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Improving Ohio State Parks, One Update at a Time

Posted on 2/17/2016 by Shaun Casbarro in State Parks

As exciting and productive as this winter has been at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), this summer is going to be even better as we unveil our finished capital improvements for Ohio State Parks. For the 2014 capital budget, thanks to Gov. John R. Kasich and the Ohio General Assembly, ODNR was allocated $88.5 million to make improvements to state parks all over the state.

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Time to See Great Fall Color

Posted on 10/16/2015 by James Zehringer

It is that time of year! You can see the combines harvesting soybeans and corn, the colorful mums and pumpkins on front porches and the beautiful fall color as the leaves begin to change. Fall is always a busy time of year for families as school is in full swing, kids are busy with after school activities and the Buckeyes continue to keep our Saturdays exciting, but it is also a great time to enjoy the outdoors.

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Welcoming a New Smokey at the Ohio State Fair

Posted on 8/14/2015 by James Zehringer

Another fair is in the books with nearly 1 million people once again coming to Columbus to enjoy everything the fair offers. Most of those folks also take the time to visit the ODNR Natural Resources Park. We like to think of it as a small oasis in the sea of deep fried doughnuts, carnival games and rides.

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Celebrating 50 Years of the Hocking Hills Winter Hike

Posted on 1/21/2015 by James Zehringer in Hocking Hills

It is inspiring to know that we are carrying on a tradition that has lasted for the past 50 years, thanks to the support of thousands of Ohioans. The 50th annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike welcomed a record-breaking number of hikers--more than 5,300 visitors participated.

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Smokey Bear Visits Southern Ohio Schools

Posted on 12/4/2014 by James Zehringer

America’s favorite bear, Smokey Bear, celebrated his 70th birthday this summer. I was honored to travel with Smokey to southern Ohio recently to visit students in the Vinton Local School District and the Washington-Nile Local School District.

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Ohio’s Magee Marsh Named No. 1 for Best Birdwatching

Posted on 11/14/2014 by James Zehringer

As a proud resident of Ohio, I know that Buckeyes have a lot of state pride. We love our football, take pride in being known as the birthplace of flight thanks to Orville and Wilbur Wright, and boast about having the greatest state fair in the nation. Now, we can add another accolade to the list of why it’s great to live and visit Ohio—our Magee Marsh Wildlife Area was named the No. 1 spot for Best Birdwatching in the 10 Best Readers' Choice travel award contest sponsored by USA Today just this week.

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Saying Goodbye to Fall

Posted on 10/31/2014 by James Zehringer

It’s easy to see why our state parks are full when fall color season rolls around--the scenery throughout the state is beautiful.

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Closing Out the Summer

Posted on 9/26/2014 by James Zehringer

Summer is reluctantly giving way to fall in Ohio, and as I take a moment to think back, I’m reminded of how busy the last few months have been. I was fortunate enough to be able to travel the state sharing with local communities, partners and friends the news that Governor Kasich and the Ohio General Assembly were investing $88.5 million to help renovate and improve our Ohio State Parks.

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Fish Ohio Day

Posted on 7/22/2014 by James Zehringer

This year, the Governor’s Fish Ohio Day opened with ideal weather for the anglers that boarded a small fleet of Lake Erie charter boats and headed out in search of prize walleye.

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Congratulations to Ohio’s New Wildlife Officers

Posted on 7/3/2014 by James Zehringer

It was a pleasure to participate in the graduation ceremony for our 16 new wildlife officers today. It was good to talk with them in person and congratulate them on reaching their goals of becoming wildlife officers.

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Continuing Support for Little Miami State Park, Bike Trail

Posted on 6/20/2014 by James Zehringer

Loveland, Ohio, was our most recent stop as we travel Ohio announcing state park improvement projects. Hailing from Fort Recovery, I could appreciate the small town feel of Loveland, and the people made me feel right at home. One of the biggest assets of the community is the beautiful Little Miami State Park and Little Miami Bike Trail. It was named as the “best bike trail in Ohio” for 2014 by the Ohio Magazine’s 2014 Readers Ballot.

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A Return to Prominence for Middle Bass Island, Lonz Winery

Posted on 6/6/2014 by James Zehringer

I have spent my spring traveling all over Ohio, delivering the good news, renovations and repairs are on the way for many of our state parks. It has been both exciting and exhausting. Yesterday, my journey continued as I made my way to Marblehead Lighthouse to share more great news for everyone that lives or visits northwest Ohio’s Lake Erie shores and islands.

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Experiencing the Biggest Week in American Birding

Posted on 5/16/2014 by James Zehringer

I recently had the opportunity to attend the kickoff event for the Biggest Week in American Birding. Each year, birders flock to Ohio from all over the world to catch a glimpse of migrating warblers that seem to come in every color imaginable. Located in northwest Ohio, the Magee Marsh Wildlife Area is a critical stopover for at least 100 different migratory birds every year, and more than 80,000 people visit Magee Marsh during the month of May to see migrating warblers.

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New Capital Improvements for Ohio State Parks

Posted on 5/2/2014 by James Zehringer in State Parks

Last week, Ohio Senate President Keith Faber and I returned home to west-central Ohio to share some exciting news about Ohio State Parks. Thanks to the support of Governor John Kasich and the Ohio General Assembly, Ohio State Parks will receive $88.5 million to invest in park infrastructure around the state.

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Plant a Tree, Camp for Free

Posted on 4/25/2014 by James Zehringer

Today is Arbor Day, a day to celebrate trees in Ohio. Trees are really important to Ohioans, and this year, Ohio is celebrating being the No. 1 state in the nation for the number of Tree City USA communities for the 33rd year in a row. What a great accomplishment for our state!

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