Beaver Creek Wetlands Association to acquire land for new trail system

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Beavercreek Twp. and the Beavercreek Wetlands Association will buy land to create a new trail system that, when complete, will cost more than $7 million.

Beavercreek Twp. and the Beavercreek Wetlands Association will buy land to create a new trail system that, when complete, will cost more than $7 million.

The trail system, which will be called Spotted Turtle Trail, would span 15 miles north and south of the Beaver Creek wetland corridor, from Pearl’s Fen in Fairborn to Rotary Park in Beavercreek.. There will be about 40 to 50 miles of trail within that corridor, said Beaver Creek Wetlands Association Vice President Ken Moran.

“Our goal is to connect the whole corridor,” Moran said. “People don’t even know some of this land is here. They’re not able to get in and enjoy it.”

Beavercreek Twp. will buy wetland from Mark McIntire for about $60,000. The land is just off of Fairground and Beaver Valley roads, along the Beaver Creek. The township also plans to repair a bridge on the property for abut $500. This is the only land that was privately owned in the proposed new trail system.

Greene County commissioners released funds to the township for this project last week. The money will go toward not only the land acquisition, but also a new observation tower at Hunter’s Pointe, a new interpretive sign and new signage for area neighborhood access. The total cost for this phase of the project is expected to be more than $67,000.

ExploreWetlands association aims to give more wetland access to Greene County residents

Beavercreek Twp. has also pledged in-kind staff hours and equipment use for this project. Moran said partnerships with Beavercreek Twp. Beavercreek, Fairborn and the county have allowed this project to come together.

The entire project is estimated to cost about $7.5 million. The wetlands association wants to connect existing trails throughout the county so that residents can better enjoy the area wetlands.

“Wetlands are as unique as rainforests or coral reefs,” Moran said.

Moran said wetlands are good for the environment because they absorb carbon. They are also good for Miami Valley residents because they purify water as it goes into the aquifer, he said.

The first phase of the project, which included improvements to existing trails at Rotary and Phillips parks, will be completed in June or July of this year. This next phase, which includes buying the McIntire land and building the observation tower, will take about a year.

This second phase will connect the Hunter’s Point and Hunter’s Ridge neighborhoods to the trail system, Moran said.

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The Beaver Creek Wetlands Association is working on making the wetland more accessible to Greene County residents. CONTRIBUTED

The Beaver Creek Wetlands Association is working on making the wetland more accessible to Greene County residents. CONTRIBUTED

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The Beaver Creek Wetlands Association is working on making the wetland more accessible to Greene County residents. CONTRIBUTED

The association hopes to finish the project in seven phases over the next five to seven years.

The Beaver Creek Wetlands Association has protected more than 2,300 acres of land along the Beaver Creek since it was formed in 1988, Moran said. These sites include wetlands, fens, marshes and streams. Now that the organization has spent the first 30 years of its existence preserving these lands, the focus is on giving the people who live in the region access to them, Moran said.

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