A Sylvania Star: Lourdes volunteers help plant trees in Sylvan Prairie Park

by Sylvania AdVantage Staff


This is the ninth article in a series about one of Sylvania’s Stars: The Olander Park System.

Lourdes University Associate Professor of Environmental Science Dr. James Minesky and Lourdesstudent Gabriella Crisp along with Cindy Carnicom, horticulturalist and Robin Ford Parker, assistant natural resources manager with The Olander Park System and Lourdes alumni, planted 100 trees on Sept. 9 at Sylvan Prairie Park. The crew worked for three hours planting several types of trees including oak, maple and hickory trees along with other species that provide food for wildlife such as elderberry, walnut, hackberry, choke cherry and more. Melanie Coulter, natural resources manager at The Olander Park System, says the initiative is part of a project to plant 20 different species on site. “This phase involves the planting of a total of 750 trees on over 30 acres of stream side in Sylvan Prairie,” Coulter noted. “Lourdes University has adopted Sylvan Prairie Park through the Adopt a Natural Area program, a Green Ribbon Initiative,” she explained. Dr. Minesky serves as the coordinator for Lourdes’ volunteer efforts in Sylvan Prairie Park.

“We were fortunate to receive a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, under the provisions of Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act for floodplain restoration. Thanks to this grant and help from many volunteers, we have been able to plant 3,500 trees and have plans to plant an additional 1,000 trees along stream sides throughout The Olander Park System,” Coulter reported.

She said earlier last spring, 80 Timberstone seventh-grade students planted over 300 native trees and shrubs and over 1,000 native grasses and wildflowers as part of the initiative. This is the fifth year Timberstone students have partnered with The Olander Park System for a day of community service.

The Green Ribbon Initiative is a partnership of conservation groups working together for many years to protect the natural beauty and biological diversity of the Oak Openings Region. While the GRI was originally formed in northwest Ohio in 2000, the partnership was recently broadened to include partners from the Oak Openings region of southeast Michigan.