Crawford Park District: Heckert Nature Preserve Wetland Creation

AERIAL DRONE SHOT TAKEN BY AARON AT HECKERT NATURE PRESERVE - CRAWFORD COUNTY PARK DISTRICT

The Crawford Park District received a grant through The Nature Conservancy to enhance a farm ditch (a recently daylighted drainage tile line), that is a tributary to the headwaters of the Olentangy River in Crawford County. MAD Scientist Associates designed a flow-through wetland system that would receive both surface runoff and farm tile drainage.

In MAD's design, surface runoff is guided through a series of wetland step-pools before reaching the lower emergent marsh pool and mixing with the tile drainage in the southern half of the original ditch. This design optimized the wetland area and water quality enhancement opportunities, while eliminating the need for costly hauling of soils for off-site disposal. The high quality vernal pools in Heckert Nature Preserve, downstream of this water quality wetland, should be better protected from excess nutrients and agricultural chemicals now that the drain tile no longer releases directly into the stream at the edge of the woods.   

We're hoping to see more progressive projects of this nature to combat nutrient runoff in the future. Thank you to the Crawford Park District for allowing us the creative license to create this unique wetland system. We hope it serves the watershed well!

Lost Creek Restoration Underway

MAD is working with Miami County Park District officials in restoring a field to forest. As part of a Clean Ohio grant project, 317 container trees were planted in what was previously a cattle pasture at the Lost Creek Reserve. This area will now connect two wood blocks and include pockets of wetlands.  We are looking forward to witnessing this site transition from a former pasture area to an oak-hickory savanna.  

Work will carry into 2016, when we plan to enhance sections of an existing wetland and prairie system. Approximately one-half acre of invasive species were treated in 2015 and were seeded with a native sedge meadow mix. Over 1,000 rooted plugs will be installed with the help of Miami County Volunteers next spring.