The following piece is published in this month’s Put-in-Bay Gazette. The Gazette has been producing incredible independent Put-in-Bay island news for over 40 years. If you have any interest at all in what is happening on South Bass Island, we urge you strongly to subscribe to the Put-in-Bay Gazette. One-year online subscriptions are only $15, and print subscriptions are available as well. To subscribe please click here.
On September 29th, 2020, Put-in-Bay Township Park District acquired 2.53 acres of wooded land from the Kenneth and Katherine Benjamin Family. The parcel will be called the “Benjamin Woods Preserve.” The preserve has an entrance and parking area off Langram Road, and the parcel abuts the east perimeter of Cooper’s Woods. A trail will eventually be developed from the Benjamin Woods Preserve to the Cooper’s Woods Preserve.
The Benjamin Woods is being acquired, in part, by funding and technical assistance made available as a voluntary mitigation process for habitat impacts that resulted from the construction of the Nexus Pipeline project in partnership with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Conservation Fund.
Additional funds for the purchase of the preserve came from an anonymous donor, and the Lake Erie Island Conservancy. The Land and Water Conservation Fund through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources may reimburse Put-in-Bay Township Park District for a portion of the purchase price. Funds were allocated to remove invasive plants and restore areas as migratory bird habitat. The site will also be used for passive outdoor recreation — walking, photography, and bird watching. The Benjamin Woods Preserve will be opened in the spring of 2021.
Put-in-Bay Township Park District is pleased to announce that with the acquisition of the Benjamin parcel, over more than 116 acres of land have been preserved and protected. We are thankful to the Benjamin family, Hartung Title, Reitz Engineering and legal advisor Marsha Collett for assistance with the purchase.
“Put-in-Bay Township Park District has been privileged to work with The Conservation Fund to acquire environmentally sensitive areas,” stated Kelly Faris, Chair of Put-in-Bay Township Park District. “These lands are now protected for this and future generations. The Park District is dedicated to protecting unique areas that sustain the heritage of the Lake Erie Islands. The Conservation Fund is an extremely valuable partner in this effort.”
“The support from The Conservation Fund has allowed the Park District to add additional acreage to our Cooper’s Woods Preserve that is now over 21 contiguous acres of island forest and karst topography providing habitat for migratory and nesting birds, lead morph of the red-backed salamander, eastern fox snake, and other wildlife,” said Lisa Brohl, CEO of Put-in-Bay Township Park District and Chair of the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy. “Future residents and visitors will be so appreciative of the Fund’s assistance to preserve this unique forest.”
About Put-in-Bay Township Park District
In 2006, the Common Pleas Court of Ottawa County, Ohio, approved a petition to create the Put-in-Bay Township Park District as a local government entity. It was reaffirmed by the voters of the Bass Islands in 2008. Three Commissioners serve to manage and protect unique island habitats for the public to enjoy.
About Lake Erie Islands Conservancy
The Lake Erie Islands Conservancy was founded as part of the Black Swamp Conservancy in 2000, receiving their own non-profit status in 2015. The mission statement of the Conservancy is to encourage conservation and protection of natural and agricultural lands in the Lake Erie Islands for the benefit of this and future generations. www.lakeerieislandsconservancy.org
About The Conservation Fund
The Conservation Fund, we makes conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, the Conservation Fund is redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, the Fund has worked in all 50 states since 1985 to protect more than eight million acres of land, including nearly 66,000 acres in Ohio.
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