Summer 2001 Issue

Western Wildlife Corridor. Inc. 4739 Delhi Road Cincinnati, Ohio 45238 513/921-WILD (9453) e-mail: wwc7@yahoo.com

Summer Goals

The hot, hazy days of summer are here with plans to spend time outdoors, dreams for blue skies, and wishes for long, lazy days in the hammock. Since the days are longer we seem to increase the amount of things we want to accomplish in one day. We at the Western Wildlife Corridor, have many things we wish to accomplish. In addition to our primary mission of protecting and preserving green space, we want to piece together a vision and the proposed "Narrows Park" project is that vision. Included in this newsletter is a brochure detailing the "Narrows Park" project. This is a project that will take decades to accomplish, but it is also a project we need to begin immediately. But we need your help! We have set a goal to raise $50,000 in two years, with the combination of grants and donations. Please do what you can to help us meet our goal.

The WWC Annual Meeting was held on Friday, May 4th at the Imago Earth Center. It was great to meet members and hear the good things they had to say about the Western Wildlife Corridor and the reasons they joined the WWC.

The large presentation map was up for everyone to see and it drew much attention, not only from its size, but its content as well. Itís impressive to see the Western Wildlife Corridor mapped out in its entirety. Itís also amazing to see new acquisitions of donated land and new projects and how they all fall into place. Speaking of new acquisitions. we have received several donations of land recently. (See related article. page 3)

Don Patrick, one of WWCís board members, was honored for donating 19 parcels of land to the WWC. He was given a pair of "broken-in" hiking boots as well as a gift certificate to purchase a new pair, since all the land heís traversed for inspection for the WWC has destroyed his Hush Puppies. He was also given a framed map of Glenway Woods with his donated parcels identified. We were also treated to Donís captivation with Cincinnatiís wooded hillsides and the reasons they should be preserved.

Western Wildlife Corridor Board of Directors

Jim Schenk David Myers Dee Sizler
Ron Kruse Bob Neal Tim Sisson
Don Patrick Judy Neal Joe Weisenberger
Technical Advisor: Meg Riestenberg Nancy Cavanaugh Staff: Cheryl Reinke Peck

"Here Come Those Wild, New Neighbors

By William L. Reichling, Field Researcher #19, Eastern Puma Research Network

It 's June 18th, 1:57 am. I am listening to the night sounds of Wulff Run from my open window and Nature gives me a slightly belated Father 's Day gift.

Coyote howls drift in on the night breezes delighting my tracker senses with the announcement that another wilderness animal besides the Whitetail is back. A rugged, re-grown, mostly rural habitat is giving man a second chance with Nature in Western Hamilton County

Conservation of every square foot possible will be necessary if any type of minimal ecological balance with our new wildlife is to he realized. The Narrows Park project proposed by the Western Wildlife Corridor is timely indeed.

Previous riparian inventories of biological resources have determined that between 60-80% of wildlife resides within one mile of a permanent water source. If the same holds true for the Ohio River Valley it a preserve already in existence and well worth joint conservation efforts along its multióstate route.

Some of the larger animals that have left their marks within Western Hamilton County are:

Coyote, deer, badger, bobcat, and cougar -- These signs have been photographed or cast using plaster by R & R Animal Trackers.

If you haven't Ďt yet felt the urge to support such a land conservation effort, please be aware that Michigan has a Black Bear population of about 13,000 bears; Pennsylvania has about 10,000, and Eastern Ohio already has an officially recognized, small resident population. All one has to do is bear-walk down the Ohio River to Cincinnati and everyone would be happy to have that wooded corridor it could travel through. After all, bear tromping the rough urbanósprawl cul-de-sacs tend to increase our stress levels.

Continued on page 3

Nature Trail Planning Is On Track

by Forrest Sellers

(Previously published in the Delhi Press. March 21. 2001)

Ron Kruse looks forward to the culmination of almost five years of work. Kruse, director of the Western Wildlife Corridor, has tried to get a grant for a nature trail at Pontius Road. His efforts soon may be rewarded. Bob Bass, highway and road superintendent for Delhi Township, said the township has entered into an agreement with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for grant money. He said the Department of Natural Resources still will have to get approval from the state controlling board, which approves all state expenditures, but once this is done the township will then begin the process of designing the nature trail.

The trail, which will extend 3.1 miles, will be built south of Rapid Run Middle School next to Pontius Road. The trail will be built on property owned by Delhi Township, the Oak Hills School District and Delhi Township Park, which owns 10 acres of property in the area. We want to utilize the trail so it takes advantage of the natural terrain," said Bass. Bass said the trail is estimated to cost $500,000 and will be paid for with the grant money. He said it would include picnic facilities, a restroom and a concession stand. Bass said the school district also plans to install a soccer field on part of the property.

Recent Land Donations

The Western Wildlife Corridor recently received three separate donations of land. One parcel, whose donor wishes to remain anonymous, is located on Hillside Avenue, west of Anderson Ferry Road. This is located in the "Narrows Park" area. The second parcel, which was donated by Marinko Gvozdanovic, is on Carson Avenue contiguous to Glenway Woods. The third donation was from the Woodside Homes Association and it comprises three parcels at the end of the subdivision off Ferguson Road, adjacent to Dunham Recreation Complex. These are such different, exciting parcels of land to add to the others the WWC has protected.

This brings to mind our Stewardship Committee. We need your help monitoring these additional properties as well as our current ones. We have had some volunteers come forth, but we need additional volunteers. The WWC is required to monitor our properties annually. We are presently working on the checklist so we can provide it to those volunteers on the Stewardship Committee. Every member of the Stewardship Committee will be responsible for their designated property and when checked annually, will continue to add to the value of the community. Call us at 921-9453 to volunteer for the Stewardship Committee. Thank you for helping us out!

Wild Neighbors continued

From my viewpoint as an animal tracker, it is just a matter of time before we have more resident carnivores besides the coyote. Our deer count is abnormally high and this alone will draw other animals. As mentioned earlier, a wooded corridor along the Ohio River is, for the most part intact. The Narrows Park Project would conserve it. Let us all: outdoorsmen, nature lovers, city/township planners, developers, and politicians get behind this unique initiative. Who knows? You just might rediscover what noted photographer and tracker, Paul Rezenles calls the "wild within."

RIF Grant Update

The Western Wildlife Corridor, in conjunction with Imago, The Hillside Trust, Citizenís Land Conservancy of Hamilton County (CLC), Tri-State Environmental Resource Center (TERC), Little Miami, Inc., and the Millcreek Restoration Project partnered with OKI to submit a grant proposal. Collectively, we have been a recipient of a grant of $70,000 with $10,000 earmarked for marketing and educating the public about conservation. This grant was funded by the Regional Initiatives Fund (RIF), a collaboration of several organizations in Cincinnati, including the Greater Cincinnati Foundation and Cinergy, whose combined resources offered over one million dollars to groups collaborating on regional issues.

This collaborative partnership has resulted in several land trusts working together to nurture a common goal, but has also fostered a group awareness that the benefits we achieve are much greater than what we can accomplish individually.

Nature trail continued

Kruse said he hoped construction could begin on the project within 6-8 weeks. "With luck the trail can be finished by fall," he said. Kruse anticipated that the trail could be used by the middle school for cross country meets and by the Delhi Business Association for the Pant for the Pantry marathon. "Iím too old to run, but Iím still excited by the trail," he said.

Bass also said bids have been put out for a playground, which will be built near the nature trail.

{Footnote: The pail has been surveyed and the play equipment has been built. Final construction on the trails, buildings, and parking lot should begin in September with completion by the end of the year.