Sandhill Crane Wetlands: 280 acres of former farmland restored to critical wet and upland prairie providing hydrologic benefits to wildlife habitats and rainfall storage.
The project is located north of the Toledo Airport adjacent to Kitty Todd Nature Preserve on Angola Road and Raab. 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.
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
- 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
- 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
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.