Park Blvd. Park in August 2007 after streamside restoration. Photo by M. Kotter

Four blocks west of Colonial Hills Elementary School is a small neighborhood park at Park Blvd. and Granby. It is a 6.1 acre park with a grassy field and picnic tables. A stream called Rush Run divides the park. Forest trees and other dense vegetation border the stream. A bridge crosses the stream in the center of the park and you can follow a walking path beside the stream.

What is new at the Park? In April 2007, FLOW worked with the Worthington Parks and Recreation Department to begin to restore native vegetation to the streamside. Volunteers worked along 400 feet of the streamside, removing an invasive shrub called bush honeysuckle. This shrub has escaped cultivation and shades out native wildflowers as well as native tree saplings. Honeysuckle does not provide the variety of habitat and food that wild animals need. In May, volunteers planted 94 native trees and shrubs, 50 ferns, and over 900 native wildflower plants! A seed mix of floodplain loving plants was spread over the ground. During the hot summer, volunteers and park employees watered the new trees. In November, a new sign explaining the restoration project was put in place by the bridge. The goal of this restoration project is to not only improve the streamside environment, but to improve the aquatic habitat as well. It will also serve as an example what Worthington residents can do to improve their streams.

Come visit the Park!

Bring your class for a nature exploration to Park Blvd. Park. It is a short walk from your school. Take an hour or an afternoon to explore.  Please note: FLOW and Worthington Parks and Recreation will not be providing fieldtrip leaders for your visit. You are on your own. Please remember to practice “minimum impact.” Take only pictures and leave only footprints at the park. Thanks!

Winter Exploration Suggestions:

  • Look at the colors and shapes in the winter.
  • What colors dominate?
  • Can you find all the colors of the rainbow in nature during the winter?
  • How does snow change the shapes of natural objects—logs, trees, hills, rocks?
  • Explore the winter sounds.
  • How does snow change outdoor sounds?
  • Can you count the number of different sounds from nature you hear in one minute?
  • Can you find the mammals or birds making the sounds?
  • Explore animal tracks.
  • How many different kinds of animal tracks can you find?
  • Can you identify some?
    • Note that many neighbors walk their dogs through the park so it is important to know what their tracks look like. A good track guide to use is A Field Guide to Animal Tracks by Olaus Murie or visit ODNR’s Species Guide.
  • Compare the restored area to the unrestored area along the stream.
    •  Is there a difference in the activity of birds and animals in the restored area than the unrestored area, by sound, and by number of tracks?

Spring Exploration Suggestions

  • Look for the emergence of spring wildflowers.
    • Many native species emerge in early April before the tree leaves emerge. Look for these species: Spring Beauty, Dutchman’s Breeches, Wild Geranium, Bloodroot, Virginia Bluebells, Blue Phlox and Golden Ragwort. Please don’t pick the flowers!
    • For photos of Ohio Wildflowers visit ODNR.
  • Streamside forests are great places to observe birds in the early spring.
    • Look for American Robin, Carolina Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Tufted Titmouse, Downy Woodpecker, and Red-bellied Woodpecker. Use a field guide such as Sibley’s Field Guide to the Birds or visit ODNR’s Bird Species Guide.
      Compare the restored area and unrestored area along the stream with bird sitings and wildflowers.

Spring Conservation Projects

Your class may be interested in helping the Park and the Rush Run. In past years, classes have planted a tree for Arbor Day. To arrange a class conservation project, contact Jim Coffield or Shawn Daugherty at Worthington Parks and Recreation 786-7368.

Prepared by Marty Kotter, Project Coordinator, FLOW
Funded by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.