Have you heard about the recent reforestation efforts to improve water quality, forested ecosystems and wildlife diversity at Orchard Hills Park in Chesterland? Now you can join Geauga Park District and Chagrin River Watershed Partners (CRWP) to hike to the site of the work, taking a tour along the 1.6-mile gravel McIntosh Trail.
Registration is required at Geauga Park District or 440-286-9516 for this Orchard Hills & Caves Creek Tour on Saturday, December 7th, from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Only 20 spots are available, so those interested shouldn’t wait to sign up!
In 2018, Geauga Park District received a $72,000 grant through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative/U.S Forest Service program for its ongoing reforestation at this former golf course, located at 11340 Caves Road in Chesterland.
This grant, written in collaboration with Chagrin River Watershed Partners, will facilitate the long-term return of large, mature, native forest ecosystem through planned habitat restoration. In total, 2,300 native trees will be planted this fall over about 10 acres: a wide variety of oaks and hickories, sugar maple, sycamore and more.
This specific reforestation project will be fully completed this year. Efforts will help maintain cold temperatures in headwater streams of Caves Creek, a coldwater tributary to the State Scenic Chagrin River, and facilitate the long-term return or recovery of a large, mature, native forest ecosystem.
“This site will be used to inform residents and park-goers on the importance of maintaining effective native riparian canopy to preserve and restore high-quality streams,” according to a CRWP release. “Community members (on this tour will) learn about the project and its impact on water quality and wildlife (as well as) the impacts of forest fragmentation on biodiversity and the loss of habitat for neotropical songbirds and forested stream-dependent species like Two-lined Salamanders.”
Cover Photo of Orchard Hills Park courtesy of the Geauga Park District