“Preserving these natural areas is critical,” Jurick said. “We’re trying to connect people with the land and recognize that the birds and the bees are all part of our community.”
Jurick said acquiring this land helps his organization’s mission to connect Beaverceek and Wenrick Wetlands with green space that will be off-limits to any commercial or residential development.
“Preserving these natural areas is critical. We have such great soils because of the Mad River flood plains … Getting the younger generations more involved is one of our prime motivations as well,” he said.
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The total project cost, including buying the land from Oberer, is estimated to be $493,500, according to the application. The costs include appraising and surveying the property, removing invasive species and improving the site with trails and a bridge.
Preserving the Beavercreek corridor will connect the city’s parks and help keep nature’s natural water-filtering processes in place, according to Alicia Eckhart, director of Fairborn Parks and Recreation,
“This is a great way to use Clean Ohio funds for water preservation,” Eckhart said. “(The wetlands) are the cleansing mechanisms of everything we do as man.”
Eckhart said this is a continuation of the city’s partnership with Oberer, which previously owned all the land that became the Garland Wetland Reserve.
“We are fortunate that Oberer is willing to do this. They pay the matching portion of the grant,” she said.
The local matching portion of the grant is $7,500, according to the application.
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Jurick said the organization will know in November whether it is awarded the Clean Ohio grant. If funded, the project is slated to be finished by December 2020.
A representative with the Oberer Development Company could not be reached for comment.