Many Galionites have made the short trip up Portland Way North and SR 598 to visit Lowe-Volk Park and its Nature Center to wander its beautiful trails or to take in one of its many nature programs.

Have you noticed the parking lot across the street? If not, we’d like to introduce you to the Sandusky Headwaters Preserve.

Enjoy the scenic River Trail, the elevated boardwalk, and the life that thrives in the newly constructed wetlands. 

In October 2021, a significant ecological milestone was reached in Crawford County, Ohio, with the opening of the Sandusky Headwaters Preserve. A collaboration between the Crawford Park District, Ohio’s H2O Ohio project, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, and the Ohio EPA, the preserve spans 38 acres. The acquisition began with a small land donation from Sharon and Norm Huber and was further expanded with purchases from Russell Long and Betty Tucker.

A core component of the preserve is the construction of wetlands, vital for capturing nutrients and alleviating harmful algal blooms. Mark Daley, wetland scientist and president of the Ohio Wetlands Association, defines wetlands as areas of land that remain wet for extended periods and are regulated by specific criteria, including vegetation, hydrology, and hydric soils. Scott Butterworth of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources explains the H2Ohio project, focusing on nutrient reduction and water quality improvement.

After cleaning up debris and establishing the necessary facilities, the preserve began taking shape. The parking lot was constructed in 2018, and a volunteer event organized in 2019 saw the community plant native plants. Cal Bailey, land manager for the Crawford Park District, talks about how the preserve has quickly become a haven for wildlife, attracting shorebirds, frogs, butterflies, and a diverse mammal population.

In the future more trails will be developed, and the land will continually be managed.

Image by Paweu Jelinowski from Pixabay