ODNR Celebrates New H2Ohio Project in Medina County

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and Medina County Parks today celebrated the completion of the new Litchfield Wetland Restoration Project.

The project, which is part of Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio Initiative, transformed a formerly farmed land into 80 acres of wetland. The wetland will filter out the nutrients that cause algal blooms before they flow into the Black River in Medina County.

“Ensuring Ohio’s waters are clean and safe is among our top priorities, and the creation of these wetlands plays a huge role in achieving that goal,” Gov. DeWine said. “A healthier Black River means a healthier Lake Erie.”

ODNR Director Mary Mertz at the ribbon cutting for the new Litchfield Wetland
The new wetland also features an ADA-accessible trail that runs 1.7 miles as well as a 200-foot-long boardwalk.

“This area will not only help in the fight for cleaner water, but it also offers a place for people to take a stroll, spot some birds, and enjoy the great outdoors,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “This wetland is a gem for the community and provides another accessible path through Ohio’s natural wonders.”

The wetland is located along the East Branch of the Black River, which is 45 miles long and ultimately empties into the Lake Erie central basin.

 Litchfield Wetland in Medina County.
ODNR awarded $900,000 to the Medina County Park District as part of the H2Ohio Initiative to restore the site. The park district then budgeted $300,000 in capital improvement funds to work on public access amenities.

“This project was possible because of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the H2Ohio program,” MCPD Director Nathan Eppink said. “We’re excited to unveil this new area that will benefit the community and wildlife.”


Litchfield Wetland in Medina County.
Governor Mike 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 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initiative focuses on encouraging agricultural best management practices, restoring and enhancing wetlands, upgrading outdated water infrastructure, and replacing lead pipes.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.