RICHFIELD, Ohio — The entrance of Richfield Heritage Nature Preserve is guarded by a totem from our recent past.

WKYC

"It's just beautiful. It's full of magic and mystery and adventure," says Judy Soroczak of the Richfield Joint Recreation District.

And history. This is the former Camp Crowell-Hilaka Girl Scout Camp, but there's more.

"Which history do you want? Do you want the early settlers, the cowboys and indians? Do you want the Girl Scouts, or do you want the new Richfield history," asks Soroczak.

How about pre-history?

A team of researchers from Cleveland State is on a mission and are looking way back. At least 13,000 years.

CSU archaeologist Phil Wanyerka and his team are surveying the park, one shovel-full at a time.

"We're putting in around 110 holes or so, shovel tests around this entire area and we'll have a very good idea what's here and what's not here," Wanyerka tells us.

The survey could be the start of something much bigger for the preserve.

"This place really hasn't been studied much so I'm hoping that our work opens up other scientific endeavors for other groups to come out here and explore," says Wanyerka. "This place is a gem."

The CSU Archaeology team are working under an agreement with the park. Digging for artifacts in the park by visitors is strictly prohibited. To learn more about the preserve’s history, check out the Friends of Crowell / Hilaka website.