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Toboso Cleanup Project 2012 - Pt 2

posted Feb 29, 2012, 12:03 PM by Lucas Hardbarger
You may have noticed some drastic changes at Blackhand Gorge State Preserve parking entrance in Toboso. A lot has happened in the last 3 weeks and this document will wrap up what was done and explain some of the plans for the very near future.

On Saturday, February 10th, 2012 many members from the Friends of Blackhand Gorge organization got together along with a few other local community members to continue the clean up that began on February 4th. The goal was to finish clearing the open field in front of the cabin. 

It was a very cold day, so the cabin was opened and a fire was started to keep the volunteers warm. About mid day, the volunteers enjoyed hot soup and chili. Here are some pictures from the days event.

Casey hauling limbs near the entrance of Blackhand Gorge

Local volunteers and friends group members working the chipper.

Benji working the hydraulic excavator.

The work that was performed these last two weekends would not have been possible without donations and contributions from local businesses.
  • Schmidty’s Sunoco - Donated a $250 gas card
  • Felumlee Farms - Contributed a skid loader & a hydraulic excavator
  • Crispen Auto - Contributed a track hoe
  • Sforza Farms - Contributed a back hoe
  • Winland Farms - Contributed a skid loader & a tractor
  • Parrel Logging - Donated money for large chipper
  • Wright Brothers Power - Donated money for large chipper
These donations and contributions, along with additional money and time donated from individual volunteers really helped change the landscape when entering Toboso.

On Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 a team from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources got together and cleared many of the trees inside the deep cut. The deep cut can be found approximately ¾ of a mile into the bike path. The clearing was done in order to open the view between the deep cute and expose the beautiful rock walls again. This work was also necessary as a safety concern; there were many trees that had fallen on the cliffs above the bike path due to storms over the years. These trees were simply waiting to fall down to earth and they needed removed before somebody got hurt walking the bike path. 

The work from the deep cut clean up is still in progress. However, over the next few weeks the mess will be cleaned up and the deep cut will be looking better than ever.

What’s next?
We recently had our monthly friends group meeting and discussed a lot of topics. The organization was able to appoint board members to the friends group. We also discussed current events and legal issues regarding Blackhand Gorge, as well as future projects planned for Blackhand Gorge. We are planning to open these meetings to the public in the future so that we can be more transparent to the community. The Friends of Blackhand Gorge are merely local community members trying to make the preserve beautiful and accessible to the public again.

Thank you for your patience while we clean up the aftermath of our most recent projects.

Sincerely,
Friends of Blackhand Gorge
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