Autumn 2002


As summer fades into fall and a year has passed since the tragedies of last September, we pause to reflect on the changes that we’ve made and those that are still ahead of us.  It seems that we appreciate more these days since we seem to view things differently, and hopefully see them in a better light.  Some things amaze us and seem to make more of a difference.

One of those amazing sights was the beautiful wildflower, allium tricoccum, in bloom on a sun-dappled hillside in July.  The breathtaking beauty and simplicity of the wildflowers that blanketed the hillside and the calm and quiet and serenity of the woods that day was a striking contrast to the hot and humid conditions outside the woods.  Dan Boone was the guide that day and led us into a magical woodland filled with these treasures.  Those woods in the Western Wildlife Corridor are the sole location in Hamilton County where these rare beauties bloom.

Narrows Park Progress by Tim Sisson

The corridor we’re named after, “our” Western Wildlife Corridor includes the Ohio River valley with its steep hillsides and adjacent creeks running from Mt. Echo Park west to the Indiana State border.  This entire region, of course, is very special to us but one part is of particular interest.  Notice as you travel west along the Ohio River from Cincinnati, the very steep hillsides close to the river beginning in Sedamsville and continuing to Rapid Run Creek near Sayler Park.  These formed when the Ohio River cut a new channel after being dammed by the glacier during the last ice age.

Noted geologist Richard Durrell first recognized that the unique geology here would be perfect for a park. He visualized a corridor of park land along the bluff from Embshoff Park west to and including the wooded promontory just west of the College of Mt. St. Joseph.  This is indicated in the map below as the area within the heavy line.

Virtually all of this bluff is still heavily wooded as illustrated in the following aerial photo showing unbroken tree cover on the promontory west of the College of Mt. St. Joseph (this runs across the top half of the picture with the Ohio River at the bottom for reference).  There is even a hiking trail in this area now – maintained by volunteers – that provides a lovely walk through the woods.



Western Wildlife Corridor adopted Richard Durrell’s idea as an integral part of our corridor and laid out the following plan to initiate development of a park here:

1. Complete a map of the proposed park including a list of the current property owners.

2. Contact the property owners about the park and its benefits and let them know the options for land transfer.

3. Generate news releases and give presentations about the proposed park.

4. Publish articles about the proposed park in our newsletter and elsewhere.

5. Install signs identifying the proposed park boundaries.

6. Accept and provide stewardship for donated properties.

So, at this point in time, we had an inspired idea and a well thought out plan of action to get the ball rolling.  What did we need to do next?  To borrow a word from Thomas Edison (when he explained how inventions came about) we needed ”perspiration”.

The first step in our perspiration was to look for funding for a person to work on the plan.  We soon had a real success - this year Western Wildlife Corridor received a grant of $25,000 from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation to work on the plan for a year.  Our staff person, Cheryl Reinke Peck, along with several of our members have done a lot already on the items listed above, but we need more help, particularly in these last few months of the grant, to accomplish these ambitious goals.  In particular we need help with sign making, mapping, and creation of news releases and articles. If you have the skills to help with any of these, or know of anyone who does, please give Cheryl a call at 921-9453.

Narrows Park is a wonderful initiative for us.  It will anchor our corridor and provide the impetus to preserve land all along the rest of it.  Please join us now as we work to complete this initial plan leading to a wonderful new park in our Western Wildlife Corridor.

WWC Membership by Dee Sizler, SC

It means a great deal to me to be a member of the Western Wildlife Corridor.  I love the beautiful, alive corridor region.  As I learn about how wonderfully created it is, I see what a gift it is to all of us in so many ways.  I am also realizing how threatened is its pristine existence.  Some view the region as a commodity to be “developed” and miss the extraordinary development that already exists.

As an individual, I am pretty powerless to influence change.  As an active and involved member of a group like WWC, I am experiencing a sense of accomplishment.  We work to preserve the wealth we share in common in our green hills and river valley.  Being connected in this way is critical.  It’s not good enough for me just to count on the next guy to make the difference.

As a member of Western Wildlife Corridor I have learned about conservation easements and how land trusts do work.  I am currently working to help “grow” our membership as part of the Membership Committee.  As a member of the board of trustees I am building with terrific people a really strong, committed organization.

This opportunity and enthusiasm is available to you, too.  It would be great to have you become part of the experience with us.  There are quite a few things we could use help with like getting our website spruced up, help with monitoring our land sites, speak to groups who want to know more about us, help with getting our newsletter ready, represent WWC at public events.  We could use technical assistance, artists, gardeners, fundraisers, educators, and lovers of nature of all kinds.  We have dreams and getting them accomplished goes faster when we have lots of members in the adventure with us.

We want people with green property to create conservation easements to protect it.  We want the great green space managed so that invasive species don’t smother native things.  We want to be together enjoying our wildlife corridor.  Please join if you are not a current member and let us know what you would like to do.  Ask your friends to join us, too.  Now is also a good time to renew your membership.

We are moving into our second decade and we have a challenge ahead.