Thursday, May 7th, 2020

Escape to the great outdoors

ODNR offers ideas for Ohioans tired of endless quarantine

By Sydney Albert

A Canada goose bathes in Grand Lake on Wednesday afternoon in Celina's Bryson Pa. . .

As students begin to tire of being stuck indoors with school classes canceled and businesses shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, the state offers an option to remind them of the great outdoors.
People looking to explore the great outdoors or simply looking for kid-friendly activities as summer break begins, can check the Ohio Department of Natural Resource's Digital Discoveries page for ideas.
The state is working to reopen after shelter-in-place orders and business closures, but many state facilities remain closed, including those at state parks.
However, the state parks themselves are open to the public but not to the same extent as they normally are, according to Kathryn Connor, a member of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Watercraft.
People are free to enjoy trails and natural areas so long as they adhere to social-distancing rules, but park facilities such as restrooms, nature centers and park offices remain closed, she said.
Families may not be able to meet with rangers or get educational materials in the same way as before, but Digital Discoveries could help fill that gap.
The webpage has virtual tours of state parks, printable coloring books and even video animal lessons for children.
Even for families who may not yet feel comfortable venturing out into the world due to lingering coronavirus concerns, the webpage offers a way to enjoy the nature in people's own backyards, Connor said.
New features are being
added to the website continuously, she said as many divisions of ODNR collaborate to add resources. Some state parks may post videos while the divisions of wildlife and forestry post educational resources about the state's flora and fauna. People can also learn about citizen science opportunities.
Additional online story on this date
Strawberry supper canceled
ST. ANTHONY - The annual Grange strawberry supper, normally held the first week of June at the Unity Grange Hall has been canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the hall's tightly-packed seating, Pomona Grange President Gary Brumbaugh said in a statement. [More]
Subscriber and paid stories on this date
CELINA - Three new positive coronavirus tests were reported Wednesday, raising Mercer County's total to 41.
Auglaize County officials reported no new cases on Wednesday, maintaining their total of 35 confirmed cases.
CELINA - Professionals working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic should protect their home computer networks from threats posed by a host of bad actors and computer viruses lurking online.
WAPAKONETA - Auglaize County Common Pleas Court officials are working to set trial dates for three people charged in connection with a 2018 fatal shooting near St. Marys.
ST. MARYS - Reopening the economy and protecting personal liberties are priorities for U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana.
"I have said repeatedly the best thing for us is to go back to work," Jordan said Wednesday on a conference call with St. Marys Rotarians.
Amazing Athletes
On the court and around the track, Allie Thobe came through when Marion Local needed something big.
"Allie was good in volleyball, good in basketb
Amazing Athletes
Before he made an impact as a teacher and coach, Dan Thobe was an impact player for the Marion Local Flyers.
In fact, Thobe's athletic excellence earned him a nickname.