Natural Feature in the City Provides Habitat to Rare Species
The City of Streetsboro has a very special ecological and stormwater resource called Herrick Fen State Nature Preserve. The preserve is important for its rare plant communities of tamarack and cinquefoil-sedge fens. Fens, are peat-forming wetlands that receive nutrients from sources other than precipitation: usually from upslope sources through drainage from surrounding mineral soils and from groundwater movement.
The tamarack fen supports one of the few reproducing populations in Ohio of tamarack which is the only native conifer in Ohio which sheds its needles each year. The cinquefoil-sedge fen contains an extensive population of bayberry, a state-endangered plant found in only three locations in Ohio.
The preserve lies within the Tinker’s Creek watershed, the largest subwatershed to the Cuyahoga River watershed. The site lies on a buried preglacial valley filled with silt and gravel. This allows for the rise of cold, calcium and magnesium rich springs which supports the presence of the fen communities.
The preserve provides habitat for more than 20 state-listed plants including yellow sedge, crinkled hairgrass, water avens, bunchflower, autumn willow and green cotton-grass. It is jointly owned by The Nature Conservancy and Kent State University, and managed by the Conservancy as a dedicated state nature preserve.
Fens provide important benefits in a watershed, including preventing or reducing the risk of flooding, improving water quality, and providing habitat for unique plant and animal communities.
Herrick Fen is 140 acres in size. The wetlands in this area have the potential to hold almost 170 million gallons of water per year (1,205,650 gallons per year per acre). The cost to build a stormwater basin that could hold and manage this water would be about $19,000 per acre for a total cost $2,660,000 to construct!
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Explore Herrick Fen State Nature Preserve
Wetlands Walk at Herrick Fen SNP
Saturday, July 11, 2015 at 10 a.m.
8260 Seasons Rd, Streetsboro, OH 44241
Join the Ohio Wetland Association and The Nature Conservancy for a guided tour of the fen to learn more about this important resource in the City of Streetsboro.