POMEROY — A “generous” land donation is helping the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Natural Areas and Preserves (DNAP) protect a globally rare limestone barren habitat in what will be the first state nature preserve in Meigs County, according to a news release from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
“This kind donation is a wonderful gift to the people of Ohio,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “Our staff is eager to begin improving and protecting this rare habitat for generations to come.”
The 46-acre preserve has a variety of bedrock types at or near the surface that influence the habitats on the site. The site contains oak barren habitats, including limestone barrens that are very rare in southeast Ohio.
According to ODNR, the new nature preserve is located in Columbia Township near Carpenter.
“There are a handful of remaining examples of limestone barrens in southeast Ohio, and few match the quality of those at Miriam Walter Barrens,” DNAP Chief Botanist Rick Gardner said. “A suite of uncommon and rare species occurs here, including the state threatened cylindrical blazing-star.”
Named in honor of the parents of the property’s donor, Miriam Walter Barrens Preserve will be Ohio’s 139th State Nature Preserve and the third added this year. Due to the sensitive habitats and species, the preserve will only be open to the public by acquiring a permit from the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves. The property donor plans to volunteer with the Division in improving the rare barrens.
The associated acquisition costs for the new preserve were covered by the Natural Areas Tax Checkoff Fund. Donations are used to protect and preserve some of Ohio’s rarest habitats. DNAP uses the funds to increase education and visitor experience at State Nature Preserves across Ohio. To find out more about this program and the Division, please visit www.ohiodnr.gov.
Information provided by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.