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Transfer of the Conservancy’s 50-acre preserve to the park district, completed this week, adds important marshland habitat to the district’s 153-acre Arcola Creek Park and more than triples the park system’s frontage along the creek. The donation also includes increased protection for the barrier beach, which blocks the creek from the lake during periods of low water but is breached during high water and allows the creek to spill into the lake.
This transition zone where the creek meets the lake – a freshwater estuary – is what makes Arcola Creek a special place. It’s also a critical sheltering area for migratory birds and is popular with anglers, especially those seeking steelhead trout.
“The Lake Metroparks, with the help of many partners, has done a fine job protecting Arcola Creek Park,” said Josh Knights, executive director of the Conservancy’s Ohio program. “We’re pleased to donate the capstone to this project, our Arcola Creek nature preserve, so that the public may continue to enjoy the property and learn about lake ecology.”
The park district now fully owns the land but the Conservancy ensured the long-term protection of the land with deed restrictions that guarantee conservation of the land and prohibit some uses, such as oil and gas drilling.
“The donation will allow Lake Metroparks to further protect one of the few natural estuaries on Lake Erie to ensure it can be enjoyed by future generations and will increase access to this highly popular steelhead stream,” said Paul Palagyi, interim director of the metroparks.
Photo Courtesy of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Source: The Nature Conservancy