Ashland to hold its fourth Naturalist on Duty program

The program allows community members to learn more about their local environment. | File photo

On Saturday Ashland University, through its AU Black Fork Wetlands Environmental Studies Center, will host the fourth edition of the Naturalist on Duty program, which is open to the public and presented free of charge.

“In August, the prairie flowers are in full bloom and the impressive variety of pollinators is keeping very busy,” associate professor of biology Patricia Saunders, the director of the environmental science program, said. “There are also many types of dragonflies that do very well at the Black Fork Wetlands, and we will highlight the more abundant species this month. Finally, it is always a good time for bird watching at the preserve.”

Saunders, with the help of Ashland alumna Amanda Kriner, developed this program in collaboration with the Richland County Park District. Using an informal, come-when-you-can format, the program allows community members to learn more about their local environment.

“You also will have an opportunity to see the Environmental Studies Center’s new wetlands classroom, complete with bathrooms, and learn a little more about this eco-friendly building,” Saunders said. “The boardwalk, observation tower, and most of all, the beauty and diversity of the Black Fork Wetlands will guarantee that you see something different every single time you come out. So bring the whole family, and join us.”

The day’s activities will run from noon to 3 p.m. This edition’s focus is “Seasonality and Change in Wetland Habitats.”

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