Burgundy Bay Tract
The Burgundy Bay Tract consists of 8 acres of limestone plain wetland forest habitat characterized by its geology – a relatively thin layer of soil overlaying carbonate bedrock whose hydrology is directly influenced by Lake Erie water levels. It is the largest remaining block of unprotected forested land on Middle Bass. The limestone plain forest provides rare habitat that has been largely lost throughout the islands. The eastern fox snake and the Lake Erie watersnake are found on the site. The property is located in the North American migratory flyway and Atlantic flyway through which thousands of birds fly south to their wintering habitat and north to breeding grounds. A walking trail winds through the preserve. Prothonotary warble boxes are located within the preserve. Funding for this project was made possible by Ohio EPA’s Water Resource Restoration Program (WRRSP) and is safeguarded by an environmental covenant. Additional adjacent acreage has been preserved with the help of the Conservation Fund.
Middle Bass Island
Three main parcels: Burgundy Bay Tract – 8 acres, Schneider Tract – 7.3 acres, Dieperink Tract – 7.6 acres
Foot, small parking area, bicycle rack at Fox Road Entrance
Walking trail in Burgundy Bay
Schneider Tract & Dieperink Tract
The Schneider Tract is comprised of 7.3 acres of forested wetland with successional island forest habitat, whose hydrology is linked to Lake Erie water levels. The land provides migratory song bird habitat as well as breeding grounds for numerous varieties of amphibians. Restoration and protection of this property is safeguarded by an environmental covenant with the Ohio EPA through the WRRSP.
The Dieperink Tract provides 7.6 acres of additional contiguous forest. There is a swamp forest of silver maples, elm, and swamp white oak. Though many green ash have fallen victim to the emerald ash borer, rough-leaved dogwood, silver maple, and some ash are beginning to repopulate in the wetter areas of the preserve. The eastern portion of this parcel is slightly higher in elevation. The higher ground holds sugar maples, hackberry, and eastern red cedar. The area is within a quarter of a mile from Lake Erie and provides ideal habitat for migratory birds. The rare eastern fox snake, melanistic eastern garter snake, and the Lake Erie watersnake are found in the tract. Efforts have been made to remove invasive species such as the amur honeysuckle and common buckthorn to keep them from overtaking the preserve. Put-in-Bay Township Park District purchased this property from the Dieperink family in 2018 with funding from the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund Grant and a Coastal Estuarine Land Conservation Program Grant.
The Hahn addition, an 8.3 acre tract across the street just north of the Dieperink tract, is expected to be acquired in the summer of 2019.