RUTLAND — For those looking for a place to enjoy and learn about plants in their natural habitat, the Goldenseal Botanical Sanctuary in Rutland provides such an opportunity.
Visitors are welcome and tours, classes and workshops are offered throughout the year. The sanctuary includes overnight accommodations for those who wish to stay and enjoy this rural southeastern Ohio natural conservatory.
Goldenseal Sanctuary was created in the late 1990s when United Plant Savers acquired about 380 acres of land in what is considered prime medicinal plant territory. The sanctuary is now home to hundreds of native medicinal plants where visitors can walk on trails to learn about them and the sanctuary restoration project.
Thanks to an Ohio EPA Environmental Education Fund grant, United Plant Savers will be adding interpretive signage and an exhibit, telling the story of resource extraction and habitat restoration on the site. The exhibit will show pictures of the land in the 1960s, accompanied by images of various stages of restoration.
The Meigs Soil and Water Conservation District and Rural Action will be helping United Plant Savers with the projects. Their goal is to use the $25,000 grant to teach the public the importance of environmental protection.
Heather Louwer, of the Ohio EPA, said visitors will have the opportunity to see how the area was restored when the projects are complete.
“This will give visitors a chance to see what the area looked like before and during the restoration,” Louwer said. “And the interpretive signage will help familiarize the public with plant names, all part of the effort to teach the importance of protecting our environment.”
The OEEF provides funding each year for environmental education projects serving kindergarten through university students, the general public and the regulated community.
Five grants totaling $191,00 were awarded statewide, and eligible recipients included environmental groups, public and private schools, colleges and universities, trade or professional organizations, businesses and state and local governments.
Letters of intent for the next grant round are due to Ohio EPA no later than July 8, and applications are due no later than July 15. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the Ohio Environmental Education Fund on the Web or by calling (614) 644-2873 to discuss project ideas.
Contact Lorna Hart at 740-992-2155, Ext. 2551.