Wetlands Management

Wetlands are very productive ecosystems that are home to a wide variety of plants and animals.

Unfortunately, more than 90 percent of Ohio wetlands have been drained or filled for development and farming practices.

Because of these factors, high priority is given to preserving remaining wetlands and restoring lost wetlands within the parks.

Preserving our remaining wetlands consists of making sure these areas are protected from further development and removing invasive species as they occur.

Invasive species that threaten wetlands in our area include narrow-leaved cattail, Eurasian water-milfoil, purple loosestrife, and glossy buckthorn.

wetlands1

Vernal pools are a special type of wetland found within some of our parks. They are defined as shallow depressions that hold water for at least part of the year. Vernal pools are usually forested, do not contain fish, and tend to dry up in the summer months.

Frogs, salamanders, fairy shrimp, and many other species depend on the seasonal flooding of vernal pools to reproduce and carry out life cycles.

Many of these areas remain intact today because they were deemed too wet to farm or develop in the past.

wetlands2 Each year volunteers and staff survey amphibian populations at these pools. During the first few warm wet nights of spring many species of salamanders and frogs congregate to reproduce at these pools, often in surprising numbers.

One-way mesh traps are placed near the pools and checked each morning so that species found can be recorded and released.