I cannot believe I am already finished with my second week of working with the Grange Insurance Audubon Center! The time truly has flown by *bird pun intended*. This week started off with a trip to the Scioto Gardens, a native plant haven where we found Joe Pye Weed, Salvia, and other luscious greens to fill the gardens with. The plants were awesome, but I especially loved Bailey, a beautiful golden retriever who followed me around the entire time and definitely knew each plant by name (or bark).

 

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It has been amazing learning about all of the different plants that are native to Ohio and the important role that each one of them plays in helping ensure a thriving ecosystem. I am a passionate advocate for wildflowers of all kinds and it is exciting to recognize certain types when I am on a bike ride, run, or even driving and notice a native plant growing alongside the road. I would not necessarily consider myself an avid birder, but I am gaining a greater appreciation for birds because they truly are an indicator of a healthy ecosystem. If there are no birds, that means there are no bugs for them to eat, which is a result of a lack of foliage which directly impacts our air and water quality (I could go on and on about how fascinating our planet is…).

Another exciting part of this week was getting to know my coworkers better. My freshman year of college, I was constantly seeking out new friendships as I loved meeting people from all over the world with all types of backgrounds and interests. As I settled into my Junior and Senior year, I had my comfortable group of friends and realize now that I became very complacent in getting to know people. Working at a place like Grange Audubon is wonderful because it feels like Freshman year all over again, with new faces and stories! Pictured below is Katie, a MetroParks intern who shares my love for the outdoors and my amateur birder status. It has been a treat getting to know her and I am excited to get to see her and my other coworkers every day!

Thanks Grange Insurance Audubon Center for taking me under your wing this summer! *last of the bird puns, I promise*

Peace and trees,

Tori

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