summer fades into fall and a year has passed since the tragedies of last September,
we pause to reflect on the changes that we’ve made and those that are still
ahead of us. It seems that we
appreciate more these days since we seem to view things differently, and hopefully
see them in a better light. Some
things amaze us and seem to make more of a difference.
One of those amazing sights was the beautiful wildflower, allium tricoccum, in bloom on a sun-dappled hillside in July. The breathtaking beauty and simplicity of the wildflowers that blanketed the hillside and the calm and quiet and serenity of the woods that day was a striking contrast to the hot and humid conditions outside the woods. Dan Boone was the guide that day and led us into a magical woodland filled with these treasures. Those woods in the Western Wildlife Corridor are the sole location in Hamilton County where these rare beauties bloom.
corridor we’re named after, “our” Western Wildlife Corridor includes the Ohio
River valley with its steep hillsides and adjacent creeks running from Mt. Echo
Park west to the Indiana State border. This
entire region, of course, is very special to us but one part is of particular
interest. Notice as you travel west
along the Ohio River from Cincinnati, the very steep hillsides close to the river
beginning in Sedamsville and continuing to Rapid Run Creek near Sayler Park.
These formed when the Ohio River cut a new channel after being dammed by
the glacier during the last ice age.
Noted geologist Richard Durrell first recognized that the unique geology here would be perfect for a park. He visualized a corridor of park land along the bluff from Embshoff Park west to and including the wooded promontory just west of the College of Mt. St. Joseph. This is indicated in the map below as the area within the heavy line.
Virtually all of this bluff is still heavily wooded as illustrated in the following aerial photo showing unbroken tree cover on the promontory west of the College of Mt. St. Joseph (this runs across the top half of the picture with the Ohio River at the bottom for reference). There is even a hiking trail in this area now – maintained by volunteers – that provides a lovely walk through the woods.
Wildlife Corridor adopted Richard Durrell’s idea as an integral part of our corridor
and laid out the following plan to initiate development of a park here:
Complete a map of the proposed park including a list of the current property owners.
Contact the property owners about the park and its benefits and let them know
the options for land transfer.
Generate news releases and give presentations about the proposed park.
Publish articles about the proposed park in our newsletter and elsewhere.
Install signs identifying the proposed park boundaries.
Accept and provide stewardship for donated properties.
at this point in time, we had an inspired idea and a well thought out plan of
action to get the ball rolling. What
did we need to do next? To borrow
a word from Thomas Edison (when he explained how inventions came about) we needed
first step in our perspiration was to look for funding for a person to work on
the plan. We soon had a real success
- this year Western Wildlife Corridor received a grant of $25,000 from the Greater
Cincinnati Foundation to work on the plan for a year.
Our staff person, Cheryl Reinke Peck, along with several of our members
have done a lot already on the items listed above, but we need more help, particularly
in these last few months of the grant, to accomplish these ambitious goals.
In particular we need help with sign making, mapping, and creation of news
releases and articles. If you have the skills to help with any of these, or know
of anyone who does, please give Cheryl a call at 921-9453.
Park is a wonderful initiative for us. It
will anchor our corridor and provide the impetus to preserve land all along the
rest of it. Please join us now as
we work to complete this initial plan leading to a wonderful new park in our Western
Membership by Dee Sizler, SC
It means a great deal to me to be a member of the Western Wildlife Corridor. I love the beautiful, alive corridor region. As I learn about how wonderfully created it is, I see what a gift it is to all of us in so many ways. I am also realizing how threatened is its pristine existence. Some view the region as a commodity to be “developed” and miss the extraordinary development that already exists.
an individual, I am pretty powerless to influence change.
As an active and involved member of a group like WWC, I am experiencing
a sense of accomplishment. We work
to preserve the wealth we share in common in our green hills and river valley.
Being connected in this way is critical. It’s not good enough for me just to count on the next guy to
make the difference.
As a member of Western Wildlife Corridor I have learned about conservation easements and how land trusts do work. I am currently working to help “grow” our membership as part of the Membership Committee. As a member of the board of trustees I am building with terrific people a really strong, committed organization.
opportunity and enthusiasm is available to you, too. It would be great to have you become part of the experience
with us. There are quite a few things
we could use help with like getting our website spruced up, help with monitoring
our land sites, speak to groups who want to know more about us, help with getting
our newsletter ready, represent WWC at public events. We could use technical assistance, artists, gardeners, fundraisers,
educators, and lovers of nature of all kinds.
We have dreams and getting them accomplished goes faster when we have lots
of members in the adventure with us.
want people with green property to create conservation easements to protect it.
We want the great green space managed so that invasive species don’t smother
native things. We want to be together
enjoying our wildlife corridor. Please
join if you are not a current member and let us know what you would like to do.
Ask your friends to join us, too.
Now is also a good time to renew your membership.
We are moving into our second decade and we have a challenge ahead.