The project is located in Northwest Ohio, within the Maumee State Forest (managed by the ODNR Division of Forestry) and approximately 20 miles southwest of Toledo. The project site includes 113 acres, in which 75 acres was previously drained/farmed land and 38 acres is existing woodland.
Historically, habitat in this area of Ohio was largely oak-dominated woodlands and savannas unique to Northwest Ohio. These habitat types are a part of a globally rare ecosystem known as the “Oak Openings.” Human activities over the last few centuries, including significant impacts from agricultural uses, have dramatically altered this landscape. This restoration project is needed to help:
• Re-establish Oak Openings habitat (and associated trees/vegetation).
• Provide quality habitat for a variety of migratory and resident wildlife.
• Return 113 acres of agricultural land to native woodland, wetland, and prairie habitat to address BUI 14a, Loss of Wildlife Habitat, in the Maumee Area of Concern.
• Implement invasive species control practices in these acres to ensure quality habitat for native species of plants and wildlife.
• To restore a more natural hydrology to the area, drainage tiles were broken and/or plugged in strategic locations, while making sure that these corrections did not result in the flooding of adjacent property and roads.
• To recreate areas of native wetland habitat, areas of soil were scraped (i.e., wetland scrapes) using bull dozers and front end loaders.
• Herbicide treatments were conducted to remove invasive vegetation in preparation for native tree plantings and seed dispersal.
• Upland areas of the site were planted with 9,000 trees, while appropriate seed mixes (grasses and forbs) were distributed in the wet and dry prairie areas.
This project was a collaborative effort between the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry, and The Nature Conservancy, with financial support provided by the U.S. EPA and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
Banner image: Ohio EPA
Pool photo and planted trees photo: Ohio EPA
Work on utility vehicle photo: ODNR