While I’m out of town this week, I’m happy to have BEaLittleWeird and Bite Buff guest blog for me. In today’s post, Brian shares his recent visit to the Miller Nature Preserve in nearby Avon, Ohio.
When Amanda asked me to submit a guest post for her blog I was a little surprised. You see, Amanda and I know each other IRL. We both work in the same office and we both happened to move to Cleveland from out-of-state in order to follow our jobs. But whereas Amanda is a woman-about-town, visiting the local Cleveland-area establishments and enjoying all Cleveland has to offer, I’m pretty much a hermit.
I’m married with two children. My wife works two part time jobs and I work a full time job M-F 6-3. By the time I come home from work my wife is usually on her way out the door and we pass like ships in the night. We don’t get to spend a lot of time together as a family so when we are together we usually just hang out with the kids or do some stuff around the house together.
But, I accepted Amanda’s request as a challenge to leave my hermitage and venture out into the great big world outside my door. My destination: two blocks away to the Miller Nature Preserve.
Located in Avon, OH, the Miller Nature Preserve is one of the recent additions to the Lorain County Metroparks system.
The preserve consists of a Rose Garden, a Demonstration Garden, an Herb Garden, a Conservatory and a Visitor’s Center (with a cafe and a gift shop).
As with almost any new place I take my kids, the first place they have to visit is the bathroom. After the kids were done visiting the bathroom, we paid our $2.00 donation and I wrangled them into the Conservatory.
The Conservatory is a Green House which houses all of the preserve’s collections. There are various types of plants and the kids enjoyed looking around at all the flora. My son Chris would point out various plants to me and tell me about them. Here he is telling me about the flowers blooming on a cactus:
Their favorite collections were the Desert Plants and the Carnivorous Plants. They had many different breeds of Pitcher Plants, as well as other carnivorous species.
Some of the plants have placards so you can learn more about them, and there are even some that have QR Codes on them, which take you to a mobile site to give you more information. My son had fun using my smartphone to read the QR codes and read through the additional information.
While we were there the staff was preparing for their next program, which started May 17 and focuses on Carnivorous Plants. They were setting up information, information centers and activities and games for kids. Chris and Sam got to play one of the games while we were there:
After we were finished in the Conservatory, we walked around the grounds and checked out the Herb Garden, the Rose Garden and investigated where there will be a walking/nature path that will connect the surrounding community.
I feel that it was still a little too early in the season to really get the full experience out of the nature preserve. There were no roses in the Rose Garden and there is a Butterfly Exhibit they do inside the Conservatory but that doesn’t start until July 1.
Our trip was short but it was nice to get out of the house and take the kids someplace new. They enjoyed the visit and seeing a lot of different plants from all over the world; plants that they might not have seen otherwise.
If you’re looking to kill an hour or two some afternoon and you’re in the Avon area, I recommend stopping by the Miller Nature Preserve and supporting the Lorain County Metroparks system.
Brian Edsell is a father of two, self-proclaimed nerd and zombie movie aficionado. He moved to OH in 2006 and the first place he went to was a local comic book shop. He spends his spare time with his family and enjoys playing games and watching movies. He also writes about his life and fatherhood at BEaLittleWeird.com (Dadstractions.com).