Jeremy Maple – Discovering Ohio’s Rising Appalachia

Blog Post #2

Hey everyone it’s Jeremy again back for my second try with this blog post and I promise this one will be shorter than the last. The last week or two has been absolutely crazy around here with everything going on. On Tuesday two weeks ago I got to take part in the clean up of a stream doser that helps with acid mine drainage up in Meigs county. It was a lot of fun to get back out in the field to help with an awesome project, but completely exhausting at the same time. After that the whole Rural Action team met up at the Athens Public Library for a day of environmental education training. We all had a great day learning about different ways to show how amazing the environment can be to others. Then finally this past weekend we had the amazing Paw Paw Festival at Lake Snowden. For anyone who has not heard of the Paw Paw fest, it’s a three day festival celebrating the ohio state native fruit and enjoying the environment and local culture. It was an unforgettable time with live music, games and more food than anyone could resist. Coming up this week I have another training that should be an awesome time that I look forward to telling you about in the next blog, so have a great day and get out there and experience all you can so maybe you can give me some ideas on how I should get to know my environment better. Thanks everyone.

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Blog post # 1

To start off my Jeremy’s Journey blog series  I wanted to feature some local attractions here in southeastern Ohio. I had heard a lot about the area surrounding my new workplace in the coal mining community of Shawnee in southern Perry County, but had not been able to experience it as much as I would have wanted. That all changed this past week as Michelle Robinson, John Winnenberg and myself took a tour in the Little Cities of Black Diamonds microregion to nearby New Straitsville and the surrounding Wayne National Forest.. By no means were we able to go everywhere, but we were able to get a great look at some local places including: the Southern Perry Incubation Center for Entrepreneurs also known as S.P.I.C.E.. The S.P.I.C.E organization is a great local resource that has helped countless businesses get on their feet.  As we were there I was able to meet the mayor of Shawnee and start to introduce myself. She was a great woman to talk to and I look forward to learning from her in the future. From there we went over to the Monday Creek Restoration Project office and got to talk to some other AmeriCorps members and start a relationship with them for the future to where we can both help each other with events and activities. These folks are working to clean up the streams in the area polluted with acid mine drainage from the unregulated era (a long time ago) in coal mining.  After that we took a walk up to Robinsons Cave, a breathtaking sight for anyone who hasn’t gone there I highly recommend it. If you do want to go there please visit this link to get directions: http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM6AH9_Robinsons_Cave_09_64

While we were walking up there we talked about the coal industry that shaped so much of this area and some of the influential people who used to meet there to discuss the working conditions and other grievances which lead to the formation of the labor unions. Finally before leaving New Straitsville we had to stop in to the Straitsville Special Moonshine Distillery, which was an amazing experience in itself learning about the moonshine legacy of the area and being able to see how important it is to the history of the area. As well it is a place to get one of the best drinks around for those of you who are of age.

Once we were done there we headed out into the Wayne National Forest to see some more natural areas that are nowhere near as well-known as they deserve. The first of those stops being Tecumseh Lake, a beautiful little area right outside of Shawnee that I didn’t even realize was there. It is a breathtaking sight one to experience over and over again. From there we drove a little to the Sand Run Picnic Area and Upstream Rock Run, both sites maintained by the National Forest.  Finally, we visited the Ora E Anderson trail near Carbon Hill. Ora E Anderson was a lifelong nature lover who near the end of his life decided to leave his mark on a wetland in Ohio. His mark included making a trail through part of this wetland and filling it with interpretive signs and waysides along the way. The way he was able to combine his words and artwork with the natural beauty of the trail is unforgettable and well worth the work it takes to get out there. It really is an amazing experience that most people don’t even know exists, I personally highly recommend a trip out there it really can change your view about this world and about life. To get there and to learn more about the trail please got to this link and enjoy your time.  

http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5068407.pdf

I know this first post was long, but the trip we took was well worth the long post I hope to post some pics about the stops here soon and if anyone has any recommendations on places I should visit for the series please let me know.