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Community News

Metro Park heats up

4/11/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Photos: Lew Stamp
SPRINGFIELD — Flames and smoke at Springfield Bog Metro Park, one of Metro Parks, Serving Summit County’s newer sites, didn’t cause alarm April 4. That day, a team of Metro Parks workers conducted a controlled burn to maintain the park’s prairie environment. Eric Fitch, who served as supervisor of the burn, is shown at bottom right as he checks the wind speed and direction before starting the fire.

Metro Parks’ Mike Johnson is pictured below right igniting ground cover to start the process. The fire is shown at top, while pictured above is the smoldering ground that resulted.

According to park district officials, the Springfield park opened two years ago and is the district’s first “watch us grow” opportunity. As time goes on, visitors will have the chance to see the changes taking place as the former farmland transforms into a prairie.

The park’s natural features include Young’s Bogs — formed after glacial depressions filled with water and sphagnum moss formed dense, floating mats of peat. The bogs were named for the Young family that settled there in 1877. Park district officials said the wetlands once produced a growth of huckleberries that drew enthusiastic pickers from Canton, Akron and areas north.

The park is located at 1400 Portage Line Road and features the 1.6 mile Prairie Trail. For details, go to www.summitmetroparks.org.

— By Kathleen Folkerth

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