Looking ahead to 2023
Each year, I try to look ahead to the opportunities and challenges that appear to be on the horizon for Ohio’s electric cooperatives. While the topics I’ve highlighted have been important, my views on the future have been overwhelmed by events that “stole the show” in recent years. In 2020, COVID dominated our daily lives, but it was unheard of as I put together my list for that year.
Wild at heart
Aldo Leopold, the “Father of Wildlife Management,” described his classic book, A Sand County Almanac, like this: “There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot. These essays are the delights and dilemmas of one who cannot.”
To conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. - Mission statement of the Ohio Division of Wildlife
Located in southeastern Ohio in Hocking County, Hocking Hills is the Buckeye State’s most popular state park, visited by some 5 million people annually, and this past October, the brand-new, highly anticipated Hocking Hills State Park Lodge and Conference Center opened its
As expected, the lodge is gorgeous. Especially stunning is the view through the four-story picture windows of the main lobby. The open, timber-frame architecture incorporates the surrounding woods and natural landscape into a rustic yet state-of-the-art modern design. Overnight guests can choose from king beds, double queen beds, king and bunk beds, and queen and bunk beds. Two-room suites are also available. All rooms have a mini-refrigerator and microwave.
Getting an edge
Electric cooperatives often are destination workplaces within the communities they serve. Co-ops offer competitive pay, strong benefits packages, and a commitment to work-life balance.
Rise to the top
Matt Berry and Tim Street served similar roles at two Ohio distribution cooperatives in 2017 — Street was director of communications and member services at Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative in Kenton, while Berry was manager of community and customer relations at St. Marys-based Midwest Electric — when the statewide cooperative association initiated a leadership-training program called Leadership Edge for co-op employees around Ohio.
Worth the weight
For her 6th birthday, Cora Stover went to the Cincinnati Zoo’s Hippo Cove exhibit to visit Fiona, her favorite hippopotamus. Cora was born shortly before Fiona and has practically grown up with the remarkably charming and friendly hippo.
HENRY, FIONA’S FATHER
Friends Andy Lane and Doug Wharton offer tasty lessons and plenty of hands-on experience during unique “Pasture to Plate” workshops at rustic Hand Hewn Farm in rural Tuscarawas County.
The men, who began homesteading at the Fresno-area farm once owned by Lane’s grandmother in 2015, raise heritage hogs, chickens, and rabbits. They initially learned to butcher for their families’ consumption, relying on pointers from old-timers as well as detailed books on the subject.
“We learned through trial and error,” says Wharton, a former commercial contractor. “Now we focus on doing it right and demonstrating how to use each cut to its best purpose.”
Wonderlands of frozen, misty lakes and woods of snow-covered branches are reasons to head outdoors. Between state parks, Metroparks, KOA campgrounds, and more, there are several options for a tent or RV winter getaway.
Both Charles Mill and Pleasant Hill Lake, two district parks, have campgrounds with RV and tent sites with groomed trails that are perfect for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. To stay warm, “the key is staying dry,” says Andres. He recommends dressing in layers including polar fleece to combat the chill.