Sauder Village has partnered with Fulton Soil and Water Conservation District, The Nature Conservancy, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife to convert approximately 30 acres of agricultural fields into a publicly accessible wetlands area.
Thanks to these partners and funding support from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, under the provisions of Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act, excavation work on two wetlands began late in July.
The development of the wetlands and vegetative buffers at Sauder Village will help to slow water flow, reduce sedimentation and nutrient loads in the Flat Run Watershed, and establish natural habitats. In addition, the wetlands dikes will support walking paths to provide public access to valuable conservation practices.
The new paths will also connect with existing walking paths through an oak savannah and natural areas currently in place at Sauder Village. Other agricultural best management practices have already been implemented, including filter strips, riparian buffers, grassed waterways, and windbreaks. The wetlands and expanded naturalized areas will offer even more opportunity to address water quality concerns while establishing Sauder Village as a demonstration and educational facility for ecological restoration and recreation.
“We are grateful for the collaboration with our conservation partners and local contractor, Rychener Excavating, to develop this wetlands at Sauder Village,” said Debbie Sauder David, president and CEO. “Our hope is that the area will be well established by late spring of next year so that we can open it for public access and educational programming.”
To learn more about the wetlands program, call 800-590-9755 or visit www.saudervillage.org.