"Whats neat about the metro parks is that even if they get no funding they can just shut off access to them and not much will change, birds will still come nest, dead trees will still fall, new saplings will still grow. I think they would kind of become a preserve instead of a park. I am sure that long long time ago before anyone came and settled here the area did just fine without funding or someone being paid to "look after" the trees."
That's funny but inaccurate. Your statement lacks knowledge about nature and the human impact on land.
Not all parks and preserves are forested lands. In Lucas County, we have prairie, wet prairie, marsh, oak savanna, and other types of habitats that are not forested. Linecrosser, you need to get out more.
A naturalist who has never been to Lucas County would know that our parks are not all forested lands. Lucas County is one of the top counties in Ohio for butterfly species, and that's mainly because of the Oak Openings Region, which runs from West Toledo through Sylvania and out past Toledo Express Airport. It takes more habitat types than just forested land to support that many butterfly species.
So letting things go is natural, eh? No, it's not. Not today.
The Nature Conservancy manages Kitty Todd Nature Preserve, which is another gem in the Oak Openings Region of Lucas County. How did they restore it back to oak savanna, prairie, and other natural habitats? By letting things go? Nope. They slashed and burned. The land was in an unnatural state because it was "let go." It was choked with too many woody plants and invasive plants.
When the Nature Conservancy cleared the land that became Kitty Todd, rare plants that had been dormant for decades began blooming. When the land is "let go," other plants flourish in the unnatural state, crowding out the plants that used to comprise the natural habitat. And that can negatively impact other species, such as birds, insects, reptiles, and amphibians. Not all birds build stick nests on tree branches. Not all birds like forested landscapes. Obviously, we don't have as much prairie habitat today compared to 500 years ago.
Controlled burns, mowing, clear-cutting, and selective logging are some of the methods used to manage lands today, including here in Lucas County. Fire is a part of nature, but humans dislike raging fires. Controlled burns and mowing keep the invasive plants from taking over. Human activity introduced the invasive plants. If left alone, woody plants take over the prairie and oak savanna habitats in a choking fashion, which changes the ecosystem and not always in a good or natural manner.
More than a decade ago, The Nature Conservancy labeled the Oak Openings Region "One of the 200 Last Great Places on ."
Back in 2000, a billboard along Route 20 near Secor Metorpark read: "The Oak Openings Region, a Natural Wonder Disappearing Near You."
Kitty Todd and maybe other places sell these interesting and informational items:
Toledo's population according to the U.S. Census Bureau:
|1950|| 303,616|| 7.5%|
|1960|| 318,003|| 4.7%|
|1970|| 383,818|| 20.7%|
|1980|| 354,635|| −7.6%|
|1990|| 332,943|| −6.1%|
|2000|| 313,619|| −5.8%|
|2010|| 287,208|| −8.4%|
Lucas County's population:
|1950|| 395,551|| 14.9%|
|1960|| 456,931|| 15.5%|
|1970|| 484,370|| 6.0%|
|1980|| 471,741|| −2.6%|
|1990|| 462,361|| −2.0%|
|2000|| 455,054|| −1.6%|
|2010|| 441,815|| −2.9%|
Over the past 40 years, Lucas County's population has not declined as dramatically as Toledo's population. Obviously, some Toledoans have moved into other communities within Lucas County. That means what?
While Lucas County's population has declined, the amount of developed land within the county has increased dramatically. Anyone who has lived here for more than 15 years knows that by simply driving around the county.
Here are two images from the above documentary that showed land usage in the Toledo area in 1981 and in 1997. It's a big change in only 16 years.
I wonder what that land use image map looks like today for Lucas County, 15 years later.
People will say that buying land for park usage prevents that land from being developed and paying taxes. Well, a lot of land has been developed in Lucas County over the past 30 years, and yet we have five county-wide property tax levies on the ballot this November. Developing for the sake of developing is not working here. I could understand the point if Lucas County's population had dramatically over the past 30 to 40 years.
Over the past few decades with Lucas County's population declining, and the amount of developed land within the county doubling or tripling in size, I think that means many vacant properties exist with Toledo. Not exactly a newsflash.
The decay of the urban core is one factor contributing to suburban sprawl. Stupid political decisions, poor schools, etc. in Toledo causes people to flee the urban center and chew up the countryside. Plus, it's probably easier and more financially rewarding for developers to work farm land and sandy land than try to develop within Toledo.
How one votes regarding the Metroparks levy is a personal matter. I would prefer people gain a basic knowledge of nature in their immediate surroundings. That doesn't mean taking up dragonfly watching or identifying trees in the winter time. Just obtain some awareness.
I think the best book to read is A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold, published in 1949. It's a good book for an e-reader. It contains many essays. The first section of essays discusses the flora and fauna changes that occur throughout the year in one area. This also called phenology. One essay called the Land Ethic is still used by land managers today. Aldo's writing is some of the best that I've ever read.
"Considered by many as the father of wildlife management and of the United States’ wilderness system, Aldo Leopold was a conservationist, forester, philosopher, educator, writer, and outdoor enthusiast."