The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a natural treasure, at least to the Nature Conservancy and Honda of America Mfg. Inc.
The 33,000-acre federal park between Akron and Cleveland is one of 30 designated nature sites in Ohio that the Nature Conservancy and Honda want Ohioans to visit this summer without worrying about gasoline prices.
So, too, are Edgewater State Park in Cleveland and Cleveland Metroparks’ North Chagrin Reservation.
Other designated natural areas include such Ohio landmarks as Conkles Hollow and Ash Cave at Hocking Hills State Park, Clifton Gorge in Greene County, the Edge of Appalachia Preserve in Adams County, Dysart Woods in Belmont County and Magee Marsh in Lucas and Ottawa counties.
Some of the sites are state parks, some are state nature preserves, some are local parks and some are owned by the Nature Conservancy.
Ohioans who visit at least one of the designated sites before Aug. 8 will have a chance to win a 2012 Honda Insight Hybrid.
Participants must upload a photo of themselves with that site’s designated landmark.
You enter the sweepstakes for the vehicle once at each of the 30 designated sites.
There will be one car winner, plus five runners-up will get $500 REI gift cards.
The program is designed to introduce Ohioans to “the extraordinary natural areas right in their backyard” and to get Ohioans outdoors, said Josh Knights, executive director of the Nature Conservancy in Ohio.
“Whether you’re an amateur explorer or an outdoors enthusiast, we’ll provide several activities that guide you through some of Ohio’s most treasured areas,” he said. “We promise you’ll find something interesting and educational for the whole family.”
Knights said his group is also interested in expanding “the community of conservation-minded Buckeyes who will act to protect the future of Ohio’s natural treasures.”
You can get information about the program and the 30 specific sites at www.nature.org/naturaltreasuresohio.
The Nature Conservancy has more than 1 million members. It has protected more than 120 million acres worldwide, including more than 55,000 acres in Ohio.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or firstname.lastname@example.org.