A Hidden Gem: Tour the Geauga Wetland from Indoors

From the comfort of your seat at the cozy West Woods Nature Center, join Joe Betty Koelliker and Jim Bissell, curator of botany at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, for an illustrated tour of this hidden Geauga County gem.

What: A Visit to Koelliker Fen
When: Sunday, January 25 – 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Where: The West Woods Nature Center, 9465 Kinsman Road (Rt. 87), Russell Twp.

Geauga County is home to fens and bogs, which are fragile wetland relics of the last Ice Age and living museums of rare plants and animals. CMNH’s Explorer magazine describes it as, “An area of wet seepage fed by cold springs percolating up through limestone-rich deposits of glacial gravel: this results in a very alkaline (high pH) environment.”

Distinct plant communities include rare orchids, star-flowered Solomon’s seal and poison sumac, as well as rare animals like the cloudy arches moth; a state record explains that they are able to survive only in the conditions unique to this treasure.

Koelliker Fen, in Munson Township, is part of the museum’s extensive Natural Areas Program. Joe and Betty Koelliker found the property and the fen in 1960, called it “a dream come true,” and have been custodians of it ever since.

Visitors to this program may also plan to make it an afternoon by visiting the new “Return to the Ice Age” exhibit component at The West Woods Nature Center and traveling to Peru during the preceding Travelogue: Peru – From the Amazon Voyage to the Peaks of Machu Picchu at 2 p.m., same location.

The West Woods Nature Center is at 9465 Kinsman Road (Route 87), Russell Township, and is fully wheelchair/stroller accessible. Registration is not required for this all-ages program. Call 440-286-9516 with questions.

For more information on the Geauga Park District, check them out online on their website, Facebook page, Twitter, and YouTube.

Geauga News
Author: Geauga News