A formalized prescribed burn agreement has been written for the Wood County Park District.

At the August meeting, the park commissioners authorized Director Chris Smalley to enter into an agreement for a memorandum of understanding regarding prescribed fire management between the Wood County Park District and the City of Bowling Green.

A prescribed fire is defined by the MOU as both “any fire ignited by management actions to meet specific objectives as governed by Ohio Revised Code Section 1503.18(C) and any escaped prescribed fire that is burning on lands under the management authority.”

The MOU covers all the management issues, such as preparation and review of the site, provision of personnel and equipment.

“It’s been very informal in the past, this is just a means to formalize that for both parties,” Smalley said.

The MOU authorization is subject to final review by both attorneys for parties as well as liability and hazard insurance carriers.

The Heritage Farm Fest was announced for Oct. 1 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Carter Historic Farm. It will include a scarecrow contest, a doughnut-eating contest, farming demos, 1930s games, wagon rides, blacksmithing, bowling, cider-pressing, history talks, tours and live music. The event is free and open to the public.

The Friends of the Wood County Parks is going to be offering $200 in prizes for the Heritage Farm Fest scarecrow contest. Board member Dennis Parish volunteered to donate the prize money.

At the request of Parish, Andrew Kalmar, assistant director, provided additional information to board members regarding the status of several ongoing issues.

He reviewed the floor beams in the basement of the Otsego Stone Hall with a structural engineer. Repairs will be required, but it is not a structural problem and appears to be a water infiltration issue.

Kalmar said that the gutters were stuffed full and seepage along the walls likely resulted.

He is also working on a plan for the installation of approximately 400 fence posts with Carter Historic Farm staff. The project is not expected to start for several months, as Kalmar has yet to locate a company to auger the holes.

Jim Witter, park district program coordinator, presented the board with the new Portage River Water Trail Map and Guide booklet.

“The whole goal of it, like our park mission, is to connect people to natural resources,” Witter said.

The Portage River is 42 miles long and extends from Wood County to where it drains into Lake Erie. The beginning of the water trail access is at the 36 mile-marker, in Wood County at William Henry Harrison Park. The map shows 12 access points and notes features such as parking, restrooms, drinking water access and distance from watercraft drop-off to the water’s edge.

Buttonwood Park is still currently closed, but that won’t stop the Catfishing Contest on Sept. 2 from 7-9 p.m.

Reservations close on Aug. 31. There are currently 17 spots reserved with three reservations remaining. There is a waiting list for once the reservations are full. Sign up on through the Programs tab at the top of the website.

“The bait people bring is always a subject of conversation. Many are fond of hot dogs,” Witter said. “People really enjoy the catfishing event, but even if they don’t catch anything they also enjoy just being close to the water and watching the birds, like the different herons.”

Access to the river from Hull Prairie Road.