Just north of the Toledo Express Airport lies Northwest Ohio’s biggest wet prairie restoration project to date. The goal is to have 280 acres of critical wetland and upland prairie restored through this project. In tandem with restoring this landscape for sandhill crane populations and other wildlife, this project aims to provide flood retention, groundwater recharge, and nutrient storage. In attaining these goals, the project will contribute to reducing Beneficial Use Impairment 14b – Loss of Wildlife Habitat.
The Nature Conservancy partnered with Bowling Green State University (BGSU), the University of Toledo, Metroparks of the Toledo Area, and MAD Scientist Associates, LLC., to evaluate the site in preparation for restoration, including things like the hydrology, topography of the landscape, soils, flora, and fauna. Due to its past agricultural land-use, the tract had been extensively tiled. With the help of Dr. Kennedy Doro, they used ground-penetrating radar to locate the agricultural drainage tile.
Specific restoration objectives include:
- Remove over 30 miles of agriculture drainage tile
- Restore 900-acre-feet additional stormwater storage
- Plant 7,000 native trees
- Seed over 200 native species of plants
- Scrape over 50 acres to enhance shallow depressions for aquatic species and emergent vegetation and restore dunes