Geauga Park District to begin wetland creation at Frohring Meadows
Frohring Meadows in Bainbridge Township is about to become even more attractive to wildlife as Geauga Park District begins to clear land and build a low dam for new wetlands. “It’s exciting – kind of a first for us, as the Natural Resource Management Department, doing a larger-scale project,” said Park Biologist Paul Pira. Frohring Meadows opened to the public in 2007, complete with a parking lot and retention basin that emptied into a natural area of two acres. The impending work will double that area’s size and enhance it with an Agri Drain to allow for water level management by Park District specialists.
Pira said construction should take about five days and cost $7,000, funded by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Wildlife program, which supports private landowners and nonfederal agencies for habitat creation. An application, a proposal and on-site meetings were required before the money was awarded this summer.
Prime wetlands already exist at Frohring Meadows, making it a popular place to spot shorebirds, wading birds and waterfowl such as Virginia Rails and soras, which the Park District has surveyed for the past few years. “But after this project we’ll be able to have even more standing water in a new place and manipulate those water levels, too, for habitat for these birds,” Pira said.
The new wetland work is also expected to increase the populations and diversity of insects like dragonflies and other birds, not to the exclusion Mallards and those more familiar. “Wetlands are still sadly being destroyed and lost at a huge rate,” Pira said. “It’s just terrible. Ninety-five percent of original wetlands in the state have been destroyed. So any chance we get to create a little more wetland habitat becomes a priority for us.”