The second part of our trek was a brief tour of Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve by Cleveland Museum of Natural History naturalist, Becky Donaldson. Students acted like playful puppies prancing in the deep snow at the Nature Center on Corduroy Road in Mentor. We were given a history of the marsh from prehistoric times to present detailing the change of the Grand River route creating the marsh. Students were shown aerial photographs of the Marsh and subsequent salt landfill in the 1960's which changed the areas biotic diversity to the evasive phragmites engulfing the marsh now. See: http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2013/07/efforts_by_the_cleveland_museu.html Recently, Mentor Marsh has used helicopters to spread herbicides to kill the spread of this non-native species.
"The marsh is an important breeding and nursery area for several fish that live in Lake Erie. Mentor Marsh and the adjacent Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve are among the best places in the state to witness spring migrations of songbirds. Great numbers of waterfowl also stop at the marsh during seasonal migrations, such as Blue-winged Teal, American Wigeon, Gadwall, American Black Duck, Northern Shoveler and Hooded Merganser." from http://www.cmnh.org/site/Conservation/NaturalAreas/Map/MentorMarsh.aspx
Students were excited to hike through the deep snow to the boardwalk bissecting the marsh to witness the reemergence of native plants in the Marsh.