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.
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.
Additionally, there are several species of native orchids and wildflowers and about 43 species of fern and fern allies.
Breeding populations of tiger spiketail dragonflies inhabit the small streams that flow into Clear Creek.
For more information about this area visit the Arc of Appalachia website