Accomplishing Land Preservation Objective

By Tim Sisson, WWC Land/Stewardship/Narrows Preserve Committee Chair

Western Wildlife Corridor’s two main reasons for existence are to preserve natural lands in the Ohio River valley from Price Hill to the Indiana state line and, to inform people of the benefits of preserving these lands.  We are pleased to say that WWC has been hugely successful in accomplishing our land preservation objective this year!

In July, a grant of $121,591 from the State of Ohio’s Clean Ohio fund was approved to allow Hamilton County Park District to purchase 39 beautiful forested hillside acres that lie between Bender Road and Hillside Ave. in Delhi Township.  This land will now be preserved in a natural state in perpetuity.

WWC can take a lot of credit for this, since we made the first contact with these property owners and determined that they were interested in selling.  We then got the Hamilton County Park District and the Delhi Park Board involved.  Hamilton County Park District applied for the grant, which will pay 59% of the purchase amount.  The rest of the purchase   amount, $84,703, will come from Hamilton County Park District’s ForeverGreen fund.

The preservation of this land in its natural state is an important step in the establishment of our Narrows Preserve, which extends along the steep hillsides above the Ohio River from Embshoff Woods County Park to Rapid Run Creek at Bender Road.


Bruce Cortwright in Narrows Preserve

The preservation of this land is also an important step in accomplishing an objective that representatives of Western Wildlife Corridor, Hamilton County Park District, the Delhi Township Park Board and a Delhi Township Trustee agreed to in April:  the establishment of a large area of park and greenspace extending from Story Woods to the Riverview Nursing Home – and possibly beyond.  This would preserve as wooded hillside much of the corridor where Bender Road winds up thru the Rapid Run valley, the wooded promontory that lies between Bender Road and Hillside Avenue, and a large stretch of the hillside along the Ohio River.

We were also successful recently in preserving another area of land in Delhi Township, a short distance from the Ohio River.  This property was donated to Western Wildlife Corridor and is significant because it includes a creek valley with adjacent riparian zone as well as some huge Burr Oak trees.  Above, Tom Morin, one of our Board members, is shown holding up one of these impressive specimens.


Delshire Preserve Stewardship

What, you may ask, does “stewardship” of a preserve mean? In general terms it means being responsible for and taking care of a preserve.  In our case, stewardship activities involve two main functions:

* Monitoring the preserve through inspection visits to assure that it isn’t being abused – for example by someone doing a bit of midnight logging.

* Taking action to make the preserve more natural by cleaning up trash, removing invasive alien species and planting native species.

On November 15 from 9am until we decide we’ve had enough, you will have the chance to see what “stewardship” means first hand.  That day we will be working to clean up our Delshire Preserve in Delhi.  This is part of an ongoing effort to keep trash out of the preserve and to return it to a more natural state.  We will also offer guided hikes in the preserve. Please call Bob Nienaber at 251-5352 for more information.

Through past cleanup efforts at Delshire, we have managed to remove just about all the trash.  This was no small effort, especially because of the large rug and assorted plastic objects pinned down in the creek by rocks.  We have also made a good start at removing the extremely invasive Amur honeysuckle. Because of our efforts, native wildflowers now have a chance to bloom unfettered in the more level upper reaches of the preserve.

But the job of stewardship is never done. There is certain to be some new trash to remove this year and there is still a lot of honeysuckle left to remove. If you enjoy doing hands-on work to help preserve the environment, if you like being outside on a crisp fall day (at least we hope it’s a crisp fall day!), if you like the companionship of a group of really nice people who have the same interests as yourself, please join us on November 15.  You will gain a feeling of real satisfaction – I guarantee it!


Birdathon Team Endures Drenching Rains for WWC

Bob Nienaber

A Cincinnati Museum Center team consisting of Jan LaGory, Kevin Kunz, and Bob Nienaber, literally beat the bushes to raise money for the Western Wildlife Corridor, Inc.  Birdathon 2003, a 24 hour bird counting exercise, was held from 5:00 pm, May 9 to 5:00 pm, May 10.  Pledges based on a given amount of money per species identified were collected for WWC.

The team began their count at Delshire Preserve and then moved on to Sisters’ Hill south of the College of Mount St. Joseph.  Here a Magnolia Warbler was spotted which is a species of high conservation priority in Ohio.  Recording this species will help us attain Important Bird Area status by the Audubon Society for Narrows Preserve.  From Sisters’ Hill the team proceeded to the Oxbow and then over to Miami Whitewater Forest to camp.

Saturday morning brought copious amounts of rain but also lots of bird activity between storms. The team got enough birding in between storms at Miami Whitewater, Mitchell Memorial Forest, and finally Cincinnati Nature Center to identify 84 species. All in all the Birdathon was a success for WWC by raising funds, along with sighting a key Important Bird Area species in Narrows Preserve.

Narrows Preserve sign – A sign of the times

As part of our continuing effort to promote our Narrows Preserve, signs have been purchased to identify the preserve at each end.  The sign on the west end of the preserve was recently installed on the property of Pabco Fluid Power at the foot of Bender Road.  We thank Pabco very much for permitting this sign to be placed on their property.  Our new sign includes our logo and contact information and announces our Narrows Preserve to the community.




                           Lining it up                                                                                       WWC Sign Installation Crew



Coyote in WWC

Bob Maxwell

My back yard in Delhi adjoins dense woods, a branch of the forest that covers the Corridor.  During August, Liz and I were often delighted to see a coyote emerge cautiously from the shadows and stretch out in the sun. We promptly named her Wiley.  She would sometimes lie on her side or on her belly with a forepaw crossed over the other.  At the slightest sound from our house, she immediately melted back into the woods.

Our fascination drove us to look for more information.  Wiley and her sisters range from the Pacific to the Atlantic, from Panama to Alaska.  It is not uncommon to hear them howl at night but it’s rare to see one.  Wiley probably mated in March and produced some eight pups, only three of whom will survive to adulthood.  She raised the pups in a den, which she had made.  At this writing (October) the pups have likely scattered.

Wiley is not a pack animal, she hunts alone or with her mate.  She is smart, wary, and elusive.  Her travels are not limited to the forest or countryside.  She will go wherever she can find food, even residential or downtown areas.  She will eat almost anything -- rodents, carrion, woodchuck, berries, poultry, or garbage.  Your own backyard may have hosted a coyote or two.  Authorities advise against leaving pet food at any distance from the house, and people should NEVER try to feed or leave food for coyotes.  Problems occur when any wild animal loses its natural fear of humans.

We have not seen Wiley for some weeks now, but that doesn't mean she hasn't seen us.  When any of us look at a forest there are countless pairs of unseen eyes watching us.  Eyes looking at us from ground level, from the trees, and from the air.  Wiley's eyes are there.  They watch in curiosity and in fear of humans who are often unkind to wildlife.  The owners of all of those eyes greatly enrich our lives, and we have a responsibility to spend time and talent in the preservation of all forms of life.  Our work in the WWC makes an important contribution to this sacred balance.


Dee Sizler, SC, Membership Committee Chair

            Our members came through again in support of the needs of the Western Wildlife Corridor mission, to protect our natural wild hillsides.  The summer appeal to you, our members, for financial help in time of organizational transition was a success.  Thanks for your response. 

            Becoming a membership driven volunteer organization is the goal and the challenge of WWC.    We now have the technical aide of member Judy Neal, who is serving as the membership manager and is getting some office and computer things reorganized, carrying on with member tasks from where Cheryl Reinke-Peck left off.  Judy has been a great help.

            Now one of the main needs is to get volunteers organized.  A number of you generously have offered to help in a variety of ways and no one has gotten back to you.

It’s not that there is not work to be done, but just that there is no volunteer organizer. If you have interest, ideas and or experience getting helpers organized or are willing to learn give me a call (251-4316).

            Other leadership opportunities with us include organizing the speakers bureau.  It will be great when we have presenters to talk with groups about WWC.

 We are also looking for someone to help recruit business owners in the WWC region to become members.  The local businesses need to know more about us so they can join our effort.

Since these leadership jobs involve a time commitment we may be able to offer a stipend for services.  We, the Board, realize not everyone who is willing and able can afford to completely donate their time. Anyone who is inspired to help with these on behalf of our beautiful green hills is welcome.

            My experience as a member and as volunteer has been rewarding.  I am meeting wonderful, dedicated people and experiencing the power of a group to get things done.

            Coming up in mid-November is our 2004 Membership Drive.  You, loyal members, are counted on to get the word out about Western Wildlife Corridor.  Please remember to invite friends to join us by becoming members too.  Again, thanks to all of you for all you do to keep our Corridor green.


Western Wildlife Corridor Mission Statement


The Western Wildlife Corridor, Inc. has been formed to protect, preserve, and secure from harm the greenway corridor that runs along and in the vicinity of the Ohio River, from Wilson Common in Price Hill to the Oxbow along the Great Miami River bordering Indiana. This corridor is a natural habitat for a wide variety of species of wildlife and plants, and because of the soil structure is extremely susceptible to slippage.  These wooded natural areas are vital in providing for the emotional needs of people, cleansing the air, helping regulate temperatures, and providing a natural buffer zone.

This effort will be carried out by:

·        Educating the public concerning this increasingly rare natural resource and its need for protection;

·        Researching the natural resources of the Corridor;

·        Developing a coalition of municipalities and environmental organizations, businesses and individuals working together to preserve the land;

·        Protecting the land through attaining conservation easements, donations, or purchasing it;

·        Working for legislation that will protect this area; and

·        Developing a land management plan for the Corridor


The Western Wildlife Corridor Needs Your Support!

In order to continue the good work of the Western Wildlife Corridor, your membership support is needed.  Please fill out the following form and mail it to the Western Wildlife Corridor along with your tax-deductible contribution today.

By becoming a member of the Western Wildlife Corridor, you can help us preserve and protect our wooded hillsides and greenspace.

Please send the completed form below to:

            Western Wildlife Corridor, Inc., 4739 Delhi Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45238



Name_______________________________________________                                                         š  Individual           $20.00

                                                                                                                                                                š  Family               $30.00

Address______________________________________________                                                        š  Organization      $50.00

                                                                                                                                                                š  Supporting         $75.00

City___________________________ State ______Zip___ ____                                                           š  Patron              $100.00

                                                                                                                                                                š  Sponsoring         $500.00

Phone Number_______________ E-mail Address__ ___                                                                        š  Lifetime            $1000.00

                                                                                                                                                               š  Other Donation ______

May we call you for active support?   q Yes    q No


I might consider donating land or a conservation easement on the land or know someone else who might.            q Yes