During my time here at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park I will be helping to get the Cuyahoga River designated as an official national water trail, which is defined as a recreational route along a lake, river, canal or bay specifically designated for people using small boats like kayaks, canoes or SUPs. Obviously during my short stay here the designation won’t happen, but I will be gathering information on things like user counts, access points for the river, and water quality, and organizing it into useful data. At the park we have three main “unofficial” access points that people use to get onto the river. The Cuyahoga River is roughly 104 miles long, and 22 of those miles go through the park. Which means getting this river designated as an official national water trail is a group effort between the park and other groups along the river. So far I’ve really been focusing on these, and trying to find other ones within the park.
But this week I was able to go view other access points on the river that are within the watershed. We took pictures and completed site evaluation forms for the four access points we visited in the neighboring county. It was pretty cool to go and visit other access points along the river and know that all the information I’m gathering and helping to organize is going towards this super awesome goal of a national water trail!
Standing tall as one of nation’s most prominant symbols, is the bald eagle. While this bird has been delisted as an endangered species, it is still in a federal monitoring stage. Here at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park visitors and employees who have been around for atleast the past ten years have gotten a chance to see these beautiful creatures in person. Since 2007 a pair of bald eagles have lived here in the Northern end of the park. Since that time they have produced 14 eaglets. In February of this year the eggs of the 13th and 14th ones were layed, and by late march they were hatched. Since around the time of the eggs being layed this section of the park has been closed off to visitors, to give the parenting eagles and newborns a less stressful environment.
This past week I was able to acompany my ranger to this closed off section to try and view the young eagles, and see if they were now flying well enough for us to be able to open the section back up. Although we didn’t see all four of the eagles we were fortunate enough to see what we believe was the adult male eagle, and a young one. We were able to see it fly and judge that it would be safe to open the section back up so visitors could come in for a personal look! These birds are beautiful to see and its an incredibly opportunity to have.
Hey everyone I’m Christian Heggie and this summer through the Greening Youth Foundation and Mosaics in Science Diversity Internship Program, I’m heading up north!
My internship will be at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in northeast Ohio. I will be working as a river technician assistant, helping to plot access points, map river trails, test water quality, and more! I am a senior at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro majoring in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Sustainability. I’ve always loved to be outside and dream of one day hopefully working on a national park. This is an incredible opportunity and I’m ready to learn as much as I can!
With the first work week down I’ve already begun learning a lot and have already had the opportunity to do great things. As a river technician assistant here at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, life really is better on the river. After finishing a week of training I finally got to get into the field. Taking water samples was the first thing on the list. Going to a bridge in the section known as Jaite we gathered water samples, then walked to a nearby water gauges to note its recordings. Back in the lab we tested for turbidity and E. Coli. I was also able to join a group on a butterfly counting hike, which is a project the park has been tracking for over ten years!
Along with these things I was able to participate in kayak training, which was followed up by a kayaking test in the river. I did a number of different maneuvers and paddled up, and down stream. The test went well and I easily passed! Nearing the end of the week I was able to attend a very important water trails meeting with different people who play vital roles in the whole northeast Ohio watershed! I learned a great amount about this regions watershed and the work that’s already been done for it, and the progress that still has to be made! I’m super excited for all the work I will be doing within the next handful of weeks on the river and surrounding areas here in this beautiful area for this Cuyahoga Valley National Park!