Blog Archives

Olive O’Rourke Scherf at the MBI East Point Preserve -Training           Olive at the Village Tree Commission-Flowering Dogwood

Our AmeriCorps Intern chosen for the 2020 season is Olive O’Rourke Scherf. Olive will split her time and duties between the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy, Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center and the Put-in-Bay Township Park District. She will be a familiar face this summer at our preserves and at the Nature and Wildlife Center.

Olive is a resident of Middle Bass Island and recently graduated from Lawrence Upper School. She will be majoring in Environmental Science at St. Mary’s College this fall. Olive started with the Conservancy with Nature Camp at the age of 4. She has been a counselor for the Lake Erie Islands and Nature Center’s Nature Camp the last few years as well as a volunteer for the Middle Bass Music Festival to benefit the Conservancy.  Her parents are David Scherf and Shanny O’Rourke Scherf of Middle Bass. She has a love for wildlife, our environment, sustainability, gardening, music, reading, theater, and friends and family. Olive is quite excited to start off her job as the AmeriCorps Intern this summer!

We wish to thank Julene Market, John and Paula Ladd, Helen Brohl, Mary Brohl Nahan, David and Barb Nostrant and Joseph and Judith Janicki for their donations toward the AmeriCorps intern program.


Photo of Olive and donor Julene Market

  Blue-eyed Grass

Solomon’s Seal                                                                                        White Avens

Middle Bass Island East Point Addition-Cleveland Parcel Purchased and Preserved!

On May 29, 2020, the Put-in-Bay Township Park District (PIBTPD) purchased 2.83 acres of lakefront on the eastern most point of Middle Bass Island from the Cleveland family. This makes our current preserve of 8 acres almost 11 contiguous acres of wooded shoreline-superb migratory bird habitat. It has been the site of Tom Bartlett’s bird banding operations since 2009. We are also excited that the PIBTPD and Lake Erie Islands Conservancy (LEIC) have been able to preserve over 113 acres now on the Bass Islands.

These lands are being conserved, in part, by funding and technical assistance made available by TC Energy and its subsidiary Columbia Gas Transmission’s Leach XPress Pipeline Project in partnership with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Conservation Fund. The Clean Ohio Conservation Fund provided a large grant through their District 5. The reminder of the funds were provided by the Put-in-Bay Township Park District and donations from the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy. We wish to thank the Cleveland family for working with us on the purchase, Neal Hess as conservation realtor, Marsha Collett as legal advisor, and Judy Twarek-Bickley of Hartung Title for her assistance.

Schmidlin Construction will be installing a split rail fence along the northern edge of the parcel, removing metal debris and an old storage barn for the park district. Because the old barn was home to bats, Casey Carty built a bullet bat house that will be put in place on site for the bats. We will eventually extend the current foot path through the Cleveland parcel as well. This summer EnviroScience will be visiting the preserve to remove some invasive trees and plants such as amur honeysuckle, callery pear, and English ivy.

We are very excited to be able to preserve these beautiful terminus of Middle Bass Island. The rocky shores and reef that extends from the point are important fish and mussel habitat and great for shoreline fishing. The wooded shores are a perfect stopover habitat for migratory birds. The woods are an interesting mix with many Ohio Buckeye and Kentucky Coffeetree. Now the Middle Bass Island East Point Preserve is almost 11 acres for walking, birding, and a stop on the Lake Erie Islands Water Trail. Paddle on over and enjoy the area! 


Special thanks to all of our members! It is thanks to you and yoru support that we continue to have our land preservation success on the islands!!