Beaver Creek Wetlands Association acquires 58 acres for Spotted Turtle Trail

The Beaver Creek Wetlands Association has purchased land to start Phase Two of the Spotted Turtle Trail Project, which begins at Phillips Park and ends at Pearl's Fen. STAFF/JIM NOELKER

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The Beaver Creek Wetlands Association has purchased land to start Phase Two of the Spotted Turtle Trail Project, which begins at Phillips Park and ends at Pearl's Fen. STAFF/JIM NOELKER

With the sale complete, the organization can move forward with Phase 2 of the $7.5 million project.

The Beaver Creek Wetlands Association has acquired more than 58 acres of wetland habitats that will be incorporated into the upcoming Spotted Turtle Trail, allowing the organization to move forward with the next major section of the $7.5 million trail project.

The purchase allows the organization to start on its second phase of trail development. The organization will install boardwalks, bridges and observation decks to make the area accessible, and clear additional trails for people to enjoy. This section of Spotted Turtle Trail also includes a proposed loop on the east side of the Beaver Creek.

“Any time you go to our parks and reserves, you’re going to see plants and flowers you won’t see anywhere else but a wetland,” said Executive Director Jacki Mayer. “We have this incredibly beautiful natural area that’s basically right in our backyards.”

The 58 acres, which run along the Beaver Creek, will be named the Dave Nolin Wetland Reserve. Nolin the longtime area naturalist and Beaver Creek Wetlands Association president.

“Dave has been an integral member of this organization for quite some time” Mayer said. “He was previously with Five Rivers MetroParks, and involved with projects like the Huffman Prairie. He also played an integral part in getting the property.

“He’s like a walking encyclopedia. He has such a wealth of information,” she added.

Funding was sourced from a $476,000 Clean Ohio grant through the Ohio Public Works Commission, which will also pay for the restoration of the property. Beaver Creek Wetlands Association purchased the land for $175,000.

Once complete, the Spotted Turtle Trail will extend more than 15 miles, connecting all 18 wetland properties in the region from Pearl’s Fen to Beavercreek Station. The entire trail is expected to be completed in five years.

Work has already begun on Phase Two of the project, which includes revitalizing existing trails and and building new ones on the Dave Nolin Reserve and Dane Mutter Prairie. Cost estimate for Phase 2 is more than 1.8 million, largely because of boardwalks, bridges, observation platforms, and lots of trails that have yet to be cleared.

A ribbon cutting for Phase 1 of Spotted Turtle Trail is scheduled for Oct. 12.

The 58 acres were part of a recent rezoning in Beavercreek Twp., in which more than 100 acres were converted from farmland to residential development. The sale was completed on Sept. 17.

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