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.
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.
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.
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!