Thursday, October 21st, 2010
By Amy Kronenberger
Naturalist Tom Bain leads night hike
  MONTEZUMA - Naturalist Tom Bain plans to show participants a new world when he leads a night hike through Gilliland Nature Sanctuary on Saturday.
Hiking at night "subdues our dominant sense (sight) and opens our hearing to new sounds and our touch to different sensations like tree barks," Bain, of Galena, said.
The hike is open to the public and begins at 7 p.m. at the Southshore Sportsman Club on Club Island Road.
The Gilliland Nature Sanctuary is 80 acres of woodlands and prairie on the southern border of Grand Lake. The land was originally owned by John and Wanda Gilliland, to whom the sanctuary is now dedicated.
The Franklin Township Trustees and its Greenspace Committee purchased and developed the land in 2007 with the help of state and local organizations.
The hike, which is approximately one to one-and-a-half miles, will feature owl calls and astronomy if the sky is clear, Bain said.
Bain, who has a degree in geology, minor in zoology and more than 30 years experience, has a long history of adventures, including banding peregrine falcons on the cliffs of Greenland and being stationed at the South Pole Station in Antarctica.
While in Antarctica, Bain performed ice dynamics research, which involved deep ice core drilling, and studying the ice layers to determine yearly snowfall.
The Chillicothe native said he enjoyed mountaineering and spelunking in his youth. He now spends his time finding rare plants in Ohio and working to restore and preserve wildlife sanctuaries across the state. He also is a professional and volunteer guide for birding and natural history and is chair of the Ohio Ornithological Society.
The Franklin Township Greenspace Committee is hosting the hike, which will conclude with a bonfire, hot cider, cookies and a weenie roast at the club.
Committee member Laura Walker said this is the first event held at the sanctuary since its dedication in the spring. She hopes this will become an annual event, with additional events during all seasons.
The event will go on, rain or shine, so the committee encourages participants to dress for the weather. It is free to the public, and children are welcome. For more information, contact Franklin Township at 419-268-2139 or at franklinclerk@bright.net.
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