Metro Parks permanently preserves high quality habitat at Clear Creek

Map of Clear Creek Metro Park, with Fern Gully area marked in orange
Map of Clear Creek Metro Park, with Fern Gully area marked in orange (from arcofappalachia.org).

Metro Parks Park Board voted to spend $400,000 in grant funding to purchase an 80-acre tract of land that is surrounded on three sides by Clear Creek Metro Park from the non-profit conservation group, Arc of Appalachia. The grants came through the Clean Ohio Fund and the Conservation Fund.

Four-toed salamander moves along the forest floor in the Clear Creek valley.
Four-toed salamander in Clear Creek valley. (Photo John Howard, courtesy of arcofappalachia.org)

Fern Gully, as it is called, will become part of the more than 5,000-acre Clear Creek Metro Park. Since 1973, when Metro Parks received a generous donation of land from the Beck family and later from the Benua family, Metro Parks has worked diligently to preserve this ecosystem of premier biological and geological state significance. Today, Clear Creek is home to the state’s largest nature preserve.

According to the Arc of Appalachia website, Fern Gully with its beautiful hemlock shrouded ravines and stunning rock formations harbor over 100 species of breeding birds that include Ohio rarities such as blue-headed vireo, blue-grey gnatcatcher, brown creeper and hermit thrush. Twenty species of warblers breed in this watershed.

A Louisiana waterthrush with babies crying for food at the nest, in Clear Creek valley.
A Louisiana waterthrush with babies crying for food at the nest, in Clear Creek valley. (Photo John Watts, courtesy of arcofappalachia.org)

Additionally, there are several species of native orchids and wildflowers and about 43 species of fern and fern allies.

Showy orchis in bloom, one of several species of orchids in Clear Creek Valley.
Showy orchis, one of several species of orchids in Clear Creek Valley. (Photo John Watts, courtesy of arcofappalachia.org)

Breeding populations of tiger spiketail dragonflies inhabit the small streams that flow into Clear Creek.

Tiger spiketail dragonfly hangs on summer vegetation in Clear Creek valley.
Tiger spiketail dragonfly in Clear Creek valley. (Photo John Watts, courtesy of arcofappalachia.org)

For more information about this area visit the Arc of Appalachia website

2 thoughts on “Metro Parks permanently preserves high quality habitat at Clear Creek

    1. Hi Bernie – we just got the approval to make the purchase for this exciting addition and will begin working on plans in due course. We’ll keep everyone informed as we develop those plans of how we’ll use the Fern Gully space. Keep checking our blogs and social media!

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