02 Jun Welcome to Cuyahoga Valley National Park
About the Park
My park is Cuyahoga Valley National Park, often abbreviated as CVNP or CUVA. The park is located in Northeastern Ohio between Cleveland and Akron, making it a uniquely urban park. The park itself is almost 33,000 acres of rivers, streams, lakes, trees, and rock formations.
CVNP is known for the Cuyahoga River which caught on fire over a dozen times in the 1900s, leading to national environmental movements. Currently, the Cuyahoga River is one of the most important resources for the park and the restoration and preservation of the river is a major mission for CVNP.
Another highlight of the park is Virginia Kendall Park area which includes Virginia Kendall Ledges and Lake. The Ledges trail includes caves and cliffs made up of conglomerate and sandstone and ends with a 100-foot overlook of the park. The lake is a hot spot for fishing and hiking and is home to toads, dragonflies, herons, and more.
What I do at the Park
At my park, I work for the Volunteer Management Office (VMO). We host events and programs that are designed to get the public (particularly school-aged kids) interested in the park and nature in general. When we aren’t running programs we research wildlife, plants, geology, and the history of the park so we’re better equipped to teach the public.
One program that we run frequently is a fishing program at Virginia Kendall Lake. We usually get a group of middle school-aged kids, and we teach them the different parts of a fishing rod and some fishing basics like how to cast and reel in.
Another program that we run a lot is invasive plant removals. CVNP is home to numerous invasive plant species that would take over the natural ecosystem if left unchecked. The main plant species that we focus on removing are multiflora rose, autumn olive, privet, honeysuckle bush, and Dame’s rocket.
In the coming weeks, I look forward to learning more about the park and the wildlife and natural resources it protects, as well as getting better at talking with the community about its importance.