BioBlitzing at the Governor’s Mansion

Former Ohio First Lady Hope Taft invited the Ohio Young Birders Club to participate in the Ohio Governor’s Residence Heritage Garden BioBlitz on August 28, 2010.

This was an amazing opportunity for the young birders to work with experts in many natural fields as well as network with each other. The Governor of Ohio, Ted Strickland, made an appearance to meet the group and posed for some photos.

Photo Op
Ohio Young Birders Club - BioBlitz

We split into three groups and set off to count birds, plants, insects and animals in the garden and two other neighboring houses. Hope Taft was kind enough to give a detailed tour of the garden to each group. She showed us many native plants in the garden, all from the five physiographic regions in Ohio. Different plants, soil and information was posted throughout the grounds from a cranberry bog, to a native prairie to a sand dune.

Sphinx Moth Caterpillar
Sphinx Moth Caterpillar

We saw a great example of how native plants can be incorporated into a suburban yard, large or small. The mansion recycles water and uses solar panels for supplemental energy. Their goal to become energy-neutral or better is a work-in-progress. Governor Strickland plans to install a porous brick driveway to collect recycled water for the gardens and at some point a green roof.

Dew Drops on a Spiderweb
Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden

OYBC – Group
Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden

What a great experience to promote the Ohio Young Birders Club, native plantings, and energy efficient living. We had a great time and learned a lot!

Black Swallowtail Caterpillar
Black Swallowtail Caterpillar

4 thoughts on “BioBlitzing at the Governor’s Mansion

  1. I enjoyed hearing about what your governor is doing to improve his little corner of the world. Hopefully he will inspire many others.

    Those caterpillar pictures are phenomenal.

  2. Hey Super Freaks! ; )

    Thank you so much for all of your help at the BioBlitz and for this great post about the adventure! I love the pictures of the caterpillars! I only wish the Black Swallowtail cat would have stuck out his osmeterium for the photo. (That’s the orange “forked gland” on it’s head that I was telling you about, but I think it sounds more like the place where Ozzy Osbourne will go to live when he retires!) As soon as I get the total species list from Rick I’ll pass it along to you.

    Thanks again for being there. We’re so excited to have you in Ohio and part of BSBO and the OYBC team. I also love that you have the OYBC logo on the header! I did a little bird cheer/dance when I saw that!

    You guys rock! And, you rock so hard that you force me to use way too many exclamation points!

    Bird On! Bird Strong!
    ~kimmer

  3. Snowcatcher: thanks so much! 🙂

    Kim: If YOU say we ROCK, then it must be true! 🙂 You are a true inspiration! Dakota and I had such a great time, but I did not know what an osmeterium was until now – WHAT A COOL WORD!! ha, ha! You make want to use exclamation points and smiley faces!!! 🙂

    SCIENCE IS AWESOME – GOOD BIRDING!!! 🙂

  4. I ALWAYS love to see kids involved in nature activities like this, and how cool of the Gov. to come out for some photos! Great stuff, all around. 🙂

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