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".