The Ohio Prairie Story

 Tuesday, August 17, 2021 
3:00pm-4:30pm  
Orchestra Hall

Join us for a presentation and discussion on Ohio's Prairies with John Blakeman.

John Blakeman, who grew up in Fremont, is a retired biology instructor with 30-years science teaching experience at Perkins Schools near Sandusky, and is an experienced Ohio prairie researcher. John planted one of Ohio’s first prairie restorations in Erie County in 1973 at Firelands College BGSU in Huron, Ohio, using native prairie seeds collected from local prairie remnants and isolated plants in ditches and hedgerows.

He helped form the Ohio Prairie Association and served as its president. He has presented papers at both state and national prairie conferences and is regarded as an expert in the history of Ohio’s tallgrass prairies. As proprietor of Meadow Environments LLC, he professionally designs, installs, and maintains prairie restorations and landscapes at park, educational, and private sites, including Erie MetroParks facilities, the COSI museum in Columbus, and at commercial sites across Ohio.

He is particularly focused on the creation of prairie and beach grass environments on Lake Erie’s waterfronts, bringing singularly natural maritime landscapes to these unique sites.

John is an Ohio Certified Prescribed Fire Manager and as an Environmental Specialist consultant he conducts several hundred acres of prairie and meadow burns at NASA Plum Brook Station each year. Also is deeply involved in Plum Brook Station’s species and environmental conservation programs, where he advises NASA on the restoration of up to 3000 acres of native tallgrass prairie.

Currently, he is the prairie biologist in the University of Akron Research Foundation's Vegetation-based HABs Solutions Research Project in northwest Ohio, where new types of vegetation are being planted, which will capture and retain algal nutrients, keeping them out of Lake Erie, thereby preventing harmful algal blooms.

October 2021
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