MOUNT VERNON — Programming, funding and current project status updates were the hot topics of Monday’s Knox County Natural Resources Area meeting.
Members representing the Ohio Division of Wildlife, Knox County 4-H, Knox County Soil & Water, the Knox County Fair, the Knox County Fish and Game Association, the Knox County Parks District, the Brown Family Environmental Center, and archery and shooting groups within Knox County were all present to discuss the plans for the new Natural Resources Area being added to the fairgrounds.
The 10.486-area plot will host several different types of activities for children of all ages — as well as adults — once it is finished. Programming is still in the planning phase, but the Natural Resources Area team is hoping to include several identification programs for trees, herbaceous plants, flowers and birds. Other program ideas include animal tracking and identification, bug hunts, bee/honey/hive education, camping education, soil and rock education, and shelter building to name just a few.
Talks for an aquatic area to host activities such as fishing is still in the works as well, with a more long-term goal for completion due to the need for funding the more extensive project.
These programs will be planned predominately in 30-minute sessions on the last Friday of fair week (July 27), but no finalizations have been made to the schedule this early in the planning process. Finding educators for the programs is the next step in planning which programs will be happening for sure.
One of the most anticipated programs will be archery, with the building of an archery range that will be dedicated to just that activity. Discussions continued from the last meeting about the grant proposal to ODNR for $20,000. The grant application is finished and will be mailed this week. The team will also be submitting a request for funding to the Ohio State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Foundation to assist with costs of building the archery range.
The team also reviewed drafts of the future funding letter to be sent to potential donors, as well as the brochure that acts as a summary of the area’s mission, goals, objectives, and a thanks to donors and partners.
There was also a discussion and review of the official Facebook page, titled “Knox County Natural Resources Area,” which the team will be launching soon as a quick-and-easy source for the public to get information and updates about the area.
To end, the team made plans for a workday to meet at the Natural Resources Area to discuss where different sections of the area will be. From there, the team plans to schedule more workdays where team members will meet and continue preparing the area for the upcoming fair week in July.
A ground-breaking ceremony is expected to happen during fair week.