Critical Wetlands Conserved Next to Gott Fen Nature Preserve
Conservation of 55 acres east of the existing Gott Fen State Nature Preserve will more than double protected fen and wetlands in the watershed, The Trust for Public Land, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, the Ohio EPA, and the City of Streetsboro announced today.
The Portage County property includes a half-mile of Tinker's Creek, which also borders the 44-acre Gott Fen State Nature Preserve to the west. Both include considerable Northern Boreal Fen, a unique and state-listed watershed habitat for threatened and endangered species. A priority for the City of Streetsboro, the City Council approved the City's acquisition of the property last November. The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national conservation organization, purchased the property, and worked with the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District to secure Ohio EPA funding for the $600,000 purchase. Ohio EPA funding came from its Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program.
"Gott Fen and this property are critical to the Cuyahoga River watershed and protect an invaluable natural resource," said Bill Carroll, TPL's Ohio state director. "We are grateful to the Regional Sewer District for sponsoring this project, which will help the City of Streetsboro preserve wetlands to protect its water."
"The US EPA's Ecologically Rich Areas Report has listed Gott Fen as one of the finest boreal fens in the State of Ohio," said Jeff Pritchard, City of Streetsboro Director of Planning, Zoning, & Economic Development. "Acquisition of this property will implement recommendations from the Tinker's Creek Watershed Action Plan and the Lower Cuyahoga River Total Maximum Daily Load Report. The City is very pleased to have an opportunity to preserve one of the few remaining unprotected areas of this once extensive wetland system in the Upper Tinker's Creek Watershed."
"Preserving this wetland will help minimize future sewer infrastructure costs and retain storm water, while increasing public access to a Portage County natural treasure," added Carroll.
"The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is pleased to have been a part of this project," stated Julius Ciaccia, Executive Director for the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. "Preserving these wetlands and open spaces will help minimize future sewer infrastructure costs and retain storm water, and help to minimize infrastructure costs for the region. We appreciate these partnerships and look forward to more opportunities going forward."
The conservation of Gott Fen is third watershed project TPL has completed in Portage and Summit Counties in the last month. In late May, TPL conserved 137 acres in the Tinker's Creek headwaters as a new Metro Parks, Serving Summit County natural area. Earlier in June TPL conserved Spring Hill Farm and its high quality wetland as a new Aurora nature preserve.
Since it was founded in 1972, The Trust for Public Land has helped protect 3 million acres of land in 47 states. In Ohio, TPL has protected more than 12,200 acres valued at more than $123 million. TPL depends on the support and generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to achieve its mission to preserve land for people.