ODNR naturalist helps trustees inventory preserves

posted Oct 12, 2009, 5:35 PM by James Abel   [ updated Jan 26, 2018, 11:54 AM ]

A naturalist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources conducted a May 15, 2010, walk-through inventory of flora and fauna at the three properties owned by the Genoa Township Land Conservation Association. Rick Gardner, a botanist with the National Heritage program of ODNR’s Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, was invited to lead the study by Grand Oak resident Jim Ankrom, a fellow ODNR employee. The Heritage program manages a comprehensive database, which is the list of all rare plants, animals and natural communities in Ohio.

Ankrom and GTLCA trustees Bob Scherman, Bob Blantz, Rich Spence and Jamie Abel accompanied Gardner on a three-hour visit to the preserves at the Grand Oak, Willow Bend and Covington Meadows subdivisions.

The inventory was an effort by the association trustees to further identify and preserve the wildlife on the land under their care and to educate the public about the character of the properties. The trustees, with the assistance of Genoa Township, recently erected signs at the entrances to the properties informing visitors of the parcels’ preservation status and basic rules to protect the wildlife.

Gardner noted that some biologists contend 100-10,000 acres of preserves are required to sustain an ecosystem, but that any substantial natural areas in an urban/suburban environment help to maintain native wildlife. It was noted that the extensive preserves surrounding nearby Alum Creek and Hoover Reservoirs further enrich the association’s properties.

Starting at the Grand Oak subdivision, the group walked property north of the homes, studying trees, bushes, wildflowers and herbs and identifying an occasional bird by its song. Gardner identified a couple of wildflowers that are not common to Delaware County. At Grand Oak, Gardner identified 43 specific species of plants, 16 species of trees and six bird species. He also pointed out several invasive species of plants at the property: Autumn Olive, Garlic Mustard, Japanese Honeysuckle and Multiflore Rose. Gardner suggested the association organize an effort to control the intruders.

The ODNR website explains that invasive plants:
  • Displace or crowd native plant species
Impact wildlife which rely on native plant communities for food, shelter and breeding habitat
  • Form monoculture plant communities which reduces biological diversity.

With less than an hour in his schedule to travel to and visit the other two properties, Gardner recognized nine plant species, eight tree species, two bird species and a woodchuck at Willow Bend, as well as five plant species, seven tree species and a bluebird at Covington Meadows. The invasive Garlic Mustard was among the plants identified at Willow Bend. Gardner, a resident of the City of Delaware, agreed to walk the properties again in the fall, and trustees plan to visit the parcels in reverse order.

Information on rare species of plants found in Delaware County and invasive plants in Ohio can be found at the following websites:

Rare Plant List for Delaware County

Ohio's Non-Native Invasive Plants

Ohio Invasive Plants Council (OIPC)

Delaware County Drainage Maintenance at Covington Meadows

posted Oct 12, 2009, 4:33 PM by James Abel   [ updated Jan 26, 2018, 11:25 AM ]

Delaware County is currently maintaining the drainage easements within the Covington Meadows Subdivision. For more information, see the Drainage Maintenance Program brochure.

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