Kokosing River

  • Osprey Nest Platform

    Weighing approximately 3 to 4.5 pounds and having a 5 to 6-foot wingspan, an osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is a large bird of prey with a slender body and long wings. Ospreys are distinct from other birds of prey because of their diet of almost exclusively fish and their ability to dive into the water to catch fish.

    Ospreys are extremely widespread and can be found on every continent except Antarctica. Most ospreys that breed in North America migrate to Central and South America for the winter. In Ohio, ospreys can typically be seen from about March through September. During nesting season, ospreys utilize both salt and freshwater habitats and will nest anywhere they believe is a safe nesting location. Though ospreys like to nest on the top of tall trees, they commonly use osprey nest platforms such as the one seen in Ariel-Foundation Park. Ospreys build large nests made of sticks which are added to each year.

    The osprey nest platform at Ariel-Foundation Park was built by Mount Vernon Nazarene University student, Emily Smith. Materials for the platform were donated by her grandpa, Si Carmean, and the pole was donated and installed by AEP Mount Vernon. The osprey nest platform was installed on July 17, 2017.

    Site materials created by Emily Smith.

    osprey feeding

    Photo: Adult osprey feeding chick. Courtesy Dr. Dan Mosher.


    Photo:Emily Smith and her grandpa, Si Carmean, stand with the finished platform prior to it being installed at Ariel-Foundation Park.Courtesy Emily Smith.

    Building and coordinating the installation of the osprey nest platform at Ariel-Foundation Park was an awesome experience. I hope the platform will serve both ospreys and the Mount Vernon community for many years to come. –Emily Smith


    Osprey Facts

    Web Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BM1_OPkcpJA6s2LJduAmmJLgA3O1z0ui/view?usp=sharing

    DDT and the Introduction of Osprey Nest Platforms

    Web Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gp0YJXv5hzb9S_EdqhEdrPmQvyhtfZg2/view?usp=sharing

    About the Platform at Ariel-Foundation Park

    Web Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LpiyyvL-K3VlRG8acsJ3XTv6eonzp0I0/view?usp=sharing

    Ospreys Hunting

    Web Link: http://www.arkive.org/osprey/pandion-haliaetus/video-00.html

    Cornell Lab of Ornithology: Osprey

    Web Link: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Osprey/id


  • Why Mount Vernon?

    Although the park and its history as a glassmaking factory is significant, we have to wonder why its founders believed Mount Vernon to be uniquely important. In 1868, Peter Neff supervised the drilling of many natural gas wells near the county line of Coshocton and Knox, where the Kokosing and Mohican Rivers converge.  Gas companies soon flocked to the area, hoping to develop this abundance of natural gas. Emitting less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than traditional fuels such as coal and wood, natural gas served also as a cheap and consistent fuel for many activities, including the energy-intensive manufacture of glass. In addition to this plentiful resource, Knox County hosted an abundance of silica sand, an important component in glassmaking. Different from river sand found near the Kokosing, silica sand is harvested from local sandstone and contains fewer impurities, creating fewer defects in the glassmaking process.