Did you miss the March Inning??

Senate bill 192 has been introduced to the Ohio Legislature with the aim of improving bicycle safety by applying the “three-foot” law throughout the state. Recent events have highlighted the need for improving bicycle safety, including the tragic death of Michael Prater after being struck by an impaired motorist. If you are a congressman/congresswoman, please vote “aye”. If not, ask your congresswoman/congressman to do so!

Jeffrey Taylor of the Boy Scouts of America, has announced that the group plans to use a large tract of land, 700 acres(!), in Union, KY as a Leadership Development and Sustainability Center. Mr. Taylor is interested in input from Sierra Club members to help set  goals for the Sustainability Center.  It sounds like a great way to help educate the next generation of Sierrans.

Re-Establishing An Historic Wetland: The Boyer Farm

Brian Jorg, horticulturalist at the Cincinnati Zoo, spoke about the restoration of the Ecohio Farm in Mason, OH. A large farm donated to the zoo was discovered to be a former wetland. In 2012, the restoration project began with the removal of drainage tiles and the construction of dikes to allow water levels to rise. This created vernal pools, which contain water part of the year but dry out in August. The team left islands as habitat for waterfowl, and has planted thousands of native plants.

Initially home to only some salamanders, crayfish, muskrats, and barn swallows; visitors can now see killdeers, wood ducks, mink, green and great blue heron, yellow legs, eagles, bobolinks, red-shouldered hawks, great horned owls, (whew!) turkeys, hummingbirds, yellow warblers, and many many more. Mr. Jorg’s presentation included many examples of his excellent photography of these creatures, see some of them here: www.brianjorg.com.  For a first-hand look, sign up for one of the upcoming volunteering opportunities! Tree-planters wanted!

The success of the project proves that even long neglected land can be revived and re-wilded with the right combination of will, ecological know-how, and a lot of hard work! For more about this project and other great ecological restoration projects happening right here in Ohio, check out the Cincinnati Zoo Blog, Groundwork Cincinnati, and the STRIVE laboratory at Ohio State.