On Saturday, Sept. 11, dozens of Ohio amateur radio clubs and individuals will head to a nearby Ohio State Park to participate in the annual Ohio State Parks on the Air operating event.

This event sponsored by the Portage Amateur Radio Club not only calls attention to Ohio’s great state park system, but most importantly serves as a training tool used by ham radio operators to prepare them for responding to calls from national, state or local government or other public officials or agencies that their communications assistance and expertise is needed. During the event hams will go to various state parks, erect temporary antennas and stations and communicate with similar stations operating from other Ohio State Parks.

Additionally, they will make contact with other hams throughout the world who are trying to work parks throughout the world involved with the International Parks on the Air Program sponsored by Europe’s World Wide Flora and Fauna Organization. Currently, over 50 parks in the Ohio State Park system will be represented in the event.

Locally, Highland County’s Highland Amateur Radio Association will operate stations at Paint Creek and Rocky Fork.

According to Club President Pat Hagen, the station at Paint Creek will be located in the campground and the Rocky Fork station will operate either from the old concession stand at Fisherman’s Wharf or from the campgrounds. Additionally HARA member and Ohio University student Blake Gall will set up a station at nearby Lake Hope and a team of HARA members will operate as a "rover."

That team will set up in one park, operate for a time and then tear down only to move to another park where they will again set up, operate, tear down before moving to another park where the procedure will be repeated.

During the eight-hour event, they hope to activate five state parks in the Southern Ohio/Hocking Hills and Rocky Fork park clusters. Another Highland County ham team is expected to operate from Pike Lake.

Hagen invites anyone interested in this activity or learning more about ham radio to visit either the Paint Creek and/or Rocky Fork location to learn more and view ham radio in operation. He says the equipment and antennas used will be of different designs at each location.

The Highland Amateur Radio Association is a nationally recognized club of over 140 federally licensed amateur radio operators and others with an interest in electronics and radio communications living mostly within Highland County.

Membership is open to anyone with a ham radio license or an interest in electronics or radio communications. Information about the club can be found at www.facebook.com/highlandk8ho, highlandara@gmail.com or by contacting HARA Information Officer John Levo at (937) 393-4951.