Project In Process
This project included the acquisition and restoration of land previously used for soybean farming in the southwest corner of Medina County, Ohio.
West Creek Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy pooled their collective resources and seized an opportunity to acquire this important 76-acre agricultural parcel. Restoring and preserving this property is intended to improve habitat diversity and water quality in the Black River watershed, and to also connect the Medina County Park District’s East Fork Nature Preserve to the Black River Nature Preserve, Bluebell Valley, and Hidden Hollow Camp parklands.
Located in the Village of Lodi, this project aims to undo changes to the environment done by antiquated agricultural practices. The natural flow of water has been highly modified by the straightening of streams and extensive drain tiling, historically used to drain flat topography such as this site. Streams in this area drain directly into the Black River and then into the central Lake Erie Basin and are highly impacted by nutrient inputs from agricultural land use.
The project is a collaboration between Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio Program, as administered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Medina County Economic Development, West Creek Conservancy & The Nature Conservancy.
Expected Outcomes and Benefits
The scope of this project included restoring natural flow to two tributaries of the East Fork Black River and re-establish a diversity of native vegetation to the riparian corridor surrounding these restored streams. Invasive species, such as the glossy buckthorn and reed canary grass, will be treated and a high diversity of native plant species will be planted throughout the property. Existing degraded wetland areas will be rehabilitated and former wetland areas in the agriculture fields, which have partially hydric soil with an active subsurface drainage system, will be re-established through disruption of drain tiles and subtle contouring of the soils of the row cropped areas.
This work rehabilitated the degraded wetlands, former wetlands, and establish a riparian corridor that will improve water quality on-site and downstream by reducing the influx of fertilizers, pesticides, and sediment from entering the streams. It will inherently also reduce the volume and velocity of flow following storm events.
Overall, this project will restore over 20 acres of wetland, reforest 50 acres of upland buffer and restore over ¼ mile of stream.