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Pearl’s Fen Acquisition and Wetland Restoration

Restoration of an abandoned property in Ohio containing one of the only known ‘mound fens’ in the region

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  • Fairborn, Ohio

    Fairborn, Ohio

Walk through the trails of a rare and colorful wetland, restored from a forgotten site.

What is a fen? It’s a rare type of groundwater-fed wetland containing a high diversity of plant and animal life. Fens are alkaline in nature, and they also create organic peat soil, an important natural water purifier. At Pearl’s Fen, Ohio, we helped restore an abandoned property containing a known relic fen, as an extension of the Greene County Parks and Trails system. Following invasive species removal, our team worked with stakeholders collecting and transferring locally indigenous seed from nearby high-quality wetlands. These local species helped return the site to its natural state and aquatic functions, and its unique ecological role in the region. The project was funded by the Clean Ohio Fund—a statewide conservation program dedicated to acquiring and restoring locally important greenspaces.  

As part of the award-winning multi-year restoration effort, our native plant nursery grew approximately 10,000 native plant plugs from locally collected seed and transferred the seed into plant stock. Additional activities supporting the client’s restoration goals included wet meadow and pollinator habitat establishment zones, as well as upland invasive species control, tree planting, and assistance with public access and hiking trail improvements.

Using the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s vegetation index of biotic integrity survey protocol, the restored site is now designated a “Category 3” wetland, the highest quality awarded. So, what is a fen? In Ohio, it’s a place people can experience a unique and beautiful ecological feature of the native landscape. 

At a Glance

Ohio Parks and Recreation Association (ORPA) Awards of Excellence, First Place, 2020

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