Sandhill Crane Wetlands

Project – Sandhill Crane Wetlands

Project Location

The project is located north of the Toledo Airport adjacent to Kitty Todd Nature Preserve on Angola Road and Raab Road. The project site includes 280 acres of land that was previously drained and farmed. The project site is strategically located as it links a 13,000-acre corridor of protected land in the Oak Opening region.

Project Benefits

This project increases the extent of the rarest of habitats in the Oak Openings region, the wet prairie. The historic Irwin wet prairie, which encompassed Sandhill Crane Wetlands, covered approximately 27% of the Oak Openings Region, but now has been fragmented and reduced to .1%. This tract has been drained for decades to facilitate farming. This restoration project ultimately aims to:

• Reestablish critical wet and upland prairie.
• Provide habitat for wildlife.
• Provide rainfall storage.

Project Objectives

• Convert 280 acres of agricultural land to natural habitat.
• Offer flood retention, groundwater recharge, and nutrient storage.
• Restore heterogeneity of the topography.
• Restore hydrology to benefit wildlife.

Management Practices

• Remove over 30 miles of agriculture drainage tile.
• Plant 7,000 native trees.
• Seed over 200 native species of grasses and forbs.
• Scrape over 50 acres to enhance shallow depressions for aquatic species and emergent vegetation.

Two people walk through the Sandhill Crane Wetlands area. Credit Mad Scientists Associates, LLC.

Project Links

• Project Rack Card: Sandhill Crane Wetlands
• Data Management and Delisting System Entry: Kitty Todd Expansion: Sandhill Crane Wetlands Restoration Project
• From The Nature Conservancy: Places We Protect: Kitty Todd Sandhill Crane Wetlands
• From The Nature Conservancy: Virtual Site Tour of Pre-Construction Conditions

Project Partners

This project is led by The Nature Conservancy, and further benefits from partnerships with Bowling Green State University, University of Toledo, and Metroparks Toledo with financial support provided through the Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. 

The Nature Conservancy Ohio Logo

Photo credits:
Banner image: Angela Burke, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Ohio
Sandhill Crane Wetlands flooded pool photo: Angela Burke, TNC Ohio
Two people walking through the wetlands photo: Mad Scientists Associates, LLC
Dry fields at project site photo: Partners for Clean Streams