Heights students visit Mentor Marsh ecosystem

The Mentor Marsh Ohio Nature Preserve is the perfect place for biology students to learn about the marsh environment and how humans affect the delicate balance of the ecosystem. For 57 students in Janett Korb and Samantha Greene’s Legacy New Tech’s Biology class at Heights High, a May 8 field trip featured information about the invasive species Garlic Mustard and the plant’s effect on the butterfly population.

Part of the class visit featured a discussion with Mentor Marsh Naturalist Becky Donaldson. She explained that the non-native Garlic Mustard plant has displaced native spring wildflowers that provided food for three butterfly species. To help eliminate the Garlic Mustard plant, the students pulled the plant from a section of the park area. Students also collected and examined macroinvertebrates which can indicate water quality.

The field trip is part of the “Heights Goes Green” biology project in Korb and Greene’s class. “This project teaches students about the human impact on our ecosystem and explores ways to reduce the impact,” said Korb.

Four other Legacy New Tech teachers accompanied the students: Carrye Decrane, Greg Nachman, Vicki Costanza, and John Carroll student teacher Mary Doyle.

The Mentor Marsh Park is an Ohio Nature Preserve, a designated National Natural Landmark and is operated by the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Located in Mentor just west of the Grand River near Mentor Headlands State Park, it is the one of the largest natural marshes remaining along the Lake Erie shoreline.

Joy Henderson

Joy Henderson is the parent/community liaison for Heights High.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 10:25 AM, 06.08.2015