Ruder Nature Preserve

Three Valley Conservation Trust is tackling a long-term project that we would really appreciate your help on.

SignThe place is the Ruder Preserve, right across from Yeager Stadium, a ~14-acre property the Trust owns at the corner of Bonham Road and Shadowy Hills Drive.  It connects to the Miami Natural Areas trails and part of it will soon be accessible from the OATS trail.  Given it’s unique location with multiple connections and the quality of its mostly floodplain forest, the Trust has decided that Ruder Preserve should be a focus of our efforts to preserve land, with this piece serving as an ark for species that can repopulate the damaged ecosystems surrounding it.

What does restoring Ruder Preserve involve?

Ruder Donna PicAlthough the forest has lots of mature trees and a bountiful layer of wild ginger on the forest floor, it is full of bush honeysuckle and other invasive species.  So the first step in restoration is to remove those species that interfere with the survival of our native species of trees, bushes, and wildflowers.   Here’s what the forest could look like – Suellen and Terry are showing off an area called “Cottonwood Grove” that they helped clear a few weeks ago – notice the big beautiful cottonwood trees on the left and the bush honeysuckle in the background.

Where are we now?

20160719_203815We are continuing to remove bush honeysuckle in different areas of the preserve.  While that continues over the next several years, we will plant native species, manage invasive species in areas already cleared, build further trails, and add educational signage.  We will probably add other things we will discover as we go along.  We want this place to be a healthy and thriving natural habitat we can enjoy.

How can I help? 

20160719_192355 We have several work days set up for clearing honeysuckle this fall.  You may think “I’m too old to do all that hard physical labor” or “I can’t run a chain saw, so I would be useless”, but the truth is that everyone can help, young or old or in between.  If you can’t cut the honeysuckle, you can help haul it to the chipper, and if you can’t haul it you can paint the stumps with herbicide to kill their roots, and if you can’t paint the stumps you can be the “gofer” or we’ll figure out another way for you to help.  So all help will be appreciated.

Ruder Preserve Work Days:

20160719_192404Here are the dates we have set up so far, but please check the Three Valley web site frequently for updates.
Sat July 30        8:30-11 am    
Sat August 13    8:30-11 am
Sun Sept 18        9am-1pm
Sat Oct 22        9am-1pm or 1-5pm – 2 sessions (morning/afternoon)
Sat Nov 12        9am-1pm

We could use all kinds of help!  Here are some of the things we could use:

  • Chain saws and people who know how to use them, particularly on Sunday Sept. 18th – we have two groups coming, which may number 30-40 students, and would like to split them up into 5-6 groups of 6, with a person wielding a chain saw with each group. Can you help?
  • People to help paint stumps and haul honeysuckle into piles on two other important dates, Saturday Oct. 22 and Nov. 12. We have abut 15-20 students coming each day and would love to have other community and Three Valley volunteers to help and meet these wonderful helpers.
  • Food for our willing volunteers – if you don’t or can’t do the physical work of this project, would you be willing to provide lunch? A grassy area at the entrance of the Ruder Preserve is a nice spot to spread out a light lunch of sandwiches or pizza and drinks.  Although it is not a necessity to feed our volunteers, it goes a long way toward showing our appreciation for their help and making them want to come back and help again

If you can offer any of these things, please contact the TVCT office (513-524-2150) or Donna McCollum (513-756-0202 or


Please see this pamphlet about the Ruder Preserve project for more information.  Thank you in advance for the generous donation of your time and effort to help restore and maintain the Ruder Preserve.