The Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center Received $10,000 From the ODNR-Division of Wildlife For Interactive Pollinator Exhibits!

Since 2010 the Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center (LEINWC) has been creating habitats used by monarch caterpillars as well as other pollinators, and encouraging the planting of nectar-producing native flowers that support an abundant number of pollinators. We have been doing this both by creating suitable habitats on the Lake Erie Islands as well as getting others involved in this, using outreach programing for local residents and island visitors. The LEINWC and our other island partners have been monitoring habitats, gathering data, and doing a variety of outreach activities throughout the islands. These have been more successful each year. At the LEINWC we have one certified Monarch Waystation, a certified Phenology Garden, and other pollinator friendly gardens with room for expansion.

The LEINWC has been tagging through since 2011 with eight tagged butterflies to date being recorded in Mexico! The fact that that these butterflies made it to the El Rosario Colony for the winter shows that the Lake Erie Islands are significant resources for pollinators in a variety of ways. Monitoring breeding habitats, roosting sites, and migrations has demonstrated that pollinators heavily utilize the islands. Our work here lets us reach out to visitors and educate the general public about Monarchs and what they can do to help.

The major objective of this project is to create a set of tools that will educate the public about pollinators and their habitats, the threats that they face, what this means in terms of pollination (both for humans and pollinators), and

how these problems can be corrected. The need to protect and preserve pollinators is center stage. Animal pollinators and bees in particular face many threats, such as the lack of food, pests, pathogens, pesticides, invasive plants, climate change and loss of habitat for suitable nesting sites. Here are ways we will ramp up our outreach to help visitors to our Nature Center:

 I. LEINWC European Honey Bee Observation Hive & Display: This will provide a close up view of pollinators at work that will help visitors understand what goes on in a hive and help them lose their fear of bees. David Duncan is going to build and install a demonstration bee hive that will fit above existing display cases on the southeast wall of the LEINWC.  There will be interpretive signage regarding the important role bees (both native and nonnative) serve in promoting the life cycle of flowering plants and their value directly to humans as honey producers. It will include two exhibit panels-one with bee colony info (queen, drones, workers) and another panel with photos/information on native bees and comparisons with the non-native honey bees. A PVC pipe will open to the outside of that wall and will emerge behind our butterfly garden to provide a camouflaged entry for the bees.

David Duncan has been an apiarist for 40 years and has won the Beekeeper of the Year Award with the Ohio State Beekeepers Association.  He and his partner Ellen Harnish founded the company Beeology, producing honey and wax products. David has also prepared demonstration hives for the Columbus Zoo, Malabar Farms, Lowe-Volk Park for Crawford County Park District, Apple Hill Orchard in Lexington, Ohio. He does many public speaking engagements including past programs for our Nature Camp. He is a board member of the Richland Area Beekeepers.

John Schrenk will also be assisting David with the demonstration hive. John is with the Lorain County Beekeepers and also maintains hives on Middle Bass Island.  He will install one for us at the LEINWC this year. He has also given bee demonstration programs for Nature Camp and for programs at the Middle Bass Island State Park.

II. Identifying What Insects and Birds are Pollinators: We will have four hanging interpretive murals on the outside southeast facing wall of our nature center, behind our butterfly garden. This will allow visitors to identify the pollinators that actively are using our gardens such as the different species of bees, butterflies, moths, and birds. Brian Clemons from Optic Nerve Art will design, build, and help install the four interpretive pollinator murals. They will fit behind an already existing native pollinator garden which provides food for the pollinators that are being identified. This space will coincide with the bee hive display.

Brian Clemons holds a BFA in Illustration/Painting, Columbus College of Art and Design, 1986. Optic Nerve Art started out specializing in painted large portraits on billboards, walls and backdrops. Over time the company grew under the leadership of its founder Brian Clemons and soon included 30 artists skilled in a variety of backgrounds spanning a wide range of art and fabrication. The company also acquired diverse machinery and equipment and began using cutting-edge materials and processes to create full-featured, dimensionally rich environments for its clients. Today Optic Nerve Art Corp stands as one of the premier commercial art fabricators in the region serving a diverse array of clients from corporate to private and residential.

III. Monarch Butterflies; How They are Pollinators, Life Cycle Display: Our third exhibit is an interactive monarch butterfly display showing how butterflies are pollinators and the majestic monarch butterflies lifecycle inside of the LEINWC. This will be a key tool for us to use to better help explain the monarch butterflies complicated lifecycle to visitors. The display will have pictures of the monarch butterflies’ four stages of complete metamorphosis to make a circle (egg, larva, chrysalis, adult) and information about each of the stages on the backside of the pictures. In the center of the lifecycle circle there will be information about the importance of their habitat focusing on migration and milkweed/food.

Brian Clemons from Optic Nerve Art design, build, and help install the display. This interactive exhibit will hang on a blank wall inside of the LEINWC. By using this already existing open space we can enhance the LEINWC’s monarch butterfly’s conservation efforts. We look forward to have you all visit and see our new exhibits!

LEINWC Summer 2017

LEINWC Winter 2017


LEINWC Spring 2016

LEINWC Winter 2015

LEINWC Fall 2015

LEINWC Summer 2015

LEINWC Spring 2015

LEINWC Winter 2014

LEINWC Fall Newsletter 2014

Plant List for Wulkowicz Property 


• In the wild, parents often leave their babies unattended for hours while they look for food. Even if one parent has died, the other can raise the young just fine on their own. Seeing a dead adult in the same area does not mean that unattended babies were part of that family.
• Baby wild animals do not need to be protected from natural dangers such as cats, dogs, cars and people. The animals need exposure to these things in order to learn how to successfully co-exist with them.
• Baby animals will never get the same quality of care from people that they would from their natural parents. It can be very damaging and for this reason, human intervention should be the absolute last resort and should be considered only if the baby has no chance of surviving in the wild.
Baby Ducks and Geese
Ducks have been known to nest far from the water front and don’t have problems walking the family to the nearest source of water. Any attempt to help them often results in separating mom from the babies while they try to avoid capture. Geese are even more protective of their young.
Baby Birds
If the bird has skin showing or only downy feathers, put it back in the nest. If the bird has feathers, but not able to fly yet, it is called a fledgling. They may be left out of the nest, on the ground or on low branches. A bird needs to learn how to fly from its parents and cannot be cared for by humans without ruining its chance at survival in the wild.
Birds of Prey
A baby bird of prey that cannot grasp with its feet may be placed back in the nest. If it can grasp with its feet, place it on a branch near the nest site.
Rabbits often nest in the most impractical places, like the middle of a backyard surrounded by cats, dogs and kids. Baby bunnies are almost never abandoned even when you don’t see an adult nearby. Females only visit their nest at dawn and dusk. Once the young rabbit reaches chipmunk size, it is completely independent of its mother and should be left alone. Bunnies have a low tolerance for stress and if kept in captivity, they very often die.
Squirrels and Raccoons
Most raccoons and squirrels maintain more than one nest site and will carry their babies from nest to nest if one is damaged or feels unsafe. If a baby is found out of its nest and unable to climb on its own, place it in a container up off the ground and give the parent plenty of time to find and move the baby.
White-tailed Deer
A doe will leave her fawn lying quietly on its own, because the presence of an adult might attract predators. This is normal. Even if you think the baby deer is in a dangerous location, do not attempt to move it or the mother will not be able to find her baby.

When in doubt, here are some numbers you can call for more information:
Ohio Division of Wildlife – 800-945-3543
Back to the Wild (rehab center) – 419-684-9539


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