350); Sandusky: 21 (25); Scioto: 299 (270); Seneca: 178 (141); Shelby: 46 (50); Stark: 337 (281); Summit: 57 (65); Trumbull*: 364 (464); Tuscarawas: 674 (429); Union: 58 (48); Van Wert: 22 (27); Vinton: 360 (306); Warren: 95 (101); Washington: 543 (466); Wayne: 143 (106); Williams: 283 (313); Wood: 24 (36); Wyandot: 108 (103); Total: 20,819 (17,793).