Past Regional Workshops

Lake Erie Ecosystems - July 10 and 11, 2018


The Natural Areas Association (NAA), along with its member partners at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History (CMNH), Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of State Parks, will be conducting an on-the-ground workshop that will focus on ecosystem restoration as the result of successful invasive species management.  This workshop will provide practitioners with an opportunity to learn about three highly successful restoration projects within the Lake Erie Watershed that have resulted in rare species and ecosystem function recovery.

We will begin our two-day gathering at Presque Isle State Park in northwest PA where we will hear about cooperative efforts to address invasive species throughout the Lake Erie basin, as well as provide an overview of the sites we plan to visit.  As a group, we will tour the unique sand spit of Presque Isle and get an overview of the natural communities and management foci of park staff with an in-depth tour of a black oak - savanna restoration project. 

We will then head west to Erie Bluffs State Park where restoration efforts to remove the invasive bush honeysuckle, black locust, and Asian bittersweet have resulted in the return of a similar black oak community. Comparisons of the different ecosystems within these two state parks will be offered by DCNR state park staff and WPC ecologists. Next, attendees will drive to the Mentor, Ohio area where we will overnight in close proximity to our second days field site.  That evening will provide an opportunity to gather and share the days experiences over complimentary beverages.  On the morning of July 11, we will meet at the Cleveland Museum of Natural Historys Mentor Marsh Natural Area along the Lake Erie shoreline. There, restoration ecologists will lead attendees through an educational program focused on the large-scale restoration efforts that include salt abatement, Phragmites removal and helicopter seeding of native plants.

This workshop is geared towards practitioners who are managing similar systems in this region.  NAAs goal is to create an opportunity for practitioners to come together as a community, support each other and share tested methodologies and expertise as well as challenges - in a collaborative atmosphere. 

It is NAAs mission is to foster a community of professionals that come together to find solutions to our shared challenges.


Tuesday, July 10

8:30 9:00 a.m.
Meet at the Stull Interpretive Center at Presque Isle State Park
We will spend some classroom time giving an overview of the project areas we intend to visit, as well as related initiatives in the area.  Coffee, tea and pastries will be provided.   

10:30 12:30 p.m.
Tour Presque Isle State Park and its natural areas with DCNR , CMNH and WPC managers and scientists

12:30 1:30
Lunch provided at Stull Nature Center

1:30 2:15
Drive to Erie Bluffs State Park

2:15 3:45
Tour Erie Bluffs State Park Black Oak Savanna Restoration with DCNR managers and WPC ecologists

3:45 5:00
Drive to the Mentor, OH area and overnight at Holiday Inn Cleveland Northeast - Mentor. See more info below.

5:00 7:30
Dinner on your own

7:30 ?
Join NAA and other workshop participants for complimentary beverages and a location at the hotel TBD. This will be an opportunity to kick back, get to know one another and share stories, challenges, successes, etc.

Wednesday, July 11

9:00 12:00
Tour the Mentor Marsh marshland restoration with restoration ecologist and managers from the CMNH.

12:00-1:00: Lunch (provided) and debrief.

1:00 p.m.: Depart for Home

$45 NAA Members
$65 Non-members
Fee includes two lunches, water and snacks, coffee and pastries (first day) and event planning expenses.

If you need overnight accommodations for Tuesday, July 10, we have a room block reserved at Holiday Inn Cleveland Northeast - Mentor.  Call (440) 951-7333 and ask for the Natural Areas Association room block - rooms are $99 plus tax.  This is an excellent rate for the Lake Erie region in the middle of summer.


Join the people who protect and manage our natural areas