Land acquired through partnership between ODNR and Medina County Park District.
As part of Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio initiative, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the Medina County Park District (MCPD) are announcing their third collaborative wetland project. The 173-acre land acquisition made through an H2Ohio grant will be the site of the new Little Killbuck Creek Wetlands project.
“This is the latest example of how the H2Ohio initiative continues to expand and grow to serve the people of Ohio,” Gov. DeWine said. “All the work we’ve done and continue to do is to ensure that future generations have a clean, reliable water supply.”
At least 55 acres of wetland will be restored at the Little Killbuck Creek Wetlands site. The project will provide tremendous nutrient reduction and water quality improvements and would enable the closure of a major point of weakness between the Mississippi Rivers Basin and the Great Lakes.
“We are really excited to add to the growing list of H2Ohio wetlands and share the benefits of these projects with everyone in Ohio,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “Each new project strengthens our efforts to ensure that communities in Ohio have safe, clean water.”
Nearly 70 percent of the property is located within the FEMA 100-year floodplain, an area that currently connects the Lake Erie Basin to the Ohio River Basin and poses a risk for the movement of aquatic invasive species. MCPD will work with the ODNR Division of Wildlife to build an interceptor berm that will help prevent the passage of invasive carp species from entering the Great Lakes Basin through the flood zone of Little Killbuck Creek.
The area also has a diverse wildlife population. Seventy-four species of birds including the state endangered Northern Harrier and the state threatened Trumpeter Swan have been documented in nearby fields.
“We’re actively preserving what people love about Medina County,” director of Medina County Park District Nathan D. Eppink said. “The H2Ohio program has been a big part of our recent success, and we’re excited to bring this new property into the park district.”
MCPD received a $900,000 H2Ohio grant to purchase the latest property. The park district previously received a $1.52 million H2Ohio grant to restore three areas near Chippewa Lake, including the former Chippewa Lake Amusement Park and a $900,000 H2Ohio grant to restore 145 acres in Litchfield Township.
Governor DeWine created H2Ohio in 2019 as a comprehensive, data-driven approach to combatting algal blooms, enhancing water quality, and improving water infrastructure over the long term. H2Ohio was launched with support from the Ohio General Assembly, which invested in the program in Ohio’s two most recent operating budgets. H2Ohio operates in partnership between the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and the Ohio Lake Erie Commission. The initiative focuses on encouraging agricultural best management practices, restoring and enhancing wetlands, upgrading outdated water infrastructure, and replacing lead pipes. For more information on the H2Ohio initiative, please visit h2.ohio.gov.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.
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