In addition to the programs we offer, we are happy to work with you in putting together special events and programs. We can create environmental fairs, week long themes, all-day field trips for schools, as well as help Scouts come up with service work or give ideas for Gold Awards and Eagle projects.
Bats in the Belfry? If a bat gets in the house, give us a call. We can help!
Instructional Advisors We act as advisors to teachers on different programs that can be implemented at schools such as outdoor learning centers which can include bird feeding areas, butterfly gardens, and the studies that complement these projects.
Ohio Nature Education's primary mission is environmental education. Conducting more than 300 programs annually in addition to providing quality care for our education animals is a large endeavor. However, we do particiapte in wildlife rehabilitation on a small scale by assisting the St. Francis Center in Mansfield, Ohio.
ONE personally rehabilitates around 50 animals annually. Our education animals sometimes act as foster parents for orphaned wildlife. If you find an injured animal or need advice on whether you need to intervene on behalf of a wild animal please e-mail or call (740) 967-8320. You may also contact Cyndi Murray at the St. Francis Center at (419) 886-2254.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources recently featured Ohio Nature Education on its video program, Wild Ohio. We are excited to share the clip with you! Keep an eye out on this page as we feature other videos from time to time, or click the YouTube logo to the left to go to our YouTube channel to see all of the videos we have posted! Subscribe to our YouTube channel and be one of the first to know when new videos are posted!
NEWARK -- When Ohio Nature Education moved into the William C. Kraner Nature Center at Taft Reserve in July, the 40 animals the organization cares for weren't able to come along.
Because the nature center didn't have enclosures, the animals had to stay in ONE founder Manon Van Schoyck's backyard until enough money was raised to build shelters.
Now, ONE is one step closer to getting its animals into a new home.
The program, which provides a home for injured wild animals while incorporating them into educational programs, recently received a $7,000 grant from the Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust in Cleveland to build enclosures.
ONE still needs to raise an additional $7,000 to go forward with the project.
"We have a year to raise the rest of the funds," Van Schoyck said. "We are hoping the community will get behind us."
For the first 14 years of its existence, ONE was run at Van Schoyck's property.
The group provides educational programs in schools, bringing animals that are unable to return to the wild into the classroom to serve as wildlife ambassadors.
In February, ONE signed a lease with the Licking Park District and groups of volunteers started working to clean and renovate the Kraner Nature Center building.
Since moving into the center, Van Schoyck and ONE's volunteers have been able to expand their organization by offering programs and events.
But most of the animals have to be driven to the center every day it's open and taken back to Van Schoyck's Johnstown home.
A few lizards and amphibians are the center's only permanent residents.
Van Schoyck's goal is to convert two existing picnic shelters into aviaries for ONE's hawks, owls and kestrels and build four new aviaries for its other birds.
She plans to build six enclosures for opossums, skunks, bats and flying squirrels.
"We'd love to start working on converting the aviaries in the spring, so at least some of the birds would be living out there," she said.
To raise the final $7,000 needed to complete the project, ONE will be applying for grants and asking for donations from individuals, Van Schoyck said.
After the money is raised, ONE still will need help building the enclosures, she said.
"Housing all the animals at Taft Reserve will attract move visitors to the Kraner Nature Center, Van Schoyck said.
"We certainly think they would be a big draw," she said.
Having the animals at the center would give visitors more of an opportunity to see and hear them during different times of the year.
Van Schoyck plans to put video cameras in their enclosures so people can watch their behavior.
"I think it will be an awesome opportunity for people to see them up close," she said.
Van Schoyck said she is grateful to the Scott Charitable Trust for its support and is looking forward to raising the rest of the money needed to build the enclosures.
"This has been a dream for many years," she said. "We'll be looking to the community to help."
-Reprinted from The Newark Advocate
General wanted land to benefit Johnstown area
JOHNSTOWN, Ohio - Manon VanSchoyck hasn't given up, but she certainly has been discouraged.
VanSchoyck, director of Ohio Nature Education, continues to look for a permanent home for an environmental education center where she can house some of the more than 40 animals she keeps that are too ill or injured to survive in the wild.
She thought she found the ideal spot three years ago, when she learned of a nearby swath of farmland that had been left to the community by a former Army general after his death in 1961. At the encouragement of the land's management board, she developed a site-use plan that incorporated a habitat for rescued animals, wetlands, nature center, hiking trails and playgrounds.
Then, after about two years of work on the project, the board rejected the proposal last spring. Now, she questions whether anything will happen to the land and is skeptical of the board's intentions to uphold the general's wishes.
Perry L. Miles left the more than 170-acre farmstead to be maintained for the "religious, educational and recreational good and benefit to the residents of Johnstown, Liberty Township and the surrounding community," according to his will.
The will stipulated that those entrusted to manage the land provide a gathering place for groups interested in the betterment of mankind and a suitable environment for picnics, camping and recreation.
Instead, the board has rented out a house on the property and the 120 acres of tillable farmland. The money collected goes back into the trust to be invested, and to pay trustee and lawyer's fees.
"What boggles my mind is that this is supposed to be a piece of property that belongs to everyone," VanSchoyck said, adding that she never got a satisfactory answer as to why the trustees changed their minds.
She said her organization conducts more than 300 education programs across the state each year, using the injured animals she keeps at her home to teach participants about Ohio's native wildlife. VanSchoyck thought the Miles estate would make a perfect location to expand those offerings to the community.
VanSchoyck collected dozens of letters supporting the plan from local schoolteachers and students, Girl Scout groups, local business owners, state wildlife officers and surrounding property owners.
VanSchoyck is not the first to question the actions of the property's board. In 2002, residents of Liberty Township sent letters to Licking County Probate-Juvenile Court Judge Robert Hoover concerned that the land was not being used for the community's benefit.
After a status conference eight years ago, Hoover wrote that "All acknowledged as true that it is necessary to expend funds from this trust to fulfill its purpose and the intent of the trust settler, Perry Miles."
After the current board rejected VanSchoyck's proposal, they found themselves in front of Hoover again, this time saying they would come up with other ways to honor Miles' wishes. That was almost a year ago.
Hoover declined to comment about the case because it is ongoing. A spokesman for the Ohio attorney general's office said a charitable law attorney was monitoring the recent probate court activity and will decide whether the state should become involved based on what happens at the local level.
Estate trustee Roger Smith, who was appointed to the position in 2007, declined to comment other than to say the board intends to set up a pair of college scholarships, one each for students at Northridge and Johnstown-Monroe high schools, and has hired a planner to develop a new vision for the property.
Other members of the board could not be reached for comment.
VanSchoyck said the whole situation sends a bad message to those who want to entrust their property to future generations.
"What I don't want to see happen is another 10, 20, 30 years go by and someone has to ask who the land belongs to," she said.
-Reprinted from The Columbus Dispatch
Mike Harden commentary: Flattened or healing, wildlife used for teaching
The Columbus Dispatch
December 27, 2009
JOHNSTOWN, Ohio -- I wasn't sure I truly wanted a detailed explanation of how Manon Van Schoyck uses her "roadkill salvage" permit from the Ohio Division of Wildlife, but the founder of Ohio Nature Education seemed determined that I know.
All those berm-bound opossums, raccoons and skunks that we assure our grandchildren simply like to sleep close to the road provide the hides, skulls and skeletons that Van Schoyck showcases (along with her live wild animals) in the 350 nature-education sessions she conducts each year.
However, the seminars are not the chief focus of ONE.
"Our main mission is rescuing and providing a permanent home for permanently injured wildlife," Van Schoyck said.
If the numbers had shaken out differently, she could have written her own Twelve Days of Christmas. Her backyard enclosures house eight flying squirrels, six red foxes, three horned owls, two turkey vultures and a rat snake sleeping in a log.
There's more: striped skunks, screech owls, opossums, bats and a pair of crows she christened Velcrow and Edgar Allen Crow.
"I've learned to take it as a compliment when someone says to me, 'Mrs. Van Schoyck, I saw a dead goose on the road, and I thought about you,'" she said.
The wild animals come to her after a variety of unfortunate encounters.
"We have an opossum who was permanently injured as an in-pouch infant when his mother was attacked by a dog," she said. "Oreo and Domino are a couple of baby skunks a woman found near a dead adult skunk. One of our barred owls had flown into a soccer net, losing part of a wing."
One of her Eastern screech owls was injured when an arborist brought down a dead tree whose trunk cavity was home to the owl.
"Eighty percent of wild animals that go into a wildlife-rehabilitation clinic are there because of human-impact injuries," she said.
Van Schoyck traces her dedication to the work she does today (with the help of more than three dozen volunteers) to a childhood interest in ornithology. "One of my sisters is also a wildlife artist," she noted.
Her partner in the nature charity is her retired mail-carrier husband, Jim.
He's the one who pitches in when she drives to a Michigan research center to pick up several hundred pink-slipped lab mice that will become lunch for the hawks and owls. He helps round up the critters when she is getting ready for a nature presentation to students or Boy Scouts. He probably will be on hand on the evening of Jan. 2 at Infirmary Mound Park near Granville for a session on everything from owls to astronomy.
Van Schoyck has grown ONE to the point that, she says, "the next big step for us is moving out of our backyard."
She has discussed a wildlife center and shelter with representatives of the Licking Park District in Licking County.
Failing that, she needs to start studying construction plans for an ark.
For more information on ONE, go to www.ohionature.org.
Retired columnist Mike Harden (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes Wednesday and Sunday Metro columns.
-Reprinted from The Columbus Dispatch
Red-tailed hawk released by ONE following recovery
ThisWeek Community Newspapers
January 24, 2009
With the help of Johnstown's Ohio Nature Education (ONE), a rehabilitated red-tailed hawk was released into the wild on Dec. 30.
Manon VanSchoyck, ONE director and founder, and Dave Rice of Johnstown released the bird into the area where Rice found him in late October.
"Upon examination it appeared that the hawk had probably been hit by a car or collided with something, as it was thin, dehydrated and suffered an injury to its left eye," VanSchoyck said. "After some initial care the hawk was moved to an outdoor aviary for reconditioning for release."
VanSchoyck said she also wanted to wait for a stretch of decent weather to release the bird.
On the day Rice found the injured hawk, he said, a larger red tailed hawk was calling from the trees.
VanSchoyck said the other hawk was most likely a female and the injured bird's mate, since the hawks mate for life.
Also released on Dec. 30 was an immature Cooper's hawk that had been found in the Newark area with a head injury.
Ohio Nature Education, a nonprofit organization, provides a permanent home for animals that are too sick or injured to go back into the wild.
A mission of ONE is to incorporate the animals into environmental education programs, with the goal of instilling in audiences an appreciation of the natural world.
For more information about ONE, call 740 967-8320 or visit their Web site at www.ohionature.org.
-Reprinted with permission from ThisWeek Community Newspapers
Owls' visit to McGuffey a real hoot
By SETH ROY, Advocate Reporter
October 1, 2008
NEWARK -- Fifth-grade teacher Leslie Williams stood in front of her students in McGuffey Elementary's gym wearing camouflage, large orange sunglasses, a lopsided headband with funnels representing ears and gloves with fake talons on them.
Holding wings in each hands, she flapped her arms as if she were trying to fly.
Williams had been transformed into an owl by Manon Van Schoyck, of Ohio Nature Education in Johnstown, who was talking with fifth-graders Tuesday about different owls in Ohio.
The students recently completed a unit on birds of prey, Williams said, and students have been excited about getting to see the owls.
"We've studied how they fit into our environment," she said. "This is putting that real life emotion into the conservation (conversation). ... Plus, a lot of these are city kids that would never have seen these."
Williams' transformation got a big reaction from the students, but they were much more excited to see the owls Van Schoyck brought along.
"I liked hearing the screech owl's 'hoot,'" Hayes Fleming, 11, said.
Van Schoyck, who founded the nonprofit organization 11 years ago, brought an eastern screech owl, a barred owl and two great horned owls to the school.
Chandra Byers, 11, said she liked seeing the great horned owls.
"I liked the really big ones," she said. "The female is bigger."
The great horned owls both were a bit skittish as Van Schoyck showed them to the students.
"As long as she doesn't land on my head," Van Schoyck said as Athena the owl tried to fly away, "we're good to go."
Before the main event of showing off the owls, which are cared for at Van Schoyck's home, she talked about the physical characteristics of owls, including their feathers used for camouflage and their large eyes used for seeing at night.
Children weren't able to touch or get close to the owls -- they still are wild animals, even if they'll never be able to be released because of various injuries.
Williams said she was glad Van Schoyck could adjust her schedule to talk with the students. The presentation originally was scheduled for Sept. 15 but was moved after the windstorm caused school to be canceled.
"The best person to teach something is someone who's passionate about it," Williams said.
-Reprinted with permission from The Newark Advocate
Mrs. Manon Van Schoyck has represented Ohio Nature Education at our school the past six years. The second grade teachers and students have invited ONE back each year for its outstanding nocturnal animal program. We have found Mrs. Van, as we call her, and her creatures to be valuable resources. She is extremely knowledgable about Ohio's nocturnal habitat and wildlife, and she offers an entertaining and educational opportunity to our students.
Our students and teachers have benefited tremendously from the experience ONE provides. In addition, Mrs. Van is an able and motivated educator and leader. She is very personable and warm with the children and staff.
-Celisa Finley, Second Grade Team Leader, New Albany Elementary School
The ONE program is wonderful. Presentations are made in an interesting way that entertains and educates both children and adults. Because the ONE programs allow children to see the live wild animals and hear about their individual lives, the children take a personal interest in the animals and show respect for the animal and its habitat in the wild. Because these animals are found in Ohio, the program is that more meaningful to the children.
The ONE programs are affordable and the staff is easy to work with and very accommodating. The presentations are kid friendly and management of a group (we've had up to 50) of children for a presentation is never an issue.
Children are encouraged to ask questions. Answers show knowledge and ability to relate the answer to something with which the child is already familiar.
In all the years we've worked with ONE, we have never had an unsatisfactory experience. I highly recommend ONE as a program to acquaint children with Ohio's wildlife.
-Aileen L. Blyth, Director - Outdoor Programs, Seal of Ohio Council, Girl Scouts
During the Ohio State Fair, I manage an 8-acre park for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. For the last five years, Manon has been a vital part of the program schedule offered within the Natural Resources Park. The park's amphitheater seats up to 500 visitors and the Ohio Nature Education presentation always fills those seats. Manon is a professional, providing well-thought presentations that include both live animals and natural materials, such as animal skins, skulls, nets, etc. She interacts with the audience, getting them to participate and have fun while learning about Ohio's wildlife. As an example of this interaction, Manon explains how nocturnal animals have adapted physical characteristics to improve their chances of survival. To illustrate this point, a volunteer from the audience is dressed with over-sized ears for good hearing, provided big eyes for improved eye sight in dim light, given a large nose allowing for highly sensitized scent detection, etc.
In addition to providing quality programming, Manon is as reliable as she is innovative: always on time and able to adapt to any given situation.
-Laura Jones, ODNR Marketing Manager
It is with great pleasure that I recommend The Ohio Nature Education program. This program has been a continued component of my teaching for the past eight years. A mutual friend of the Audobon Society first recommended Manon and her nature program to me. Little did I know how valuable this recommendation would be!
The Ohio Nature Education has played a valuable role in my animal science units. Manon and her repertoire of wildlife bring both interest and a plethora of knowledge to the classroom in a unique and fascinating approach. I have changed districts, buildings and grade levels throughout these past eight years. However, the Ohio Nature Education program has such a wide variety of programs that it easily fits into each new animal science inquiry. Manon's keen knowledge of children of all age levels and her high interest program are perfect for large or small groups.
Recently, Manon visted my second grade to do a small group presentation. She had also been scheduled to do a large group presentation that same afternoon with the entire elementary school (K-6) at our weekly town meeting. With ease, Manon quickly transitioned from a small group setting to the large group presentation. The second program held my second graders' interest as she demonstrated new teaching tools, new information and new teaching techniques all the while managing to connect what she had previously discussed. She is clearly unflappable!
It is quite obvious to see Manon's dedication to and love of her animals. Her demeanor brings excitement to any learning environment. Her program is interactive and student centered. She is simply extraordinary, and you would be quite fortunate to have her be a part of your program.
-Diana Pryor, 2nd Grade Teacher, Cassingham Elementary, Bexley City Schools
How do you do it? Everytime I see one of your programs I think, "wow." I left the program "All My Garden Friends Are Wild" and was amazed. Not only was your program interesting, it was fun, entertaining and completely captivating. Manon, you could have talked for another hour and ever lost my attention! What a truly great program.
Through your giving spirit and volunteerism, you have assisted the Licking County Master Gardeners in becoming one of thetop Master Gardener programs in the State. We have a tremendous reputation of having a quality program, and "Gardening: The Great Escape" reinforced it...We had wonderful comments from our attendees. It was a success.
-Julie Huprich, Mater Gardener Coordinator
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