As a part of Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio initiative, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) today broke ground on the Spring Run Conservation Area Wetland Restoration in Montgomery County. Construction on this site marks one of the first H2Ohio wetland projects in the Ohio River Basin to get underway.
“We are excited to see the H2Ohio initiative expand beyond Lake Erie and into the Ohio River Basin,” Gov. DeWine said. “These projects bring long-lasting solutions to water problems that can be found all over Ohio. With more projects like this, we are working toward cleaner water for more families in this great state.”
This 57-acre project is within the Wolf Creek Watershed, one of the five rivers that make up Montgomery County. The grant will help to create 13 wetlands onsite to help with stormwater erosion along the Wolf Creek as it heads downtown to meet with the Great Miami River. The restoration will reduce sediments, assimilate nutrients, moderate surface water flow, and expand wildlife habitat in the project site which is connected to Sycamore State Park.
“A project like this is exactly what ODNR’s H2Ohio program strives for,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “We are thrilled about the water quality benefits, as well as the positive impact on wildlife and inclusive recreational opportunities this new project will offer to those living in and others visiting southwest Ohio.”
Beyond its contribution to improving water quality for Ohio families, this area will provide accessible recreation for the people of southwest Ohio. The site, previously managed as a golf course, has old cart paths that will be repaved for visitors to use. Once complete, there will be approximately one mile of trails. The area will give people the opportunity to enjoy nature and will provide a prime spot for birding. Five Rivers MetroParks and citizen scientists have recorded 196 bird species on the site – representing about half of the total bird species in the state of Ohio.
“Spring Run Conservation Area has so much potential for the people, plants and animals that call this area home,” said Becky Benná, Chief Executive Officer of Five Rivers MetroParks. “The H2Ohio grant is a major step forward into enhancing this area and reestablishing wetlands, helping to slow stormwater runoff and purify rainwater as it infiltrates into the soil. This work will also improve the park, helping provide opportunities for those who live in Trotwood and the surrounding parts of western Montgomery County to have access to a healthy, outdoor lifestyle.”
The Spring Run Conservation Area Wetland Restoration project will be achieved through the Ohio River Basin Grant program. The program is a competitive, reimbursement grant program that provides up-to-100 percent project funding for high quality wetlands-focused projects to address nutrient loading and contribute to water quality improvement.
This project is one of more than 110 H2Ohio wetland projects now underway or complete by ODNR. The project is expected to be complete in November of 2023.
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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