Nature Resources:

A listing of books, periodicals, website links, and apps recommended for increasing your knowledge and appreciation of nature...

Pictured Above: Old Man's Cave State Park, Hocking Hills


A Photographic Guide to More than 500 Trees of North America and Europe, Roger Phillips, 1978

Birds Vs. Blades: Offshore Wind Power and the Race to Protect Seabirds, Rebecca S. Hirsch, 2017

Canoeing in the Wilderness, Henry David Thoreau, 1857

Cape Cod, Henry David Thoreau, 1906 

Fishes of the Grat Lakes Region, Carl L. Hubbs & Karl F. Lagler, 1947

Ohio Images of Nature, Jerry Sieve, 1990

The Inland Island, Josephine Johnson, 1939

Walden, Henry David Thoreau, 1854

What a Plant Knows, Daniel Chamovitz, 2012

Woody Plants in Winter, Earle E. Core & Nelle P. Ammons, 1958

Periodical Cicadas, The Brood x  Edition, Gene Kritsky, 2021

Ohio: Images of Nature, Jerry Sieve, 1990

A Guide to Ohio Streams, Ohio Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, 2002

Tracks and Tracking, The Classic Guide to Seeing and Reading Animal Signs, Josef Brunner, 1923/2014

Newcomb's Wildflower Guide, Lawrence Newcomb, 1977

Imagine A Butterfly, Stanford Apeloff, 2012

Surviving The Great Outdoors, Brendan Leonard, 2017

50 Hikes In Ohio, Ralph Ramey, 1990, 1997

The Little Book of Scientific Principles, Theories, & Things, Surendra Verma, 2005

Wild Animals I Have Known, Ernest Thompson, 1898

The Local Wilderness, Cathy Johnson, 1987

America, Land of Wildlife, Karen Jensen for National Wildlife Federation, 1984


National Geographic Magazine, $39.00 annual subscription through or (800) 647-5463

Wild Ohio Magazine, $5.00 annal subscription through

Backwoods Survival Guide, Practical Advice for the Simple Life, $9.95 per issue at news stands

Ravinia: An Advocate for Community Resources, published by Friends of the Ravines (501c3), available from:,, on Facebook, or in hard copy at Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks nature centers. 

Phone Apps

Enhance your enjoyment of nature with the following free phone apps. These are the best of the best!


Identify birds by family or alphabetically. Identify by type, size, wing shape, color, etc. Provides detailed information. Provides call & song examples. Records your sightings.


By Cornell U. Department of Ornithology. ID by photo or physical atributes. Shows differences in sexes. Creates a "diary" of your sightings & uploads your data to Cornell database.


Provides detailed information and pictures. Use on multiple devices. Builds personal database you can organize. Detail migratory route maps provided. No internet connection needed. Share your sightings on Facebook, Messenger, or email. Sleuth (paid feature) IDs from even low quality photos.

Picture This

ID plants with a photo. Provides detailed information. Saves photos to your gallery.


Works like Picture This. Saves photos to your gallery. Gives summary information and links to complete Wikipedia information.

Virginia Tech Tree ID

Works from your phone's GPS. Download's regional data. IDs from leaves, bark, seeds, buds, flowers in all seasons.

SkyView Free (Android) or SkyView Lite (iPhone) 

View stars, planets, & constellations, their names & other information. Includes trajectories. Shows other space objects like Hubble, International Space Station, & comets. Shows both hemispheres.

A-GPS Tracker (Android only)

Shows mapped trails for where you are. Lets you track and record your hikes & data. Terrain or satellite options available.

MapMyHike (iPhone only)

By Under Armor. Shows mapped trails for where you are. Lets you track and record your hikes & data, including trails you have blazed yourself.

US Topo Maps Free

Works off your phone's GPS to display USGS topographical map for your current location. Track & record your hikes even if off-trail.

Compass Pro 360

Extremely precise compass. Backlit for night use. Simple to use. An indispensabile tool for hiking and camping.


Developed by MIT educational staff. Used by some parks for programs. Create your own outdoor games for children, such as nature scavenger hunts.

iNaturalist (Editor's Choice!)

Identify any organism. Identify/locate new organisms & record findings. Share information & data with other naturalists and professionals. Join research projects or start new ones. Most widely used nature phone app.

HuntFish OH

Order licenses & boat registrations. Make camping reservations. •Submit game checks. Find the best birding destinations. Review detailed maps of fishing and hunting areas including boat launches, parking areas & more. Access state regulations. 

Offline Survival Manual

Copy of official US Army survival manual. All inclusive. Works offline- always available. Learn survival and general outdoor skills.


Record geological observations. ID fossils, geological units & time intervals. Photo-capture and rate geological features. Search paleobiology data. Works offline.

Cicada Safari

Learn about periodical 17 & 13 year cicada emergences & activity. Help scientists track this year's massive Brood X emergence in Ohio by recording your sightings this May and June through in-app photos.

Third Service

Click here and start typing. Quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit.

Resources from March 3, 2021 Beginning Bird Photography Online Program by Christie Holmes: click the box below to download. Click on the links in the document within.

Below are links from the July 15, 2021 presentation on the Mysteries of Plants:

Below is an interesting link from the April 8, 2021 presentation on the Brood X Cicada emergence:


Everything Camping

Here is a list of free or very low cost camping websites to search:

Free Camping Info Websites: (requires a $50 membership, for self-contained RVs only)
Free Roam and Overnight Parking Finder App

Camping for Beginners-helpful websites and checklists:

Helpful Websites:
Beginner camping hacks:
First Time Camper:

Where To Camp:
Yurt Rentals in Ohio:
Ohio Parks:

Campsites list:
Government Campsites and Reservations: - great unusual places! - includes many small private areas for unique experiences

View individual campsites within many parks:
Camping checklists:
Checklist for first weekend of camping:

Paleo Camping recipes:

YouTube video links from 1/6/21 program on Ohio Fossils

Finding fossils in Ohio:

Ohio Rocks-Trilobite Fossils:

SciShow-Ceasar Creek Fossil Beds

Fossil Beds in Southern Ohio:

Links From February 3, 2022 Mammals Program




Resources from 2/17/2022 Home Stewardship Program

•Composting at Home OSU Extension Fact Sheet: 

 •Backyard Enhancement for Wildlife OSU Extension Fact Sheet: 

•Recipes for a Healthy Home-Environmentally safe cleaning 

•Living Green University of Florida Extension 

•Native Landscaping for Birds, Bees Butterflies and Other Wildlife 

•The Land Stewardship Resource Centre


Professor Doug Tallamy:

 •Purchasing Native Plants, seed exchanges •His Tending 

YouTube discussion on planting native plants: 

Seed Exchanges & Native Plant Sources:



• 11 



•Free milkweed seeds with SASE or minimal contribution-$1 

Columbus & Dublin City Parks Information

Dublin River Box Art Project: 

Trails around Columbus:

Alum Creek Trail-22 miles 

Blacklick Creek Greenway Trail - 17 miles 

Big Walnut - 10 miles 

Scioto Greenways Trail- 10 miles 

Camp Chase Trail 

Olentangy Trail -14 miles 

Darby Creek Trail - 8 miles 

Genoa Township Trail - 4 miles

GreenSpot eNewsletter

GreenSpot eNewsletter - February 2022

These young people are saying we all have a right to know what is in the air we breathe, in the water we drink, and the food we eat. It is our responsibility to leave this planet cleaner and greener. That must be our legacy.
- John Lewis, former Congressmember

Topics in this edition include:

  • GreenSpotLight Awards Celebration-save the date
  • GreenSpot Conversations webinar series-biking around Cbus
  • Member benefit: Tour a vernal pool with an expert
  • Member benefit: virtual tour of the landfill
  • Earth Day 2022
  • Conservation Mini-Grant program
  • Save the Date! Simply Living Earth Month EcoChallenge
  • Reducing plastic in the bathroom
  • Recycling updated
  • GreenSpot appearance
  • Your GreenSpot eDashboard
  • GreenSpot social media
  • GreenSpot Advisory Board

GreenSpotLight Awards Celebration-save the date

Currently we are reviewing the GreenSpot business members' annual reports to see who will win a GreenSpotLight award. This year the virtual awards celebration will take place on Friday, March 25th from 2:30pm-4pm and be a mixture of pre-recorded messages and live discussions. For more information check out our Facebook event page. Closer to the date more information will be emailed.

GreenSpot Conversations webinar series-biking around Cbus

Columbus has many trails and dedicated bike lanes to get around the city. How can you safely navigate the trails and streets? What to look for when buying a bike? What if you can't afford a bike? Learn the answers to these questions and more as we talk with Erin Sync with Yay Bikes!, Chet Ridenour with CoGo Bike Share, and Scott Ulrich with Columbus Public Health.

When: Wednesday, November 10th
Time: 1-1:45pm
Register: email with "bike" in the subject line.

If you missed any of the past GreenSpot Conversations you can catch them on the GreenSpot website.

Is there a sustainable/environmental topic or issue you would like to see on GreenSpot Conversations? Let us know; email with "topic" in the subject line.

Member benefit: Tour a vernal pool with an expert

It is that time of year where the doldrums of winter are fading and spring rains melt the snow and fill up those temporary wetlands called "vernal pools." GreenSpot will be leading FOUR tours of vernal pools this year:

  • Saturday, February 26th from 9:30am-10:30am
  • Saturday, March 26th from 1-2:00 pm,
  • Saturday, April 30th 1pm-2:00pm, and
  • Saturday, May 14th 1pm-2:30pm* (more of a hike to the pools)

You'll learn and see what dwells in these temporary pools, their importance to the watershed and clean water, and have a fun time in nature! Three of the tours will take place at a vernal pool in northeast Columbus. This pool is owned by Columbus Recreation and Parks, accessed only by permit. The first tour (February 26th) will take place at Coyote Run near Pickerington.

RSVP required; email with the subject line "Vernal Pool" and let us know which date you are rsvp'ing for. Space is very limited for each day, so first come, first served. This is for GreenSpot members ONLY. David Celebrezze, GreenSpot Coordinator and vernal pool expert, will lead three of the tours and David Hague will lead the Coyote Run vernal pool tour. Please note that the March, April, May visits have on-street parking and the vernal pool is at the bottom of a slight slope. There is no boardwalk or path. The Coyote Run vernal pools are back in wooded areas.

Member benefit: virtual tour of the landfill

Have you ever wondered what happens to your trash after it leaves your curb? SWACO and Columbus GreenSpot would like to invite you to join a virtual Landfill Tour on February 28th at noon to learn more about how we can all make a difference by reducing the amount of waste we send to our landfills. During the conversation, we will discuss how to reduce waste, the environmental benefits of recycling, how to recycle right, and the great feats of designing a modern-day sanitary landfill.

When: Monday, February 28th
Time: noon-12:45pm

Questions? Email Register here.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Earth Day 2022

Earth Day 2022 is rapidly approaching! Green Columbus invites you to celebrate Earth Month with volunteer events starting April 1st and ending with our 15th Annual Earth Day Columbus Celebration on April 23rd. Service sites will include projects like tree plantings, litter clean-ups, community garden plantings, and more. Interested in hosting a service site? Check out the Green Columbus Earth Day GivePulse page and submit your event.

Conservation Mini-Grant program

Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District's annual Conservation Mini-Grant program continues in its ninth year by offering up to $2,000 to three organizations that demonstrate the need and ability to carry out on-the-ground conservation projects.

All local conservation projects within Franklin County, Ohio will be considered and encouraged. Franklin Soil and Water's 2022 preferred projects are those directly benefitting underserved communities.

Save the Date! Simply Living Earth Month EcoChallenge

This April 1-30, consider joining Simply Living to celebrate Earth Month with an EcoChallenge. We are building a team to participate in the national sustainability competition organized by Throughout the month, team members will commit to taking actions in areas such as electricity, food, transportation, industry, buildings, health, and more. Each action creates a measurable improvement to sustainability, and taking actions as a team multiplies our collective impact. Want to be the first to know when the Simply Living EcoChallenge team is ready to launch? Sign up for our weekly newsletter here.

Reducing plastic in the bathroom

Plastic is ubiquitous in our society. It is durable, easy to make, and is cheap. However, plastic leaves a trail of pollution and harms our environment. There are some steps you can take to limit the amount of plastic you use. Let's take a look at the bathroom. Below are some plastic alternatives:

• Soap. Is that bar of soap wrapped in plastic? If so, consider purchasing soap that is sold in a paper wrapper or cardboard or wrapped in nothing at all. Additionally, ditch the plastic soap dispenser and put out a bar of hand soap. Natural foods stores usually carry this type of soap. There are also many online vendors.
• Shampoo. There are shampoo bars you can use that will displace that plastic shampoo bottle.
• Mouthwash. Check with your dentist, but a simple solution of xylitol, water, and a couple drops of essential oil can do that trick. No more plastic mouthwash bottles to deal with.
• Dental floss. Skip the plastic and go for the compostable silk floss.
• Toothbrush. You can purchase a toothbrush with a bamboo handle or one that has replaceable heads. As much as a billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away each year.
• Shaving. Try a shaving bar instead of shaving cream that comes in a plastic tube or bottle and skip the plastic razors and try a safety razor instead.
• Toilet paper. Some toilet paper comes wrapped in plastic. Ditch it and go with TP that is wrapped in paper. Don't wipe out virgin forests.
• Deodorant. This is probably the most difficult. There are alternatives that come in tins, metal spray cans, or you can make your own (search the internet). Smell good for the environment :)
• Cleaning. To clean the toilet bowl the lazy person's way simply spray a mixture of water and vinegar around the bowl. Next, sprinkle baking soda around. Then spray more vinegar and dump 1 cup of vinegar in the bowl. Wait about five minutes and then scrub and flush.

Recycling updated

You may have heard the news, the Columbus residential recycling program now accepts cups made from plastic, paper, and aluminum. Some guidelines:

  • Plastic lids should be reattached to plastic cups for recycling.
  • Plastic lids from paper cups should be removed and discarded.
  • Straws and stoppers are not accepted.
  • Colored Solo brand cups are not accepted. These cups are made from polystyrene. We currently do not have a secure, long-term end-user for this material.
  • Solo, ceramic and glass cups are not accepted.
  • K-cups are not accepted.

GreenSpot appearance

GreenSpot Coordinator David Celebrezze will be a guest on Simply Living's March First Friday to talk about 2022 initiatives, actions you can take to reduce your carbon footprint, take questions, and banter back and forth with Keep Columbus Beautiful manager Aryeh Alex. More information here.

Your GreenSpot eDashboard

Each GreenSpot member has access to an electronic dashboard where they can check in on their commitments as well as enter data on other commitments. This is a great way to track success, print out and post for employees and customers to see, and celebrate your accomplishments. To log in, simply go to the MyGreenSpot page. If you need assistance please contact GreenSpot at

GreenSpot social media

Are you on social media? Let's be friends! GreenSpot posts (almost) daily on ways to go green, upcoming events, and fun facts about sustainability. We are on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (sorry no TikTok at this time).

GreenSpot Advisory Board

The GreenSpot Advisory Board (GSAB) had much success in 2021 despite the pandemic. They promoted Earth Day events, assisted with the GreenSpotLight Awards Celebration, planned 19 GreenSpot Conversations, assisted in a tree giveaway, reached out to minority youth, updated the New Homeowner Green Guide, and promoted the Plastic-Free July campaign.

We are proud of our board members. There are citizens as well as several organizations such as Grange Insurance Audubon Center, The Ohio Nature Conservancy, Smart Columbus, OBLSK, MORPC, Green Columbus, Franklin County Public Health, Franklin Park Conservatory, Hikma, COSI, Councilmember Remy's office, Columbia Gas, Sierra Club Ohio Chapter, The Ohio State University, Huntington Bank, Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services, Sage Sustainable Electronics, Bronzeville Growers Market, OhioHealth, Ramboll, and several city departments.

Moving forward in 2022 the GSAB is looking at developing a community of climate leaders along with the Columbus Climate Action Plan, assist in efforts to reduce recyclables that go to the landfill, assist with increasing the tree canopy, updating the GreenSpot Sustainable Business course, highlighting ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) and B Corp designations, develop a "What is GreenSpot" video, student outreach, and increasing the benefits of membership.

GreenSpot is a program of the City of Columbus Department of Public Utilities. Stay connected through our website and social media.

Facebook: ColumbusGreenSpot

Twitter: GreenSpotCbus

Instagram: ColumbusGreenSpot

Links From The Adena & Hopewell Presentation of June 30, 2022
By Heironymous Rowe at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Further Reading From Christi's August 4, 2022 Presentation on Salt Mining in Ohio

George Bluejacket, "A Story of the Shawanoes," recorded at Wapaughkonnetta, Ohio (October 29, 1829); trans. and ed. John Allen Rayner (March 1886), via Kansas Memory,

Stephen Warren, The Worlds the Shawnees Made: Migration and Violence in Early America (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2014).

Harriette Simpson Arnow, Seedtime on the Cumberland: Life in the Cumberland River Region of Kentucky and Tennessee, 1780-1803 (New York, NY: Macmillan, 1960).

Eric J. Wallace, "Making Salt From an Ancient Ocean Trapped Below the Appalachians," Atlas Obscura, Jan. 8, 2018.

Honor Sachs, Home Rule: Households, Manhood, and National Expansion on the Eighteenth-Century Kentucky Frontier (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015), esp. ch. 2.

Ian W. Brown, Salt and the Eastern North American Indian: An Archaeological Study (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Peabody Museum, 1980).

Thomas D. Clark, "Salt, a Factor in the Settlement of Kentucky," Filson Historical Society Archives, May 3, 1937.

Paul N. Eubanks and Ian W. Brown, "Certain Trends in Eastern Woodlands Salt Production Technology," Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology 40, No. 3 (2015).

James L. Murphy, "Above the Salt: Test Excavations at the Scioto Saline, Jackson County, Ohio," Ohio Archaeologist 54, No. 2 (2004): 38-42

Stanley Hedeen, Big Bone Lick: The Cradle of American Paleontology (Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2008).

Kenneth B. Tankersley, Michael R. Waters, and Thomas W. Stafford Jr., "Clovis and the American Mastodon at Big Bone Lick, Kentucky," American Antiquity 74, No. 3 (2009): 558-67.

Walter Fewkes, John R. Swanton, and William Edward Myer, Forty-Second Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 1924-1925 (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1925).

John A. Jakle, "The American Bison and the Human Occupation of the Ohio Valley," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 112, No. 4 (1968): 299-305.

Susan Sleeper-Smith, Indigenous Prosperity and American Conquest: Indian Women of the Ohio River Valley, 1690-1792 (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2018).

Gwynn Henderson, "The Lower Shawnee Town on the Ohio: Sustaining Native Autonomy in an Indian 'Republic,'" in The Buzzel about Kentuck: Settling the Promise Land, ed. Craig Thompson Friend (Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1999), 25-55.

Gwynn Henderson, "Dispelling the Myth: Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Indian Life in Kentucky," Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 90, No. 1 (1992): 1-25.

James Duvall, ed., Early Documents relating to Mary Ingles and the Escape from Big Bone Lick, (Burlington, KY: Boone County Public Library, 2008).

John Mack Faragher, Daniel Boone: The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer (New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company, 1992).

H. Bogart, Daniel Boone and the Hunters of Kentucky (Philadelphia, PA: J. B. Lippincott and Co., 1881).

Isaac Lippincott, "The Early Salt Trade of the Ohio Valley," Journal of Political Economy 20, No. 10 (1912): 1029-52.

Robert E. McDowell, "Bullitt's Lick: The Related Saltworks and Settlement," Filson Club History Quarterly 30, No. 3 (1956).

John A. Jakle, "Salt on the Ohio Valley Frontier, 1770-1820," Annals of the Association of American Geographers 59 (Dec. 1969): 687-709.

Reuben Gold Thwaites, Early Wester Travels, 1748-1846, 5 vols. (Cleveland, OH: The A. H. Clark Company, 1904-1907).

Reuben Gold Thwaites and Louise Phelps Kellogg, eds., Documentary History of Dunmore's War, 1774 (Madison, WI: Democrat Printing Company, 1908).

Reuben Gold Thwaites and Louise Phelps Kellogg, eds., Frontier Defense on the Upper Ohio, 1777-1778, Draper Series vol. 3 (Madison, WI: Wisconsin Historical Society, 1912).

Richard Collins, Collins' Historical Sketches of Kentucky: History of Kentucky, ed. Lewis Collins, vol. 2 (Covington, KY: Collins & Co., 1874).

Rob Harper, Unsettling the West: Violence and State Building in the Ohio Valley (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018).

"Treaty of Fort Wayne," Kansas Kickapoo Tribe,

This article originally appeared in January 2022.

Annabel LaBrecque is a Ph.D. student in the Department of History at University of California, Berkeley. Her work explores interdisciplinary approaches to the significance of salt throughout North American history. She has previously published research on salt and power in the sixteenth-century Lower Mississippi Valley for the Scottish Centre for Global History.

Resources From Christie's July 28, 2022 Program on Mothing & Night Insects

Free Moths of Ohio Field Guide from ODNR to download:

The Nature Conservancy: Ohio Pollinators

Moth identification in Ohio

Butterflies and Moths of Ohio with sighting maps and photos

Sphinx Moths of Ohio - iNaturalist


Below is a link to the presentation slides from our February 20, 2023 program about RAPID5. The full program is availble on our YouTube channel.