Steve Gordon (TVCT), Randy Evans (TVCT), Eric Hollins (TVCT), Thomas Schneider (OH EPA), Laura Hafer (OH EPA), and Agnes Marchlewska (TVCT) / Photo provided by Mark Boardman
Salamander Run, a beautiful natural area comprising over 125 acres of restored wetlands, woodlands and prairie, is now the newest public park of MetroParks of Butler County. On May 21, Three Valley Conservation Trust helped to celebrate the transfer of Salamander Run Preserve to MetroParks of Butler County. The park is in Morgan Township located at 4821 Layhigh Rd. Hamilton OH 45013.
Thomas Schneider (OH EPA), Jonathan Granville (MetroParks of Butler County), and Mark Boardman (TVCT) participate in the ribbon cutting/ Photo by Steve Gordon
Once farmland, the land required considerable restoration including removing invasive plant species such as honeysuckle, replanting large areas with native trees, and recreating ponds and vernal pools. Walking trails from a parking area will allow nature lovers to enjoy the plants and animals of several wildlife habitats and experience more natural Ohio environments. The name, Salamander Run reflects the presence of one of its native inhabitants – salamanders.
Hiking at Salamander Run Preserve/ Photo by Steve Gordon
Irises blooming in a vernal wetland at Salamander Run Preserve/ Photo by Steve Gordon
Eric Hollins, a subcontractor at Three Valley Conservation Trust, was the principal person in charge of the restoration projects. He was assisted by Steve Gordon as well as many other people (volunteers and other subcontractors) and many local and regional governmental agencies and non-profits. Restoring this property and making it available to the public as a park owned and operated by MetroParks of Butler County is a remarkable illustration of constructive collaboration of private landownership, government agencies (local, regional, state, and federal), non-profit entities (e.g. TVCT) and volunteer citizens. The conservation of this property is legally guaranteed by a conservation easement which will be monitored by Three Valley Conservation Trust in perpetuity. Congratulations to everyone involved.
Salamander Run Preserve is part of the larger Paddys Run Conservation Project that is protecting groundwater supplies and providing natural resource conservation in the Paddys Run watershed. Uranium processing (1950s through 1980s) related to the nuclear arms race damaged the watersheds of this area of Butler and Hamilton counties. To partially offset the environmental damage, the U.S. Department of Energy provided millions of dollars to help improve the groundwater by ensuring high-quality surface water conditions. Salamanders are a bioindicator of high-quality surface water conditions.
Natural Resources Trustees: Jennifer Finfera (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service), Thomas Schneider (OH EPA), Penny Borgman (U.S. Department of Energy), and Laura Hafer (OH EPA)/ Photo by Steve Gordon
The Fernald Natural Resource Trustees, represented by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, were partners with TVCT and MetroParks of Butler County to facilitate the purchase, restoration and perpetual protection of this property.