The Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center, Lake Erie Islands Conservancy, and the Put-in-Bay Township Park District have collaborated to produce a week of ecotourism, adventure travel, and agritourism; 2nd Annual Island Green. This event will allow visitors to learn more about the island’s many natural treasures that are on the Lake Erie Islands through a variety of events all in one week.
For more information and map of event locations, visit lakeerieislandswildlife.com or call the Wildlife Center at 419-285-3037.
Here are the highlights:
Middle Bass Island Poker Kayak Day - Aug. 5, 12 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Middle Bass Island, cost is $10. The kayakers will start and finish at the Middle Bass Island State Park camping area. The participants will paddle the island shores of Lake Erie around Middle Bass Island, stopping at two preserves and the State Park. Each participant will receive a welcome packet with information about each stop. At the final stop, there will be a cook-out at the State Park with hot dogs, chips, fruit, and water. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Put-in-Bay Township Park District’s Middle Bass Island’s newest preserves for new fencing and interpretive signage. (Rain date is Aug. 6.) Contact Tina Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Go to www.lakeerieislandsconservancy.org for registration forms.
Massie Cliffside Preserve Dawn Walk - Aug. 6, 8 to 10 a.m. Free. Meet AmeriCorps intern Samantha Newhouse at the parking lot on Ohio 357 and enjoy a morning walk to the water’s edge.
Dodge Woods Dedication - Aug. 6, 2 p.m. Free. Located at the corner of Langram Road. Parking lot is on Thompson Road.
South Bass Island Lighthouse Tours - Aug. 7 and Aug. 8 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. At the South Bass Island Light on South Bass Island. Guests will be able to tour the South Bass Island Lighthouse and learn about its history, visitors can climb the stairs up 60 feet to take in the great view of Put-in-Bay from the top of the tower, and tour the historic grounds that includes a certified butterfly garden by Monarch Watch. The lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Rates are free to the public. The view from lighthouse point is stunning.
Wild Tuesdays & Monarch Butterfly Tagging - Aug. 8 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center, free to the public. The purpose is to educate visitors on Ohio’s native wildlife by providing an up-close and hands-on interactive experience for visitors and local residents. This week’s topic will be Monarch Butterflies and Fall Tagging. Jackie Taylor has been tagging monarchs as they migrate through the Lake Erie Islands since 2012. This is a great family event. Entrance into the museum will also have free admissions for a tour.
Island Preserve Ramble, Eco-Tour - Aug. 8 at 9 a.m. on South Bass Island. Participants will meet at the Put-in-Bay Town Hall at 9 a.m. to pick up their tour packet. This includes maps, times of activities, tour booklet, several goodies, freebies, and coupons from island businesses. This unique ramble and island tour will include many fun nature-related stops. Among the highlights planned will be hiking Coopers Woods and seeing the entrance to a natural cave and a visit to Historic Gibraltar Island. Go inside a 1912 historic island home at 4 p.m., with a 75-gallon fresh water aquarium filled with native species. Tea and cookies will be provided at this historic island home on Bayview Ave. overlooking the harbor of Put-in-Bay where porch sitting will be welcomed. Tour an island vineyard and glacial grooves. This tour will include discounts at several restaurants and gift shops. Transportation for the ramble will be on their own for these days. Proceeds benefit the Put-in-Bay Township Park District and will be used to maintain and preserve island parks.
Historic Gibraltar Island Tour - Aug. 9 at 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Cost $5 per person. Gibraltar Island Tour. By Water Taxi.
The Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center’s Annual Pig Roast & Raffle - Aug. 9 from 6 to 9 p.m. near the beautiful woods at the Goat Restaurant on South Bass Island. The islanders will put on a true island-style pig roast. Food tickets for sale at the LEINWC for $15 until Aug. 8 and $20 the day of the event. Featuring a slow-roasted hog spit with corn and baked potatoes on an outdoor barbecue grill, including island wines and the island wine culture. Organic entertainers Bob Gatewood and island-famous Ian Ladd will put on a show befitting the event. The silent auction will feature a variety of island prizes you cannot get any place else, such as, a trip for two to Rattlesnake Island, a day sail trip aboard the U.S. Brig Niagara, ferry passes, five-course dinner for four at a local restaurant, hand-crafted art work and jewelry from Jessie, an artist famous on South Bass Island for her gorgeous gemstones. Raffle tickets will be available at the Wildlife Center and at the town hall the day of the event. All of the food is donated by island restaurants. The proceeds from this event will go toward the building addition fund for more space at the Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center to continue to carry out our mission educating youth and adults about the unique ecology on the islands.
Third annual Stargazing Cruise - Aug. 10, 8 p.m. Ticket prices are: Adults $20 and kids $10. The cruise will leave from the downtown Miller Boat Line dock at sunset via Miller Boat Line. The stars will light up the sky as island resident, retired teacher, and astronomer Jay Reynolds will engage the guests about the night sky, planets, and stars, allowing the general public an opportunity to enjoy a show from outer space on the ferry boat. Heinemans Winery is donating wine, with nice hors d’ oeuvres.
Aquatic Visitor Center Tours/Historic Fish Hatchery - Aug. 11, 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Free. Visitors can stop by the Aquatic Visitors Center, about one mile west of downtown Put-in-Bay, to experience Lake Erie science up close. Activities include inspecting Lake Erie’s complex ecosystem through hands-on displays, observing and identifying live fish in ten large aquariums, and discovering current research to protect Lake Erie. Children under age 16 can fish from the fishing pier for free. The facility is run by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. This day will also include a special interpretive program about invasive species entering the Great Lakes.