Maintaining a sense of optimism about the current status of green areas is
essential, and I've appreciated both you and Rob's comments about the topic
Something that I want to add tho and this is what is purposeful in this
discussion is... There are *still* high quality sites in Ohio and they are
*crucial* to the repopulation of the historical biota of this state.
Unfortunately, I feel the same ideology that clear cut most of the entire East
back in the 1800s still prevails. The high quality sites that are left seem
to be magnets for new development. It's sort of this "Well we're done with
this, so it can go back green now cause we can go right up the road and get
that for cheap and look good planting some trees here!"
And so further on with that... You're right, the open fields are now being
reestablished with greenery... But what greenery is getting established?
Solid stands of silver maples is not what I'd consider very diverse. Sure
it's green and it's trees, but what happens when the analogous "dutch elm
disease" of maples shows up? What air are we breathing then? Hopefully the
O2 produced by milkweeds, asters, goldenrods, sedges, rushes etc etc because
there's only going to be a couple Oaks left standing, at least in this area
With our oak savanna, sand barrens, wet prairie restoration project here,
we've actually had to give up doing plant rescues because the developers were
using it as their own PR source. I couldn't believe it when I saw the truth
twisted on a developer's flyer in a "Parade of Homes".
Fortunately, Toledo's new mayor is all about urban renewal and we have 8 years
with him. Hopefully, he'll be able to persuade the county commissioners into
renewal (the new baseball stadium was a great start... Go Mudhens! :) instead
of the delirious and unguided expansion they've been promoting for the last
20. Maybe once again, the wet prairies will flow across the roads in the
spring and not down one of those straight creeks :)
And with that flow... Hopefully there's an incoming tide of repopulation by
the native biota that made it thru.
So keep guarding that old growth... the associated mychorizae, parasitic and
understory plants, arthropods, birds and all involved in that web of life will
thank you for it :)
From: Brian Migchelbrink
Sent: Wednesday, September 04, 2002 12:53 PM
Subject: Re: NANFA-- preserving greenspace..It's not too bad yet.
"urban sprawl swallowing up so much of our natural and rural landscape
Hey Rob, don't sound so glum.
Fact is, Ohio has actually been increasing it's green space rapidly in
the last 40-50 years.
Much of the cleared farmland (clearing out all those trees was a lot of
work 150 yrs ago)
is returning to the forested land it once was. As an example, I could
show you photos
of the Ohio Canal/Cuyahoga River corridor from the 1850's- there wasn't
a tree to be
found growing within miles of the canal from Cleveland to Akron. Now the
are re-covering most of the valley again! I have read reports of the
very first deer sighted in Northern
Ohio in 1930 in the Chagrin River valley-none had inhabited the northern
part of the state for years.
Now, I have more deer in the backyard than squirrels (seriously!).
Don't get me wrong- I hate seeing another big chain drugstore being
built as much as anyone.
The first surveying parties in Ohio said that a squirrel could travel
from Cleveland to Cincinnati
by tree and never touch the ground!! Unfortunately, that will never
happen again anytime soon.
The swamplands and wetlands that were drained in N.W. Ohio will never
return (ever notice
all the straight creeks on the Delorme Atlas labeled "ditches" below
Toledo?). Now, if we could
get an Ohio EPA with something in their pants besides the politicians
hands, we'd be OK ("sure
you can bury 88 acres of class III wetlands to build an airport runway
Mr. Mayor"-Abrams Creek).
I guess the glass is half full/ half empty.
Guarding my one acre of old growth forest in Bedford,
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