By ODNR, 1812Blockhouse

This year, we’re adding a handful of Fall Road Trip ideas to our usual staple of Summer Road Trips. Each provides Richland Countians with an easy day trip idea that features something unique and different.

As always, we remind our readers that Richland County itself if full of interesting things to see and do. For the latest information on those places, visit the website of Destination Mansfield – Richland County.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Geological Survey is inviting Ohioans of all ages to celebrate Earth Science Week. A series of fascinating activities and programs will highlight the annual celebration from Oct. 9–Oct. 15, several within an easy drive of Richland County.

“Teaching people about the importance of earth sciences is vital to sustaining the world in which we live,” Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said. “These hands-on lessons will be essential to educating and inspiring the next generation of people who will love and care for our planet.”

The theme for Earth Science Week 2022 is “Earth Science for a Sustainable World” and emphasizes the essential role of earth science in helping people make decisions that maintain and strengthen the planet’s ability to support thriving life.

“We look forward to Earth Science Week every year because it gives us a chance to teach people the role earth science plays in their everyday lives,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “We hope this year’s theme and activities will provide Ohioans with the motivation and knowledge to be responsible stewards of the natural environment.”

This year’s theme invites everyone to strengthen their understanding of how geoscience professions, technologies, and practices contribute to the sustainability of Earth, society, and all life forms.

ODNR geologists will start the celebration a few days early and offer a combination of in-person and virtual events throughout the week. This year’s Ohio events include:

  • Friday, Oct. 7, 11 a.m., Geology Hike (ages 18+), Highbanks Metro Park, Lewis Center
  • Saturday, Oct. 8, 12 p.m., Fossil & Geology Walk, Marblehead Lighthouse State Park, Marblehead
  • Sunday, Oct. 9, 12 p.m., Geology Hike, Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park, Nelson Township (Portage County)
  • Sunday, Oct. 9, 2 p.m., Geology Hike (ages 8+), Highbanks Metro Park, Lewis Center
  • Tuesday, Oct. 11, 11 a.m., Ohio Rock Talks: Careers in Geoscience (MS Teams webinar)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 12, 12 p.m., Fossil Tour, Ohio Statehouse, Columbus
  • Saturday, Oct. 15, 10 a.m., Bog Geology Hike, Cedar Bog Nature Preserve, Urbana
  • Saturday, Oct. 15, Geology Hike & Talk, Metzger Preserve, Williamsport
  • Sunday, Oct. 16, 1 p.m., Guided Fossil Hunt, Caesar Creek State Park, Waynesville

On Friday, Oct. 14, the ODNR Division of Geological Survey will be distributing in-stock paper copies of USGS 7.5-minute topographic maps free of charge to anyone who visits during the hours of 8:00‒11:30 a.m. and 1:00‒4:00 p.m. on Geologic Map Day. These are great tools for hiking, hunting, and more. Ohio topographic maps that are not in stock can be printed for $2.00 each.

A complete list of events is available at

Also, available to Ohio teachers and educators are a limited number of Earth Science Week teacher toolkits. The toolkits include experiment instructions, calendar, posters, activity sheets and more materials for teachers to use in the classroom. Toolkits are free (plus $5 shipping) for any Ohio teacher, including home-school teachers, while supplies last. Teacher toolkits, maps, and other publications can be ordered by contacting the Geologic Records Center at (614) 265-6576 or [email protected].

If you can’t make one of the events, Ohio’s cities and rural areas offer many activities you can enjoy on your own. Educators, students, and the public are encouraged to explore Ohio’s natural history at a location near them. Resources for those outings can be found here.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

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