Ryan Trimbath is an ornithologist working as the intern Biologist at Metro Parks Serving Summit County (MPSSC) while pursuing his M.S. in Biology at the University of Akron. He is currently engaged in various avian research and monitoring projects with the park including, “The Secret Lives of Birds” investigating the breeding ecology of Wood Thrush, Hooded Warblers and Cerulean Warblers in our parks.
He has designed and implemented a 2-year Avian Monitoring Project at the Pond Brook Restoration Area in Liberty Park. Pond Brook is the dominant aquatic feature and runs from north to south down the middle of the park. Over the years, Pond Brook has been channelized, ditched, and drained to a point where it was capable of supporting very little wildlife at the time it was acquired by MPSSC in 1999. Since the acquisition of this area, the Metro Parks, in cooperation with our partners at the Ohio Department of Transportation and Wetlands Resource Center, have worked to restore nearly 2-miles of stream and riparian corridor and nearly 100-acres of wetlands restoration and enhancement. When complete, the restoration will span from the origin of Pond Brook in Liberty Park all the way to its confluence with Tinker’s Creek over 2 miles to the south.
Avian monitoring at the Pond Brook Restoration Area documented 119 species utilizing the restoration area at some point during the 2-year period, including 63 species during the breeding season. The area proved to be an important habitat for migratory waterfowl supporting high abundance of dabbling duck species like the Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal and Northern Pintails. The wetland is often visited by Northern Harriers which are listed as ‘Endangered’ by the Ohio Division of Natural Resources and supports multiple pairs of breeding Marsh Wren classified as a ‘Species of Concern’.
Mr. Trimbath will share his findings from the Avian Monitoring Project at the Pond Brook Restoration Area with us and give a history of the efforts to restore Pond Brook.