In March 1913, the Great Miami River flooded its banks, laid waste to the cities of Hamilton, Middletown, and Dayton, among others, killed hundreds, many of them never found, and left a sense of fear and mistrust towards the river that lasted for over a century and probably made it easier to turn away from the pollution of the river during the following decades. Though an important part of the community and a major employer, when Hamilton’s paper industry was at its peak, the river would often turn the color of the paper that was being produced that day. A large landfill covered the area from Knightsbridge to Joyce Park. A lot has changed, including attitudes towards the Great Miami River. There’s a
genuine sense of pride developing in Hamilton, long the butt of so many jokes. There is still a lot of work to do in the city, but there’s also a lot of good things happening, and many good people as well.
We’ll meet at Hamilton Riverside Natural Area (2451 Fairview Ave. Hamilton, OH 45015) at 8:00 a.m. From there, depending on the weather and river conditions, we’ll stop at a few sites in town that have become popular with local nature enthusiasts and photographers. For those interested, we’ll end our day round noon at True West Coffee on Main Street in Hamilton, where you can get lunch if you wish, or coffee. Or
both. Possibly, we’ll have some guest tour consultants. Regularly seen birds of late in this area include Peregrine Falcon, Merlin, Black-crowned Nightheron, and a number of waterfowl. This far out, it’s hard to predict what will happen given how quickly the river can change its mind and behavior. But at least we will have good coffee!
A note on directions: The parking lot for Riverside Natural Area is on Fairview Avenue, off of River Road. Be sure to check it out on google maps or some other site if you are unfamiliar
with the area. There is a construction project planned for River Road that is beginning in early January. Road closures are possible. I will post information about the road situation the week of the field trip. As I planned this trip, it was not clear how the construction would impact access to Riverside Natural Area, so look to the Bird Club’s facebook page or your email for updates. A birding map of the area will be supplied to participants. Those wishing to make a day trip might consider checking out Fernald or Hueston Woods following our trip. You’ll be
reasonably close to either site.
Click on link to display meeting place on google maps.