PIERPONT TOWNSHIP — On the heels of being named the Ohio Tree Farm of the Year, the Mechling family is gearing up to host a large event on their 365-acre farm.

Paul and Joanne Mechling were named the 2019 Ohio Tree Farm of the Year by the Ohio Forestry Association and the Ohio Tree Farm Committee. On Sept. 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. their Snowy Oak Tree Farm will be open to the public for tours and a variety of educational activities.

The farm, which boasts more than 144,000 trees representing 21 species, a variety of wildlife, eight miles of trails to explore, views of forest management, 12 acres of wetlands, warm season grasses and pollinator habitats.

There will also be demonstrations on maple syrup tapping and production, bridge construction, drone demonstrations, walking tours with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, activities for children, invasive plant control seminars and a variety of conservation displays.

Trees on the land include species of oak, cherry, pecan, poplar, walnut, hemlock, spruce, pine and cypress.

“This is a big educational event for landowners to learn about forestry and conservation opportunities on their properties,” Paul said.

The Mechlings are no strangers to recognition for their forestry and conservation efforts. In 2018 they were named an Ohio Outstanding Conservation Farm Families by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. In 2016 Paul, a retired veterinarian and a member of the Ohio Forestry Advisory Council and the Ohio Wildlife Council, was inducted into the state’s Forest of Honor.

The couple expects at least several hundred people to attend the event, which will include visits by a variety of state officials. The last event that was held on the farm was an event in 2007 that was not advertised where about 100 people toured the farm.

This time the event, which is open to the public, is expected to draw many more.

“There could be 200, 400 or 600 people,” Joanne said.

The event will occur rain or shine and people should bring proper footwear and attire for hiking and outdoor activities.

People interested in attending should park at the Pierpont Township Fire Hall, 6006 Marcy Road, and a shuttle service will be provided to the farm. RSVP’s are appreciated and can be made at ohiotreefarm2019@gmail.com.

For more information call 614-309-6096.