Chapter IV
Study Site Description
    Quail Hollow State Park (QHSP)  is located approximately one mile northeast of Hartville, in Lake Township, Stark County, Ohio.  Geographical reference for the park center is longitude 81.3100 decimal degrees west and latitude 40.9794 decimal degrees north.  The park is near a large population base  (approx. 400,000) of the nearby cities of Akron and Canton.  The current park area is 1.1 square miles.  The park is enclosed on four sides by road systems, the  northern road boundary also being the Stark County/Portage County division line (Map 1, p. 70)   The park is one of 72 primary reserves in the Ohio State Park System with it's primary goal that of nature preservation.
     The following detailed park description is from the Quail Hollow State Park Quarterly Publication, The Covey Call  (Scherff  1990, p.2);
 "Habitat types within the park are a mixture of both deciduous and coniferous woodlands, natural wetlands, tall-grass prairie and old field meadow.  Recreational facilities in the park include a Natural History Study Center located in buildings from the original residence. In addition there are herb gardens and vital avian habitats.  An extensive trail system accommodating horses, hiking and cross-country skiing traverses some 12 miles throughout the park area. Originally planned as a golf course an extensive system of field tile was installed prior to 1980 to drain wetland areas.  The tile system has since deteriorated and the wetlands are reverting to their natural state.  In the original  open grassland habitats  animal species such as bob-white quail, red-tail hawk, woodchuck and cotton-tail rabbit successfully reproduced.  Forest systems were mostly immature wood "lots" and old fence row tree lines.  Due to a large variety of natural habitats QHSP has a diversity of bird species.  The park has mature forests with species of ruffed grouse, pileated woodpecker, barred owl, and notable numbers of white-tail deer.  Wetland areas combined with forest support mallards, wood duck and green-backed heron as well as numerous other bird species."
     The park is an example of a "green island" (Noss 1993), a natural area rich in  biodiversity  but isolated by ‘fragmentation' of natural landscapes around the park boundary. Fragmented landscapes can disrupt the natural  succession of vegetation, wetlands and animal habitats. "Ecological greenways"  (Smith 1993) such as parks, scenic sites and other natural areas provide the continuity for these sensitive systems.  Natural systems can benefit from some form of human control or interaction in the form of management and preservation. This necessitates foresight and planning when considering additions or changes to ecological systems.
     Current management philosophy is to let areas within the park continue to revert to natural communities and to reduce forest fragmentation and edge effect by new land (habitat) acquisitions.  New land acquisitions can act as buffers to the park reserve as well as providing additional habitat.  Natural corridors might also be established to link with other natural areas (refer to Figure 6 section 3.6).
     According to the Quail Hollow State Park Management Plan (1993, p.10);  "Areas within the park  rich in biodiversity should be buffered from edge effect and encroachment.  Opportunity exists to the west of  (QHSP) to acquire additional property (the Hershey farm).  (QHSP)  should also be buffered to the north where increasing residential lots are being created from a large tract of agricultural lands.  Of particular importance to Quail Hollow (QHSP) would be the acquisition of the Bradshaw property on an agricultural land holding with a beaver pond serving the headwaters for the watershed feeding the park's remnant woodland swamp".

Back to main THESIS PAGE