MAD-designed wetland project receives high marks from Ohio EPA

Having been tasked with an evaluation of State-funded wetland projects, Ohio EPA Wetland Ecologist Brian Gara visited the Highlands Wetland Expansion and Enhancement site this past summer.  His report on the vegetation quality of wetlands created, restored or enhanced using grants under Section 319, the Surface Water Improvement Fund (SWIF) or the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) identified the Highlands wetlands as having the highest Vegetative Index of Biotic Integrity - Floristic Quality (VIBI-FQ) score of the six sites evaluated, ranking the site as a high Category 2 wetland.  The report states: "The VIBI-FQ score of 41 is very high for a wetland so early in the successional sequence," concluding that "[b]ased strictly on this assessment, the Highland Park wetland should be considered very successful."  Another MAD project, the Reynoldsburg City Schools Summit Road wetlands was ranked as a low Category 2, a respectable result for this high-traffic educational resource for the school campus.