Education and Outreach Programming is a major part of of the Little Miami Conservancy mission. Teaching kids and adults about conservation and river ecosystems at an early age supports their appreciation for the great outdoors, feeding curiosity for a lifetime. It has been a busy summer on the river.
Cub Scouts from Madeira's Pack 20, Den 12 got their feet wet joining long time naturalist and volunteers Bill Schroeder and Dave Smith for a river float on a hot Saturday in August for an aquatic adventure. The group enjoyed an amazing Little Miami River adventure canoe float, 16 kids with some dads and moms paddling 3 ½ miles from Loveland to Lake Isabella. LMC supplied the 16 canoes, each with one kid and a parent. You should have seen their faces as they discovered the wildlife, aquatic insects, and animals, and gathered some freshwater mussel shells, discovering the magic of the ecosystems beneath the surface of the River.
The scouts learned about our local and State and National Scenic River, the Little Miami. The group learned about fish diversity, aquatic animals, birds, and freshwater mussels on their canoe float from Loveland, downstream to Lake Isabella public access. Along the way they beached the canoes and searched for freshwater mussel shells. They also waded in the river, flipping over rocks to observe tiny macroinvertebrates, insect larvae and other creatures at the bottom of the food train that supports more than 79 different species of native Ohio fish.
Some of the wildlife identified:
Great Blue Heron; Dragonfly, Mayfly Nymphs; Snapping Turtles; Freshwater River Mussel Shells—(Fat Mucket), Three-Ridge Mussel, Deertoe Mussel, and Pink Heelsplitter Mussel. As always, photos of these finds were uploaded to iNaturalist, a global database used as an aid for identifying plant and wildlife species.
Sampling of Additional Programs Conducted by LMC and its Local Partners
Kettering Habitat and Environmental Conservation Work Camp (with Smallmouth Sonny Story Trail and live fish exhibits
Armco Park Lake Youth Fishing Event, and Smallmouth Sonny Story Trail (55 kids 22 adults)
Loveland High Seniors “Into The Wild” River Float Carl Rahe Public Access to Loveland takeout
Kettering Habitat and Environmental Conservation Education Center “ECOFEST”
Kings Elementary School Mystery Reader Smallmouth Sonny of Bass Island Bar Storybook “Meet The Author” with live fish
Little Miami School District’s Primary Schools four-day event Smallmouth Sonny of Bass Island Bar Storybook Meet The Author with live fish exhibits. (850 students with teachers and librarians
Additional programming on a weekly level with “The Roaming Naturalist,” “Raptors Inc.” and other groups