“Snowbelted” at The West Woods Nature Center

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The Geauga Park District celebrates Ol’ Man Winter while paying tribute to Geauga County.  “Snow-Belted: Winter’s a Blast” exhibit opened November 1 at the West Woods Nature Center in Russell Township.  This large two room display features every facet of winter ranging from commercial ice cutting from an area lake to all types of winter recreation.

Geauga County’s winters are best know for their maple syrup, snow, and winter recreation ~ Dan Best

[EasyGallery id=’snowbelted’]
 
(Click the image above to the view the gallery)
 

First,  you will enjoy “Winter Weather Remembered” by viewing photos of Geauga County’s big blizzards, deep snows,  and below-zero temperatures.  Archival videos feature footage of this area’s most memorable winter storms, including the blizzards of 1977 – 1978.  Visitors are encouraged to post their own photos and personal notes of their trials and triumphs of the winters they have endured.

With everything from wooden skis to the Nintendo Wii, the exhibit displays a myriad of creative ways to fight boredom, often known as “cabin fever”.  Local residents lent the park collections of antique skis, ice skates, board games, and wooden toys to show that these were the preferred entertainment of choice, long before televisions, home entertainment systems, computers, and video games.

Test your strength in the Winter Weight Lifting section while shoveling from fluffy, to medium, to heavy snow.  You can also test your driving skills by learning how to snow plow.

The exhibit explains why winter is good for Northeast Ohio.  You will discover the origins of lake effect snow and take a close look at the formation of snowflakes.

Moving forward into the second room, kids will discover  the “Otter Banks” and are invited to “be a vole under the snow”.  An Otter Slide shows children how animals also use snow for entertainment.

Bob cats, weasels, squirrels, red fox, raccoons, beavers, otters, and meadow voles are just a few of the interactive wildlife creatures that make up the Wildlife Weathers Winter section.  In the life-sized trees, you will discover a Great Horned Owl, Northern Cardinals, Hawks, and Canada Geese.  Here you will learn how all of these critters, not only thrive, but manage to survive winter’s weather year after year.

Spearheaded by the parks Senior Naturalist Dan Best, Snowbelted took approximately a year to complete with the help of many park staff memebers, as well as Auburn Career Center students who assisted with the visual media portions of the exhibit.

“We looked at what Geauga was known for and decided it was maple syrup, snow, and winter recreation, all of which happen as a result of winter weather,” Best said.  “The exhibit is really the finale to the Geauga Park Districts 50th year anniversary.”

Through a huge team effort, Snowbelted: Winter’s a Blast! fundraising reached $26,095!

Through a huge team effort, Snowbelted: Winter’s a Blast! fundraising through Geauga Park District Foundation has concluded and successfully raised $1,095 more than its goal, totaling $26,095! Sponsors includes six local companies and 67 generous Geauga County supporters who gave between $5,000 and $10 to help underwrite the exhibit.

Sure, winter can be brutal, but it offers something for all ages, and so does Snowbelted.  The exhibit is open daily now through March 1, 2012 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm except Christmas, Dec 26th and New Years Day.

 

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