Donald Walker, Ph.D., will discuss the use of mushrooms in filtering wastewater runoff at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 14, during an open house at the Rieck Center for Habitat Studies. The open house begins at 1 p.m.; refreshments are provided. At 2:30 p.m., a tour of a mycoremediation area will be offered.
Visitors are welcome to stay and enjoy exploring the property. There is no charge to attend.
Walker, an assistant professor of biology at The University of Findlay, set up the mycoremediation site and is using it as an educational tool for his students.
According to Walker, mycoremediation is the use of gourmet, edible mushrooms (or native mycoflora) to remediate a waste site. Agricultural fertilizers can accumulate in surface water runoff and enter into fragile aquatic ecosystems. The agricultural fields bordering a pond at the Rieck Center offer a unique opportunity to test the effectiveness of a mycofiltration unit composed of burlap sacks inoculated with oyster mushrooms. This process will not only remediate the wastewater, but also produce gourmet, edible oyster mushrooms during the fall.
The public is invited to discover what the Rieck Center for Habitat Studies has to offer and consider an individual or family membership. Annual memberships are $20/family and $15/individual.
A gift to the Humane Society of Hancock County by Ann Reick in 1972, The University of Findlay leased the property after the Humane Society moved to its current facility on S.R. 12 in the early 1990s and took over operations of the site in 2008.
The site is approximately 50 acres of diverse habitat that supports outdoor activities including hiking, bird watching and fishing. A building with a bird viewing room also is located at the center and accessible to members.
The Rieck Center for Habitat Studies is located about three miles from Findlay at 17311 T.R. 166, Mt. Blanchard. (Follow Route 37 toward Mt. Blanchard and turn left on T.R. 166.) For more information, contact Dwight Moody at 419-423-0128.