Biodiversity starts in the distant past and it points toward the future.
~Frans Lanting

reconstructed stream bed

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The partnership between The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Miami County Park District represents a collaborative effort to undertake a restoration project aimed at enhancing and preserving the natural environment within John A. Wannemacher Reserve. This partnership and restoration project highlight the importance of collaboration between organizations, government agencies, and community members to protect and restore natural areas for both present and future generations.

The Nature Conservancy logo   

The Nature Conservancy is a global environmental nonprofit working to create a world where people and nature can thrive. Founded in the U.S. through grassroots action in 1951, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has grown to become one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world. Thanks to more than a million members and the dedicated efforts of our diverse staff and over 400 scientists, we impact conservation in 79 countries and territories: 37 by direct conservation impact and 42 through partners.

What is the TNC Ohio Mitigation Program?

The Ohio River, Lake Erie and their tributaries are critically important to The Nature Conservancy's efforts to protect and preserve water quality in Ohio and beyond. Degraded streams and wetlands, and failed mitigation projects have a profound impact on conservation efforts throughout the state. Through the Ohio Mitigation Program (OMP), TNC is restoring streams and wetlands and protecting water quality in ways that provide critical wildlife habitat while allowing for economic development.

More information visit the TNC Mitigation Program page.


Project Summary...

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) will implement the Wannemacher Nature Reserve Mitigation Project a project that will restore streams, wetlands, and adjacent riparian areas on approximately 57 acres that were impacted by past agricultural activities. The goal of the Project is to provide substantially enhanced habitat diversity to the Wannemacher Nature Reserve, improve water quality in the Upper Great Miami watershed, and significantly improve recreation opportunities for the park visitors. As part of the Project, TNC is partnering with the Miami County Park District (MCPD), located north of Dayton, Ohio. The project is associated with TNC’s Ohio Mitigation Program (OMP). The project property will be protected with Environmental Covenants held by TNC.

This Project will serve as a model of high-quality stream and wetland restoration for the mitigation industry in Ohio and the agencies that regulate it. The water quality and ecological benefits from this Project will be long-term and substantial. Moreover, the OMP’s full cost accounting is ensuring that development and infrastructure are truly compensating for offsetting their impacts to natural systems, and the high mitigation credit prices provide strong incentives for avoidance.

Project Details...

The Wannemacher Nature Reserve Mitigation Project will permanently protect and restore a significant section of an unnamed tributary to Boone Creek, a tributary of the Great Miami River, and re-establish floodplain wetlands and forested buffer. The Wannemacher Nature Reserve is located in Miami County, Ohio. The proposed Project will involve restoration of an unnamed tributary of Boone Creek through full-extent channel work and re-establishing the stream’s connection to its historic floodplain. The Project also involves re-establishment of riparian wetlands via subtle contouring of the floodplain soil, decommissioning of subsurface drainage tiles, and planting a high diversity of native plant species. The project site is located within a rural area dominated by agriculture and will provide critical habitat and water quality improvements to the Upper Great Miami Watershed. It will also enhance passive green space recreation opportunities for park visitors.

Restoration Objectives...

The primary objectives of the Wannemacher Nature Reserve In-Lieu Fee Mitigation Project are the restoration of streams, wetlands, and associated buffers within the project area. Our goal is to institute an ecologically sound, well-developed and feasible restoration plan. The project will generate in-kind mitigation credits to replace advanced mitigation credits that have been sold in the Upper Great Miami Watershed (HUC 05080001) as compensation for activities authorized by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) through the issuance of permits. The restoration project will provide an ecological lift to streams and wetlands on the site to compensate for impacts to streams and wetlands within the 8-digit HUC watershed. Additionally, the site will provide sustainable compensatory mitigation with minimal long-term maintenance and active management needs. The Wannemacher Nature Reserve In-Lieu Fee Mitigation Project will be designed, implemented, and
managed to attain the following basic objectives:

  • Restore and enhance unnamed tributaries to Boone Creek to increase aquatic habitat quality, improve water
  • quality, regulate watershed hydrology, and attenuate runoff.
  • Produce high-quality wetlands and wetland buffer habitat that will result in a gain in aquatic resource functions that are currently not present on the site.
  • Provide a diverse interspersion of restored habitat features and buffers.
  • Establish connectivity and habitat corridors within an existing natural area.
  • Provide an endowment for the long-term maintenance of the mitigation site.

By the numbers...

  • Restore 2,405 linear feet of the Unnamed Tributary Boobe Creek• Restore 15 acres of Forested Wetland
  • Restore over 30 acres of stream and upland buffer habitat.
  • Plant over 26,056 native trees and shrubs across the project area

Site Selection...

When selecting sites, TNC’s goal is to use a watershed approach, as described in the 2008 Compensatory Mitigation Rule, “is to maintain and improve the quantity and quality of wetlands and other aquatic resources in watersheds through strategic selection of compensatory mitigation project sites.” A Compensation Planning Framework (CPF) is to be used by ILF programs to “select, secure, and implement aquatic resource restoration, establishment, enhancement, and/or preservation activities”. While the CPF mapping provides a large-scale overview of the watershed and its conservation priorities, it is very important to also assess a potential project based on its specific, on-site characteristics.

The Wannemacher Nature Reserve In-Lieu Fee Mitigation Project met all the mandatory conditions including permanent protection, in kind mitigation, and location within the primary service area where credits have been sold. This site offers the opportunity to elevate stream resources that are impacted by deforestation and agricultural practices. The mitigation site also offers a large amount of wetland restoration opportunities and the causes of impairment to the wetlands, namely hydrologic modification due to drainage tiles, are correctable within the project area.

Based on the above qualifications, this project presents an ecologically sound option for compensating for aquatic resource losses and improving the watershed.

Additional information...

Please call the park district at 937-335-6273.