A Few Thoughts About Stewardship

Stewardship of our land and water resources is a primary component of AOA’s mission. 

Many of our forests and fields are under “assault” from a vast array of non-native species which threaten the habitats that provide homes for our native plants and animals.

As AOA adds conservation properties we are taking on more invasive problems and associated stewardship responsibilities. Many of the properties we have conserved and are stewarding have been negatively impacted by a variety of non-native and/or invasive species that are proliferating across our landscapes. They require much attention and resources to control and/or eradicate.

AOA takes our stewardship responsibilities seriously. We are continuing to develop a strategic approach and the needed capacity to eradicate and/or control the “usual suspects” list of invasives that are degrading our fabulous properties and endangering the rich natural heritage we all value. 

Conservation leaders, like AOA cofounder and mentor Paul Knoop, have shown us that invasive control and removal is achievable with the right approach and effort. His gorgeous Hocking Hills property is free and clear of all but the occasional invasive.

It will take time but we are committed to controlling and eradicating non-native species from our preserves over the long term. In collaboration and with the assistance of our friends and partner organizations, we are confident that we can make a difference and restore our conserved properties to their natural state – providing a suitable home for our native Ohio species that rely on these conserved habitats.

Please support our stewardship efforts. It is important that we mobilize and empower people and organizations to help care for our land and water. You can join us for an invasive control event on our beautiful preserves.

If you are unable to participate in our invasive removal efforts we completely understand and hope that you will still join us for other AOA events we have planned throughout the year.  Please consider donating to our stewardship program, which will help us fund more stewardship capacity in coming years as we continue to work on this issue and our habitat goals.

AOA has invested in a new stewardship position and is working to upgrade our stewardship capacity. We are very glad and excited to welcome Seth Rankin to AOA and are fortunate to gain his habitat management expertise and experience as well as his positive, can do attitude. 

Contact Seth if you are interested in assisting and join him at one of his scheduled work days on an AOA preserve. You can call (cell = 937.728.4026) or email (rankins7@yahoo.com) him.