All posts by Admin

Halloween Hike 2013

Story Witch

Maureen Schell told stories by the fire in the Catherine Fry Children’s Playscape

Over 1000 people visited Olander last night, dressed as witches, doctors, zombies, skeletons, you name it!  20 treat stations provided plenty of halloween loot, and everyone went home satisfied and tired, and likely a little chilly.  Thanks to all the volunteers who helped make this event a success!  We couldn’t do it without you!  See you next year!!

Restoration Experiment

Did you know that TOPS owns a 7-acre parcel where Herr Road crosses Ten Mile Creek?


Vernal Pool at TOPS Herr Road property

Currently, the Herr Road property contains floodplain forest, a vernal pool and some old turf areas. But the old turf area has stopped looking like a yard … over the past several years, some cool native plants started just growing up in the turf. We’re going to help that area change back into native wildlife habitat by removing the turf that’s left and helping native plants grow in its place.

We’re going to do a habitat restoration experiment there. We’re trying two methods of turf removal … scraping the turf off with a loader and spraying the turf with herbicide. Then, we’re going to sow native seeds in half of the scraped areas and half of the sprayed areas. In the other half of the scraped and sprayed areas, we’re going to see what plants grow up from the seed bank … like those natives that already grew through the turf all on their own.

2013-09-19 11.28.21

Scraping the turf off

2013-09-19 11.27.28

Wildlife at Southview Oak Savanna

We have been working hard at Southview Oak Savanna. TOPS own Conservation Crew has been spending a lot of time there, but so has another group from our collaborators Partners for Clean Streams. Here’s a Blade article you can read to learn more about Partners for Clean Stream’s Maumee Conservation Corps and what the Corps has been helping TOPS do out at the Savanna.

While working hard, we’ve been seeing lots of cool critters! Here are a couple:

Box Turtle

Box Turtle

2013-08-14 Ian with Snake

TOPS Conservation Crew member Ian Anderson and a Bull Snake

Bird Sighting at Sylvan Prairie Park

On Monday, May 13, around 8:30 am. 3 Sandhill Cranes were observed flying over the southern part of Sylvan Prairie Park. Later in the day, Ian a member of our conservation crew, heard the cranes while planting native wetland plants at the park. Very Exciting!

Trout Derby 2019

2019 Trout Derby Information

Join hundreds of other families from the community to try your hand at trout fishing at Olander Park on Saturday, April 27, 2019.  Registration is now available online. Register by April 7th to guarantee a free t-shirt at

Day Of Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Nederhouser Community Hall.  Drop your line in starting at 9 a.m. and enjoy the fun until 1 p.m.  Enjoy yummy food from Smashdawgz Food Truck! Entrance to the park is free to Sylvania residents and $5 per car for all others, the Fishing Derby is FREE!


Olander Bird Walk 4/20

This morning’s bird walk at Olander Park was fabulous! Lots of warblers sighted! The warblers were on the ground looking for insects instead of high up in the trees so viewing was easy. They were just feet away!

Magnolia Warbler

Magnolia warblers

Pine warblers

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

Tree Swallows

Barn Swallows

Yellow Shafted Flickers

Chipping Sparrow


Hooded Merganser

We caught sight of a female Hooded Merganser on Lake Olander today! We thought we saw two males with her, but by the time we got our spotting scope aimed in their direction, we only saw the female. We also had about 10 Pie-billed Grebes, 5 Ruddy Ducks, and many ever-present American Coots.Hooded Merganser

Bald Eagle at Olander

Many regular visitors to Olander Park have been treated to bald eagle sightings! We have had one eagle who comes to Olander regularly. We saw it often in the late fall and winter, but hadn’t seen it as much once early spring started. This week, though, we were lucky enough to see the eagle on two days! One day it put on quite a show, diving at American coots swimming on the lake. The eagle was trying to catch one of the coots, but they are quick diving water birds, and got away every time. The eagle made a few passes, though, and it was fun to watch!


TOPS has a blog!

sumac in winter

by Angie Cole

Are you interested in knowing what birds we’ve seen lately on Lake Olander? Or maybe you want updates on the restoration work we’re doing at Sylvan Prairie. Then you should check out this blog!  We’ll use this blog to share with you the work we do and the cool things we see when we’re out and about in our parks. You can contribute, too, by posting comments. Let us know what cool animals and plants you see in our parks!

Check here regularly or subscribe to the feed so you won’t miss any of the action!