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ACTIVE PARK ALERTS & CLOSURES
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Surveys & Monitoring

Biological Stream Monitoring

Biological Stream Monitoring supplements water quality data by determining what aquatic invertebrates (small creatures without a backbone) are found in a stream. Since some invertebrates are sensitive to pollutants and others are tolerant, different types are assigned point values that correspond to their pollution tolerance. A sensitive invertebrate, such as a mayfly nymph, is worth three points. A moderately tolerant type, such as a crayfish, is worth two points. A tolerant type, such as a sowbug, is worth only one point. The total score of a given stream will indicate how good the water quality is. Streams that support populations of a variety of invertebrates from all three groups score highest and are therefore of the best quality. Biological stream monitoring is conducted by volunteers.

Those interested in assisting with stream monitoring can call 513-521-7275 or email us.
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Habitat Assessment

With more than 13,000 acres set aside by Great Parks as natural areas, managing for the widest biodiversity is a challenge. To understand the various habitats and help us prioritize our resources, Great Parks has embarked on an ambitious series of biological surveys to evaluate aquatic and terrestrial habitat. The surveys are based on using indicator species to tell us the relative health of each habitat. An indicator species is a plant or animal whose presence or absence in an area indicates certain environmental conditions.

Assessment sites are randomly selected in each of Great Parks’ habitats, where we identify the species present and their abundance. We assign a measurable value to each site and rank them to identify those areas most in need of protection or improvement. This process will help Great Parks provide habitat for a wider variety of plants and animals.

Great Parks staff and volunteers have conducted vegetative cover mapping of most of the Great Parks to help determine the number of acres or percentages of each habitat type found in our parks. This is helpful information when determining habitat type needs for various wildlife populations. Color coded maps can be generated for each park showing the different habitat types.

Research

Interested in doing research that would contribute to Great Parks' survey and monitoring efforts? Visit the Research page.