Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Preservation Through Education, Access

This extraordinary view is part of the land under control of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. It's the view looking down on the Licking River from Black Hand Rock in the Black Hand Gorge State Nature Preserve.

This view, along with an intact canal lock, a sandstone towpath, an intact railway tunnel, and a WPA road project, is all part of a compact, easy-to-hike area in the preserve. History has been preserved along with stunning scenery.

The problem is that few people ever get to see it.

In recent years, the threat of being accused of trespassing has served to scare off the general public. Even though easily two-thirds of the Rotary members at Tuesday's meeting boasted having seen this area of the preserve, many confessed they hadn't taken their kids and grandkids given the confusing, at best, access privileges afforded the general public.

I am hopeful that is all going to change sooner rather than later. Stay tuned as a concept of guided, educational tours and improved land management promoted by retired Toboso School Principal Bill Weaver gets legs. An able, motivated preserve manager, ODNR's Jody Holland, has newly taken the helm. He is full of ideas and possessing a long list of volunteers ready and willing to help.

Hopefully, by this time next year, this view can be experienced by as many as choose to experience it. Hopefully, soon, the path through can be cleaned up and made safer for people to see and experience.

Now, that's preservation.

No comments:

Post a Comment