Part of the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy, the Scheeff East Point Nature Preserve is an 8.8 acre parcel of land located on the east point of Put-in-Bay. This park is accessed easily with a Put-In-Bay Golf Cart Rental.
Scheeff East Point Preserve Details
One of the last remaining natural spots on the Lake Erie islands, this preserve offers spectacular views of Lake Erie and all the surrounding islands including Middle Bass and Ballast Islands. The rocky shores, upland coverage, and shallow water provide the perfect habitat for the threatened Lake Erie Watersnake, migratory birds, and waterfowl. Scores of shoreline plants also make their home here.
Name for Rose Scheeff who provided generous donations to the conservancy, Scheef also includes a walking path around the perimeter of the park. Parking is also available on site. Shoreline fishing, birdwatching, and kayak access are a few of the fun activities here.
The Put-in-Bay Township Park District owns the preserve after it was purchase by the Western Reserve Land Conservancy with assistance from the Lake Erie Islands Conversancy.
A Section 6 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Grant protects the habitat specifically for the water snake. Other important funds and donations come from Ohio Division of Wildlife, Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, the First Energy Foundation, the Sandusky Eagles Foundation as well as many other private donors including Mrs. Rose Scheeff.
The Lake Erie Watersnake
Removed from the list of federally endangered species in 2011, the watersnake is now listened as federally threatened. Lake Erie Islands Conservancy is dedicated to the preservation of this important animal.
Spotting a watersnake can be both thrilling and a little scary! It is best to leave the snake be. Although it is not poisonous, it is a curious creature and can become aggressive when attacked.
The snakes are uniform gray in pattern and can grow up to 1 ½ to 3 ½ feet in length. They love the cliff, ledges, and rocky shorelines of the islands. During the winter they hibernate underground.
Due to the invasion of goby in Lake Erie, their diet now consists almost entirely of goby. Gobies threatened other native fish in the lake so the watersnake plays an imperative role in helping eradicate this pesky creature.
Habitat loss and degradation are attributed to their decline as are simply being killed by humans. Through community involvement, a recovery plan, and extensive research, the Lake Erie Islands are enjoying a resurgence in the population of the watersnake. Keep in mind that roaming around the Lake Erie Islands and encountering any kind of wildlife (and especially the watersnake) means that you’re in their natural habitat, and therefore just a visitor. Such an experience is vastly different from enjoying the company of wildlife in more urbanized areas, such as the famous wild deer herds in the parks of Dublin that are fairly accustomed to the presence of humans. No matter what kind of animals you spot when you’re exploring an untamed area like Scheeff East Point, be mindful of your behavior and do your best not to jeopardize the well-being of the animals or your own safety.
The Lake Erie Islands Conservancy Properties
Besides Scheeff East Point Preserve, the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy maintains and protects several other parcels of land throughout South Bass and Middle Bass Islands. This include:
• Dodge Woods Preserve
• Jane Coates Wildflower Trial
• Massie Cliffside Preserve
• Petersen’s Woods
• Ladd Carr Wildlife Woods
Their efforts are paramount to the islands survival. As Put-in-Bay becomes more and more popular with tourist, preserving the natural wonder of the island is more crucial than ever. This island is so unique in its ecology. Its natural beauty is one of the reasons so many people fall in love with it at first sight.
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