2011-12-17 / News

Historical society to manage bog

By Scott Rawdon

BUCKEYE LAKE – The Buckeye Lake Historical Society will manage Buckeye Lake’s unique Cranberry Bog.

Buckeye Lake State Park Regional Manager Hal Harper said as of Wednesday, ODNR officials have approved the transfer of responsibillies, but he had yet to meet with Buckeye Lake Museum Director J-me Braig to discuss the details.

“The idea is to benefit both the Buckeye Lake community and Ohio State Parks, as well as allow more people to enjoy the bog,” said Harper.

Braig said a story in the society’s newsletter explains the transfer. According to the newsletter, the museum and ODNR have shared a partnership in the bog’s preservation. That partnership is progressing as the historical society will handle the bog’s daily operations.

According to the newsletter, the museum has helped ODNR hold its annual Open Bog Day for the last 13 years. Visitors come from all over Ohio and surrounding states on the third Saturday in June to visit the bog, which a floating mass of sphagnum mossthe only one of its kind in the US and home to many unique plants that generally grow in tropical areas. The museum supplied volunteer boats and drivers for Open Bog Day.

Museum volunteers and a group called “Friends of Bog” worked with Preserve Manager Greg Seymour of ODNR’s Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, for several years. Volunteers learned how to maintain its flora by removing weeds, new tree growth and poison sumac.

According to the newsletter, ODNR recognized the museum’s efforts and will transfer manage- ment rights to the bog to the museum. The historical society could then combine its efforts with other groups, such as garden clubs, bird watching groups, and conservation groups to help the bog survive another 100 years.

Management responsibilities bring new challenges to the society.

The group will need more volunteers and will be looking for funding to replace the bog’s deteriorating boardwalk and slow its breakup. The Friends of the Bog will be a part of that effort.

According to the newsletter, the historical society already has knowledgeable volunteer guides who are very familiar with the bog, such as Rae LeCompte, who has led more than 68 tours. Also knowledgeable are volunteers Lois Holler, Tom Tweedle, Sharon Sphar, Greg Mason, Sally Howarth, and Braig.

According to the newsletter, “Cranberry Marsh, as all the old timers once knew it, is one of the lake’s finest treasures. It is an honor for the (Buckeye Lake Historical Society) to be able to serve in keeping this historical island thriving and open to all Ohio residents and visitors so they can share in its beauty and wonder.”

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