Metroparks Toledo planted 35,000 trees several weeks this spring in four parks and other land owned by the park district.

A contractor planted the majority of the trees, while volunteers assisted park staff in planting the remainder.

About 68 acres of land was reforested with 30,000 native hardwood seedlings at Blue Creek, Open Openings Preserve, other properties in the Oak Openings Corridor and Swan Creek Preserve. The Board of Park Commissioners hired Conservation Services of Waynesboro, VA, which planted the trees in late April.

The $273,637 project was funded by a grant sub-award through The Nature Conservancy, which received the funds from the Pittman‐Robertson Wildlife Restoration Program. The federal funds are collected through excise taxes on hunting gear to use for habitat restoration. TNC is working to implement a long-term habitat restoration initiative to restore 1 percent (30,000 acres) of current agricultural lands within the Western Lake Erie Basin back to natural habitat. The purpose of the project is to improve water quality in the lake. The reforestation project builds on a long list of habitat restoration initiatives accomplished by Metroparks through collaboration with the non-profit organization. Since 2010, Metroparks has received $1.3 million in grant funds through TNC to restore hundreds of acres.

Volunteers to Help Plant 5,000 Trees

In a separate program, volunteers continued an ongoing reforestation project at Fallen Timbers Battlefield in Maumee by planting 5,000 more trees will in April. Volunteers pruned roots and prepared the trees for planting in early April. Later in the month, volunteers installed protective covers and applied mulch to trees newly planted by park staff.

The Battlefield reforestation project has has now resulted in more than 15,000 trees being planted over the past three years. The small trees, covered with a protective sheath to protect them from being eaten by wildlife, can be seen in the large field at the intersection of US23 and US24.

More Trees!

Last fall, about 12,000 trees and shrubs were planted at Howard Marsh Metropark to provide upland habitat near a restored wetland at an important stopover location for migrating birds. Howard Marsh opened April 28.

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