Blog Archives

2017 LEIC Fall Newsletter email version

Here is our fall Lake Erie Islands Conservancy newsletter! Check it out! Get out and take a walk at the new Dodge Woods Preserve this fall!

A Swift Night Out is a continent wide effort to raise awareness about and encourage interest in chimney swifts. as summer draws to a close and the swifts have finished raising their young, these fascinating aerial acrobats begin to congregate in communal roosts prior to their migration in the fall.

Chimney swifts are roosting in large chimneys on the islands with our abundant insect resources! The large chimney at the Aquatic Visitor Center is a great place to view them as they funnel down into the chimney at dusk. Be on the lookout for other island locations.

They nest in smaller groups all summer on the island as well. We have a few pairs in our chimney at the Brohl residence on Mitchell rd and can often be seen at the PIB Town Hall or on Gibraltar Island near the staff housing. They are now with others in communal roosts.

If you would like to help watch and count these birds on the islands as part of this effort September 8, 9, or 10, contact Paula Ziebarth at Check out the website for more information on the continent wide effort to census these birds.

Fall Bird-Banding at Island Preserves!

Tom and Paula Bartlett will be at the Barnhill’s and the Scheeff East Point Preserve to band birds on September 14. If you wish to come and view the banding, drive down the lane past The Vineyard Bed and Breakfast and park in front of the red barn.

They will also be at the Middle Bass Island East Point Preserve banding birds from Monday, September 25-29, 2017. Contact Tom at to let him know you are coming to park in the correct location. We will open the gate for parking-we wish to respect the private property outside the gate.

Tom and Paula will also be banding saw-whet owls and songbirds on Kelleys Island from October 15 – November 22. For more information, contact Tom at . They will be banding songbirds in the mornings during that time. Owl banding will begin at sunset each night. The banding of songbirds is at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History Jones Preserve and the owl banding is at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History Scheele Preserve. Both preserves are on the northwest part of the island and there are signs showing where to go if you visit. Just show up and remember all banding activities are weather permitting.

Middle Bass Island 3rd Poker Kayak Day

by Tina M Larson

Kicking off Green Week was the 3rd MBI Poker Kayak Day to benefit preserves there. A wicked west wind the day before died down a bit, but the course was still changed from kayaking all around the Island to a safer path on the eastern side. We especially thank Elizabeth Snodgrass for granting permission to use her dock as one of the stops last minute!

Thanks for the advice from Captains Russ Brohl and Glenn Cooper on the rerouting. Thanks to Miller Boat Line for the 1st prize award of round trip tickets for two adults and a vehicle: Jacob Ackerman won with three queens and got to sign the rotating paddle trophy! Joe Hart and Eddie Sheller provided the 2nd place prize of a gift card to the MBI General Store: Karin Fortner won with two aces and a jack. Jill Ackerman won the 3rd place prize of steaks from Costco with two aces and a ten. And we have to thank the MBIYC for donating three copies of their delightful cookbook to give away!

Volunteers Jim & Betsie Brohl, Karen & Tony Dolejs, Dave Larson, John Schrenk, Butch & Diane Wrockledge all returned from last year – thank you! Americorps Intern Samantha Newhouse joined in the hosting. Thank you Susie Clipp and Nancy Welter of the MBI State Park for agreeing to the route changes and having picnic tables moved over to the playground area for our cookout! They also provided several types of handouts and a waterproof floating container for the goodie bags. Lisa Brohl’s addition of more handouts and a frisbee for every goodie bag helped fill them up! Kelly Faris sent updated copies describing the preserved of MBI from the PIB Township Park District and TMP Architecture photocopies of extra registration forms, descriptions of the route, and volunteer instruction sheets.

A good time was had by all!

Jacob Ackerman 2017 1st place winner signing the trophy!

Cookout awaiting results!

East Point Preserve!

Happy Kayaker!

Happy Kayakers!

Jacob Ackerman 2017 1st place winner!

2017 3rd place winner!

Pulling a card!

Volunteer Karen Dolejs!

Water Snake Wildlife!


Middle Bass Music Festival

The first Middle Bass Island Music Festival held on July 15 was a great success! Thanks to organizers Kelly Gotha with the Press House Patio, the Middle Bass Island State Park, and Bruce Miles. We really appreciate the assistance of the Miller Boat Line and Julene Market, Peter Huston with the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce, Maple City Ice, North Coast Goats, Rock and Roll Stew, 100 Mile Haul, Warren Bendler’s guitar solo, Rosie’s Cafe, Jimmy G’s Barbecue, Olive O’Rourke Scherf, Lizzie Rader, Lucy Schneider, AmeriCorps intern Samantha Newhouse, Kelly Halterman, Jim Roesch, Marv Booker, Marlene & Tom Tussinger, Brian and Pam Kessler, Kelly & Bob Thomasson, Patricia Butler, Cheryl & Greg Beck, Brandon Gotha, Brianna Czarnik, and Laurie Hoffman with the festival. Attendees enjoyed the bands, food, artwork, and games as well as a chance to see the newly opened winery cellar and facilities. We hope to be a part of it again next year! The Conservancy made around $2,000 on the event!



Island Green Week, August 5th-11th at Put-in-Bay and Middle Bass Islands is a time for everyone to take a deep breath and just enjoy the natural beauty of these Ohio islands in Lake Erie.

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; 2ndAnnual Island Green Week.  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 or call the Wildlife Center at 419.285.3037


Middle Bass Island Poker Kayak Day

Saturday August 5th from 12:00AM until 4:00PM on Middle Bass Island, cost is $10.00. 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 August 6th) Contact Tina Larson at for more information. Here are registration forms.MB Poker Kayak Day Registration


Massie Cliffside Preserve Dawn Walk

            Sunday August 6th 8am-10am. Free. Meet AmeriCorps Intern Samantha Newhouse at the parking lot on State Route 357 and enjoy a morning walk to the water’s edge.


Dodge Woods Dedication

Sunday August 6th 2PM. Free. Located at the corner of Langram and Thompson Road. Parking lot is on Thompson Road.

South Bass Island Lighthouse Tours

Monday August 7th from 11AM-1PM. Free. At the South Bass Island Light on South Bass Island. Guest 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

            Tuesday August 8th from 1PM-3PM 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

Tuesday August 8th at 9AM until 5PM on South Bass Island. Participants will meet at the Put-in-Bay Town Hall at 9am 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. Go inside a 1912 historic island home at 4pm, 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. Rates are $20 for adults and under $18 free. Proceeds benefit the Put-in-Bay Township Park District and will be used to maintain and preserve island parks.



Historic Gibraltar Island Tour

Wednesday August 9th at 1:30-3:30 cost $5.00 per person. Gibraltar Island Tour. By Water Taxi.



The Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center’s- Annual Pig Roast & Raffle

Wednesday August 9th from 6PM until 9PM 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 August 8th and $20 the day of the event. Featuring a slow roasted hog spit with corn and baked potatoes on an outdoor barbeque grill, including island wines and the island wine culture. Organic Island entertainer Bob Gatewood 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 towards 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.


 3rd Annual Stargazing Cruise

Thursday August 10th 8PM.  Tickets 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 horsd’oeuvres.


Aquatic Visitor Center Tours/ Historic Fish Hatchery

Friday August 11th 10AM until 5PM. 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.








June 7, 2017

Lake Erie Island Partners to Release Paddling Guide at June 9 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Put-in-Bay, OH – The Put-in-Bay Township Park District, along with their partners, the National Park Service – Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program and Ohio Sea Grant announce the release of a new publication: the Lake Erie Islands Water Trails guide. A ribbon cutting ceremony marking the grand opening of the trails was held at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, June 9, 2017 at the South Bass Island State Park during the annual Kayak Rendezvous.

The guide features five circular paddling route


and associated public access points around South Bass, Middle Bass, North Bass, Kelleys Island and the Catawba and Marblehead peninsula area. Access points to the nearly 60 miles of paddling trails are visible from the water and marked with color coded signs that coordinate with the guide by island. Safety, environmental information, access amenities, and paddling distances are also included.

The creation of the guide comes from the growing interest of kayaking and paddling sports in the area.  “We wanted to create a guide that could help people be safe on Lake Erie and show them where proper access sites are located,” said Lisa Brohl, commissioner, for the Put-in-Bay Township Park District.

Recent statistics from Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) show canoes and kayaks currently account for a little over one third (38%) of all registered boats in Ohio (motorized, sailboats, etc.) and registrations have more than doubled in the last 8 years.  Recognizing this increase in demand, ODNR bolstered the Ohio Water Trails program and more than half of the 33 designated access points on the Lake Erie Islands Water Trails are located on the area’s eight state parks.   “The Lake Erie Islands are a national gem, with so much to see and do within a few miles by land or boat,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer.

“This exciting project has come together with the help of many partners who see the opportunities of increased recreation, awareness of island resources and economic impacts,” said Andrea Irland, outdoor recreation planner for the National Park Service’s RTCA Program. “Residents, visitors and the entire island community will benefit from these Lake Erie Island Water Trails.”

The free guides will be available at the Lake Erie Shores and Islands Visitors Centers in Port Clinton and Sandusky, as well as the Lake Erie Island State Park Offices on South Bass, Middle Bass and Kelleys Islands and the Aquatic Visitors Center at Put-in-Bay. It is also available online at


The project was made possible by an Ohio Environmental Education Fund (OEEF) grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. 

The Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program carries out the natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation mission of the National Park Service in communities across America.

The Put-in-Bay Township Park District was formed in 2006 dedicated to protecting and preserving unique areas that enhance the heritage of the Lake Erie Islands.

Ohio State University’s Ohio Sea Grant College Program is part of NOAA Sea Grant, a network of 33 Sea Grant programs dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of marine and Great Lakes resources. For more information, visit

Ohio Department of Natural Resources works to ensure a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all.


         Lisa Brohl, Put-in-Bay Township Park District,, 419-366-2087

Andrea Irland, National Park Service,, 330-657-2378

Amazon’s third-annual Prime Day is on Tuesday, July 11 and will feature more than 100,000 deals exclusively for Prime members, making it one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Remind your supporters to shop at and Amazon will donate to Lake Erie Islands Conservancy.

When you #StartWithaSmile on #PrimeDay, Amazon donates to Lake Erie Islands Conservancy. Shop for great deals at

Lots of programs this summer on the Lake Erie Islands. Read all about them in the newest edition of our Conservancy newsletter. Thanks Michelle Pennington for great job on putting it together for us and Jason Vannette about Bostwick Braun for quick printing!


2017 LEIC Summer Newsletter email version