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ODNR breaks ground on wetlands restoration connected to Sycamore State Park

Posted on August 29, 2022

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources broke ground Friday on the Spring Run Conservation Area Wetland Restoration project, which will restore 22 total acres of wetlands inside a 57-acre area connected to Sycamore State Park.

By restoring the wetlands, which are in the Wolf Creek watershed, the project hopes to improve water quality by reducing sediment and absorbing nutrients, expand wildlife habitat and prevent erosion from stormwater runoff as Wolf Creek meets the Great Miami River near downtown Dayton.

The project is part of the ODNR’s H2Ohio program, which was created by Gov. Mike DeWine in 2019 to combat algal blooms, improve water quality and improve water infrastructure. The ODNR said the project could be achieved due to funds from the Ohio River Basin Grant program, which provides money for wetlands projects.

The land to be restored was previously a golf course, and the ODNR said that the existing golf cart paths will be repaved for visitors to use, ultimately creating about a mile of trails.

Once complete, the Spring Run Conservation Area will give a prime location for birdwatching, according to citizen scientists and the Five Rivers MetroParks, who recorded 196 species of birds at the site, or about half the total species of bird in Ohio.

In a release, DeWine said, “We are excited to see the H2Ohio initiative expand beyond Lake Erie and into the Ohio River Basin. These projects bring long-lasting solutions to water problems that can be found all over Ohio.”

Also in the release, ODNR Director Mary Mertz said, “A project like this is exactly what ODNR’s H2Ohio program strives for. 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.”

The ODNR said the project is expected to be complete in November 2023.

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