Volunteers Install Plants at Summit Park; New Home Habitat Workshops Announced

On July 15th, employees of Melink Corporation and Sogeti joined staff from the Ohio River Foundation (ORF) at Summit Park in Blue Ash. The volunteers installed more than 1,000 plants to reduce stormwater pollution.

The park is undergoing a multi-year transformation from a municipal airport into a multi-use park with a nature preserve, restaurants, Observation Tower, dog park, walking trails, and much more. Thanks to funding support from a Clean Water Act section 319(h) grant from Ohio EPA and U.S. EPA, a creek is being restored on site in conjunction with creation of stormwater collection ponds. These natural features will serve to mimic the wetlands function in filtering stormwater before re-use on site. The ponds and creek will also reduce erosion and pollution into downstream receiving waters.

The volunteers installed a variety of native plants around the perimeter of two of the stormwater collection ponds including: Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnate), False Aster (Boltonia asteroids), Common Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), Swamp Rose-mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos), Marsh Blazing Star (Liatris spicata), Silky Willow (Salix sericea). One month later all the plants are doing extremely well as it has been an unusually wet summer.

The plants will be monitored over the coming months and years for attrition and replacement, as needed. The area will also be monitored for intrusion by non-native invasive plants that will be disruptive to the natural diverse ecosystem that is being created. It will take several years for the plants to fully mature, but dragonflies and waterfowl are already finding the new habitat to their liking.

The volunteers were: Matt Meyer, Lynda White, David White, Darren Witter, Natalie Meyer, Bev Dorenbusch, Julie Dorenbusch, Ellen Watters, Phil Bross, Connor Donovan, Ajinkya Ghonje, Tayo Faleye, Ed Kohinke, Emily Nauman, Adam Smetters, Randy Miles, Grady Miles, Lenora Miles. They were joined by ORF staff: Jenny Kane (Volunteer Coordinator), Chase Bodkin Hannah Irvine, Jess Lindner, and Rich Cogen.

To learn more about the Ohio River Foundation or Summit Park, visit www.ohioriverfdn.org or www.SummitParkBlueAsh.com.




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 In conjunction with the habitat restoration elements of this project, a series of Home Habitat workshops are being provided at Summit Park:

August 19th 10:30-12:00PM: Fall Pollinator gardens; Invasive species control; reduce your water bill by gardening with rain barrels

September 14th 1:00-2:30PM: Fall Pollinator gardens; Invasive species control; reduce your water bill by gardening with rain barrels

September 19th 7:00-8:30PM: Fall Pollinator gardens; Invasive species control; reduce your water bill by gardening with rain barrels

All seminars will be held in the Summit Park Community Room and are free and open to the public.