We are excited to announce that the Put-in-Bay Township did purchase additional acreage near the Middle Bass island East Point Preserve, Cooper's Woods Preserve and the Dodge Woods Preserve this year with our Conservancy's assistance. See the good news below. Thanks to all of our grantors, board members, Conservancy members and donors for making this possible!
Cleveland Tract Addition
On October 1, 2020, the Put-in-Bay Township Park District (PIBTPD) dedicated a 2.89 acre wooded parcel purchased from Dr. William Cleveland and his sister Beverly Cleveland. This Cleveland Tract located at the very eastern tip of Middle Bass Island adds acreage to the Middle Bass Island East Point Preserve. The site now boasts more than 11 protected acres of wooded and open land for migratory bird habitat, walking, and birdwatching. The Middle Bass East Point Preserve is accessible only by kayak or canoe.
These woods are being conserved, in part, by funding and technical assistance made available by TC Energy and its subsidiary Columbia Gas Transmission’s Leach XPress Pipeline Project in partnership with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Conservation Fund. A grant was also obtained from the Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Fund for the purchase as well as a donation from the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy. The Park District is providing funds to remove invasive plants and trees from the parcel.
PIBTPD Chair Kelly Faris spoke at the dedication thanking those who assisted with the purchase. He reminded us how our familiarity with these beautiful Islands tends to make us forget how truly unique they are. Tom Bartlett explained the significance of the property for migratory birds and other wildlife. He and his wife Paula with their assistants, have banded birds on site for 8 years. The migratory bird data from this banding program has been crucial in securing funds for the purchase of the parcel.
Dave and Linda Bugoci unveiled the new kiosk/bulletin board/sign that they donated for the preserve.
Thanks to all who attended and to Theodora Keith-Morris, Ann and Ken Shelton, Chris Helman, Nancy Welter, Bruce Miles, Tina Larson, Susan Ungvarsky, Lisa and Russ Brohl, Bob Stausmire, Heineman’s Winery, and others who have volunteered and helped make this dedication and property acquisition a reality.
We appreciate the cooperation of the Cleveland family, Neal Hess of Conservation Realty Group LLC, Judy Twarek of Hartung Title, and legal advisor Marsha Collett for their assistance with this purchase and to Schmidlin Construction, East Point Manor Club, Michael Hopkins, Bright Idea Sign Shop, and Wragg family for their cooperation with the refuse removal, construction of the new protective fencing, signage, and installation of the bat house built by Casey Carty.
The dedication also celebrated the donation of a half acre parcel by Ron and Marianne Manderbach. This parcel is immediately adjacent to the Costello Tract owned by the Put-in-Bay Township Park District. This area is currently reserved for migratory bird and wildlife habitat with no public access. A new sign was added to the current Costello Tract sign to mark the donation.
Dodge Woods Preserve Addition
We are pleased to announce that the Put-in-Bay Township Park District purchased an .7478 acre addition to the Dodge Woods Preserve on Friday, with funds from the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund and the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy. It will be additional habitat and a buffer to the Put-in-Bay StoryWalk® Trail in place now. Thanks to John Dodge family and Bridget Wise for working with us!! And thanks to all of you members who make the donations to keep making this land protection happen!
A special thank you to John for selling us his property at less than appraised value-a partial bargain sale. This qualifies as a tax deduction for him-can aid property owenrs who may have capital gains issues. It also helps our Park District as we have less $$ to raise, it qualifies as part of the 25% match required for Clean Ohio Conservation Fund Grants. Something to consider if you have family properties that you would like to see the Conservancy or Park District preserve
On September 29, 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 Lake at Erie Islands Conservancy. “Future residents and visitors will be so appreciative of the Fund’s assistance to preserve this unique forest.”
Middle Bass East Point Preserve-Cleveland and Manderbach Dedication
Photo Judy Twarek-Bickley of Hartung Title and Lisa Brohl of the Put-in-Bay Township Park District at closing
Virginia Waterleaf in bloom near Dodge Woods Preserve Addition
Photo by Susan Byrnes