The Western Wildlife Corridor has secured its 10th property with the purchase of 15.7 acres at 6446 Hillside Avenue in Sayler Park.
The nonprofit, which has a mission to preserve greenspace in the Ohio River valley, is naming the site Buckeye Trace.
“We’ve been eying this land since 2006,” Western Wildlife Corridor President Tim Sisson said. “There’s a heavily wooded forest with nice mature trees and a meadow.”
He said that the group tried to purchase the land when it was for sale in 2006 but before they could get money together for an offer, it sold. The land went back up for sale last fall.
The wildlife corridor paid $80,000 for the land, $59,000 of which they secured through a Clean Ohio Conservation Grant and the Hamilton County Park District paid $5,000 to purchase a conservation easement. The remaining $16,000 came from donations to the corridor’s land acquisition fund and membership money, Sisson said.
Wildlife Corridor board member John Klein said it was important to secure grants and other funding for the property.
“It’s a way to stretch our budget dollars,” he said.
The former property owners installed a gravel driveway through the center of the property which Sisson said the wildlife corridor will use as a hiking trail. He added that they will likely build a trail off that drive and loop it back to make a longer trail.
But before they can build trails, the wildlife corridor has some cleaning up to do.
“It’s important to return the property to a real natural state,” he said. “Honeysuckle eliminates other plants and produces a chemical that inhibits growth. We’re going to go in and clear the honeysuckle out, garlic mustard and other invasive alien plant species.”
Sisson said he will be enlisting the help of volunteers to clean up the site.
“We’re an all-volunteer organization. Even I’m a volunteer,” he said. “Over the last few years we’ve had more than 100 people volunteering to maintain our preserves.”
Klein said that the volunteer base stays active throughout the year.
“We really get involved and get our hands dirty,” he said. “Every week we clear unwanted plants from our preserves for habitat restoration.”
Sisson said he is happy that the organization can help preserve so many sites.
“We have so much to offer,” he said. “Our sites are open to the public for hiking, birding and for people to take photos. This really fulfills our mission of preserving greenspace.”
For more information about the wildlife corridor, visit www.westernwildlifecorridor.org or call 921-9453.