Liberty Park covers a large area of connected lands in both Summit County and Portage County. (Connected parkland is a very good thing!) According to the Liberty Park website: “In 2014, Summit Metro Parks entered into an agreement with the Ohio State Parks to manage Tinkers Creek State Park and Tinkers Creek State Nature Preserve. The State properties are contiguous with Liberty Park’s Pond Brook Conservation Area.” But, this Hot Spot description will only include the areas of Liberty Park in Summit County. This description does not include Tinkers Creek State Park and Tinkers Creek State Nature Preserve in Portage County as they are separate eBird Hot Spots and have their own pages.
Liberty Park in Summit County includes three general areas where one can go birding: The Twinsburg Ledges Area, The Recreation Area, and The Pond Brook Conservation Area. The Ledges and Pond Brook areas each have a dedicated eBird hotspot, but the Recreation Area should just utilize the general Liberty Park eBird hotspot.
The Recreation Area section of the parkland at 9385 Liberty Road has a number of different areas to look for birds. The northernmost section is a small field next to a fenced-in dog run area. The field has some hanging plastic gourds set up for birds to use as nest spots. Purple Martins have been recorded in this area nesting in the gourds. Tree Swallows also use plastic nesting spots. The small field can have sparrows, goldfinch, towhees, and Indigo Buntings. Other birds can be seen and heard along the edge of the wooded areas like woodpeckers, Baltimore Orioles, and cardinals. Check for nesting Killdeer in the gravel parking area or in the grass nearby.
The Recreation Area (with restrooms and drinking fountains) has athletic fields, which can have some birds like Barn Swallows and Tree Swallows. Red-Winged Blackbirds, Eastern Meadowlarks, Killdeer, and Northern Flickers may be seen foraging in the grass.
There is a short trail through some woods near the athletic fields. The Sugarbush Trail (.6 miles) can have chickadees, titmice, woodpeckers, pewees, and other woodland birds.
There is a large area of managed fields set aside for birds south of the athletic fields. Meadowlarks and Bobolinks have been seen and heard here as well as Red-Winged Blackbirds and various sparrows. Bluebirds can be seen occupying the nesting boxes set up in various spots.
The land between the Ledges Area and the Recreation Area along Liberty Road is managed by the park, but it does not have any trails into the woods. There is a bridle trail running between the two areas on the east side of the road that can be walked to find birds. The walk is about a mile long and passes fields and edges of the forested areas.
As of summer of 2018, there is an error on Google maps. There is a marker for “Liberty Park” and large green area that appears to show park land between OH-91 and Liberty Road. Do not attempt to drive into the marked area off OH-91 as it is private land.
Long before Liberty Park was formed, humans in prehistory camped here, drank the clean, cold springs, and hunted game. Upon European settlement, trees were cleared for farming, but maples were spared for their sweet sap.
Today, the 1,908-acre Liberty Park is a unique partnership between the City of Twinsburg and the park district. The city manages the park’s 100-acre recreation area, including the playfields and playground. Metro Parks manages the remaining acreage, including three trails and the Pond Brook Conservation Area. Both areas are open from 6 a.m. to sunset.
Large trees exist on rock ledges and in wetlands within the conservation area, where fens and bogs are “protected” by poison sumac and swamp rose. Metro Parks has designated this a Low Impact Area, meaning mowing, trails, and other park improvements will be kept to a minimum. This protects the various species that live in the area’s wetlands and vernal pools.
Liberty Park harbors countless rare and endangered species, including Indiana bats, marsh wrens, ospreys, and bald eagles. Other creatures seen here include beavers, long-tailed weasels, dragonflies, butterflies, red-backed salamanders, wood frogs, and turtles. In July 2006, Audubon Ohio named Liberty Park an Important Bird Area.
Content from Official Website and Ken Andrews