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2,007 miles to freedom

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Adventure Speaker Series continues with Troy native Jordan Hart By Kristen Wicker Photo: Troy’s Jordan Hart tries to stay ahead of the fog on his last day of travel on the Underground Railroad Route In fall 2016, Jordan Hart embarked on a journey that put his body, spirit, and perspective to the test. Hart, an […]

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Post-solstice safety

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Ranger tips to navigate the winterscapes By Kristen Wicker Photo: Hikers at Englewood MetroPark take in the view while taking a buddy out on the trail Winter doesn’t officially begin until the winter solstice at 5:44 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 21—the day with the shortest period of daylight, when the noon sun is the lowest […]

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Cut down, chow down

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Save time, money, and the environment this holiday season By Kristen Wicker Photo: Shopping for produce at local vendors like the 2nd Street Market reduces our toll on the environment   From turkey dinners to stringing hundreds of lights, pulling off the perfect holiday can be overwhelming and expensive. With so much to do, sustainable household […]

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Urban legends

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Hiking with ghosts through Five Rivers MetroParks by Kristen Wicker Photo: Known by many names, the stone tower at Hills & Dales MetroPark was once rumored to be haunted. With its stunning colors and crisp temps, fall is an awesome time to get outdoorsy—and to explore the season’s spooky vibe by visiting some ghostly remnants […]

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Not bogged down

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Activity abounds at Cedar Bog by CC Hutten Photo: Walk back a mile through time on the Cedar Bog Nature Preserve boardwalk and spot some of Ohio’s most diverse plant species “Diversity” is a buzzword most of us probably hear or read every day, but Cedar Bog Nature Preserve has the rank to prove it is […]

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Boots made for walking 110 miles

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A long journey to Midwest Outdoor Experience Kristen Wicker Photo: The Inspired Stunt Shows team takes BMX to new heights at Urban Outdoor Experience, Oct. 1-2 This fall, Mike Fanelli plans on attending his favorite local event in a style all his own. He’ll arrive on foot, fresh off the Buckeye Trail — and in […]

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Get buzzed

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Discover the secret life of bees at HoneyFest By Lisa Bennett Photo: Beekeeper and retired Kettering police officer Mike Pittman tends his hives It used to be that the acronym CCD meant “catechism,” or, more precisely, a dreaded Sunday afternoon in a church classroom learning about the Bible. Not that the classes weren’t interesting and sometimes […]

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Ain’t no mountain…

Monika Kaleps rides through MetroParks Mountain Biking Area (MoMBA), the area’s first fully sustainable mountain biking trail system; photo courtesy of Five Rivers MetroParks

One woman bikes over injury and fear By Kristen Wicker “MoMBA is always the same trail, but never the same ride.” Monika Kaleps knows what she’s talking about—she drives an hour from her home in the Columbus area to bike MoMBA, the MetroParks Mountain Biking Area, at least a few times each week, even in […]

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Secret in Springfield

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The fairytale Hartman Rock Garden By Kevin Tucker Photo: Ben Hartman erected the ‘Tree of Life’ at the center of the Hartman Rock Garden in Springfield; photo: Rod Hatfield The Hartman Rock Garden (HRG) can be easily overlooked as it stands stoically behind one of the many nondescript dwellings comprising the southwest Springfield neighborhood it calls […]

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Human nature

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Discover Five Rivers MetroParks conservation areas By Kristen Wicker Photo: MetroParks staff members built the 1,800-foot boardwalk winding through Woodman Fen with recycled plastic; photo courtesy of MetroParks Human activity nearly destroyed Woodman Fen, but human intervention saved it. At one time common in southwest Ohio, fens have rich peat soils fed by underground water. […]

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Home away from home

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Camping closer to your backyard By Kristen Wicker Unplugging from electronics and plugging into nature was Baxter Foskuhl’s idea of getting wild during spring break. Foskuhl, a junior at Wright State University, hiked the Twin Valley Trail with a friend he’s known since elementary school during a respite from textbooks and lectures in late February. […]

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Easy rider

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Hand-picked cycling day trips during National Bike Month Kristen Wicker The Dayton region is home to more than 300 miles of bikeways—the nation’s largest paved trail network. But where to start? Five Rivers MetroParks staff share their favorite rides to get you rolling. Visit metroparks.org for maps, cycling programs and more info, including details about […]

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Dig it

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Turn your thumb green with MetroParks’ gardening programs Kristen Wicker For Carla and Scott Lachecki, who live in an urban Dayton neighborhood without much of a yard, renting a year-round community garden plot at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark allows them to grow their own produce and share the natural world with their 3-year-old granddaughter, June. “It’s […]

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And your bird can sing

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Celebrate the coming of spring with birding tips from the experts Kristen Wicker Birds in your local Five Rivers MetroParks are just like the proverbial canary in the coalmine. “We monitor bird populations year round, and it’s important we get good counts,” says Yvonne Dunphe, conservation volunteer coordinator for MetroParks. “Birds are a good indicator […]

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2016 Adventure Summit at Wright State

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Paralympic medalist Amy Purdy speaks on adversity Kristen Wicker If you love the outdoors, there’s an indoor event this week you can’t miss. Seriously. The Adventure Summit, held Feb. 12-13 at the Wright State University Student Union, provides inspiration and information for planning your next epic outdoor journey, whether that be a thru-hike on the […]

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Green earth, lean you

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The MetroParks guide to a healthier 2016 Kristen Wicker Photo: Explore the region’s paved trail network by cross-country skiing, which burns 700-900 calories an hour. An estimated 40 to 50 percent of us make New Year’s resolutions, most of them focused on improving our health. Regardless of whether you made a vow to get it […]

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Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/19

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Major key Last weekend a local couple was watching TV in their living room, having a relaxing evening, when suddenly […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/12

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Jesus take the wheel A local couple recently decided to visit their church on a particularly warm and muggy Sunday […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/5

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Flightless In a local park, police were dispatched to the crime scene. A woman called the police when she realized […]

The Docket: 8/29

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Stolen in a nanosecond Just last week a woman visited her local sheriff’s office to place a tip on a […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 8/22

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Totally secure knot …not In a local home a garage door was broken into. This garage door was perfectly secured […]