Hidden Gems of Great Parks
Great Parks of Hamilton County manages four conservation areas that are dedicated solely for the protection of natural habitats and the wildlife that reside within these areas. One of these conservation areas is Newberry Wildlife Sanctuary, a state-dedicated natural area that was acquired in 1975. It is home to a variety of plant and animal species that thrive among 100 acres of waterfalls and wooded hillsides.
In 1996, Larry Jones chose to adopt Newberry Wildlife Sanctuary as a volunteer. He began collecting trash, which consisted of countless numbers of tires in the creek and along the road side, construction debris and old furniture. Currently, Larry still faithfully picks up trash and also helps remove invasive species within the sanctuary. Because of his heedful work Larry recounts the return of native plants such as Virginia bluebells, trillium, wild ginger and a variety of asters.
Volunteers play a vital role in helping maintain the more than 13,000 acres of natural area Great Parks manages. Because of the devotion of one volunteer, Newberry Wildlife Sanctuary is flourishing and is populated with salamanders, box turtles, wildflowers and other wildlife. Great Parks protects unique conservation areas like Newberry, Richardson Forest Preserve, Kroger Hills and Oak Glen Nature Preserve. So if you see a volunteer, be sure to thank them for their endless efforts in helping keep Great Parks a place you want to visit.
Olivia Espinoza, Natural Resources Technician