Each MetroPark has it's own management plan, which are updated annually. These plans will provide information about each park, including natural features, unique findings and an inventory of all plant species. We encourage everyone to review these plans and become more educated about the wonderful parks Erie MetroParks has to offer!
Observing wildlife can be fun and rewarding. Erie MetroParks offers hiking trails through various types of habitats including prairies, meadows, woodlands, and wetlands. Our naturalists recommend that visitor's bring binoculars and a wildlife identification book.
When you encounter wildlife within Erie MetroParks, please remember the following:
Invasive plants are non-native plants that are capable of causing economic and environmental damage. Invasive plants are characterized by fast growth rates, excessive fruit production, and efficient seed dispersal and germination. These plants are characteristically adaptable and aggressive and with the lack of natural enemies, predators, and pathogens that keep them in check in their native range they have the ability to spread rapidly.
Some invasive plants were intentionally introduced for erosion control, food, forage, wildlife habitat, aesthetics, and medicinal use. Others arrived accidentally through international trade routes. Some invasive plants also escape to natural areas from home gardens.
Fire is often thought of as a destructive force, but prescribed burning is a technique critical for restoring and maintaining fire-dependent ecosystems such as prairies, oak savannas, dry-mesic forests and some wetlands.
Erie MetroParks has several prairies that are maintained by using fire. Prescribed burns can be conducted in spring, summer, or fall, and depending on the season different plants will be benefited and controlled.
This process allows for recycling of nutrients tied up in old plant growth, control of woody plants and herbaceous weeds, improvement of poor quality forage, increased plant growth, and improved wildlife habitat.
A successful burn requires careful planning and preparation by a certified prescribed fire manager. Several factors are accounted for before a burn can take place such a proper weather conditions, particularly humidity, temperature, wind speed, and wind direction along with contacting the local authorities.
For more information about Ohio's prairies and prescribed burning you can visit www.ohioprairie.org.