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united way of
knox county 

Lindsay Reasoner

knox community hospital 
koko kid’s club

Ann Guinsler

knox county recycling and litter prevention

Matthew Baugher

knox county
park district 

Katie Hux

geocache #7

Explore the Kokosing River 
Zuck Riparian Preserve

What would you welcome to find on a hot summer day on the GeoTrail? Could it be a large tree providing an abundance amount of shade? Trees are very important to the corridor of a river watershed. Riparian forests are essential as they help protect the river from pollutants allowing the river to flourish with aquatic life. The trees provide shade which cools the water making it an ideal location for fish species to inhabit and reproduce. The leaves from the trees serve as an important part of the river’s food web providing for aquatic life’s needs. They also protect the watershed from erosion as they act as a “sponge” absorbing the runoff from agricultural lands and stopping it from entering the water. 

As you explore Zuck Riparian Preserve notice the beautiful Sycamore trees that line the riverbanks. Sycamore trees are said to be one of the oldest tree species existing on the earth for than 100 million years. Some trees have been recorded to be 500-600 years old. The leaves on the tree are the largest of any tree species in North America, thus providing a meal for the aquatic life to enjoy! 

It is important to be mindful of the watershed that you live in as we all are part of one. A watershed is an area of water that drains into a particular body water. If you live in Mount Vernon, Howard, Gambier, Fredericktown, or Danville then runoff from rain that falls from your roof will eventually empty into the Kokosing River. Therefore, be aware of the pollutants it will carry as water had a habit of picking up things lying on the ground on its way to the river. 

As mentioned in a previous geocache, macroinvetebrates (organisms large enough to see with the naked eye and without a backbone) are abundant in the Kokosing River. The Ohio Scenic Rivers has designed a Stream Study Activity Book to introduce you to these critters and their characteristics and living conditions needed. Many are pollution intolerant while others are not. 

Source Credit – Brown Family Environmental Center Kenyon College Field Notes (Fall 2010 Vol 14/Issue 4)


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