Spring 2000 Issue                                                                    In Collaboration With IMAGO, Inc.

Western Wildlife Corridor Collaborates with Imago in Price Hill by Jim Schenk IMAGO, Inc. an ecological education organiza­tion in Price Hill, approached the Western Wildlife Corridor about working together to preserve land in Price Hill and along the corridor. The corridor actually makes up a good part of Price Hill, which includes Mt. Echo Park, and the land between Mt. Echo and Emshoff Park. WWC and IMAGO have each committed $6,000 for the year 2000 toward hiring a staff person to help with land preservation. The first three months have proven to be an exciting time. Ajoint committee of Western Wildlife Corridor members and IMAGO members has been formed to work together on this project. Meg Riestenberg. David Myer and Ron Kruse are representing the Western Wildlife Corridor. Pam Jacobson, Chris Clements and Jim Schenk represent IMAGO. A committee has been set up in Price Hill to focus on the preservation of land in that neighborhood. A list of all land owners who own 2 or more of land in Price Hill has been compiled. Over 120 land owners fit into this category. Land owners with 5 acres or more are being compiled for the rest of the corridor. The next step is to contact the larger land owners and let them know the opportunity that exists for preserv­ing their land for future generations. A letter has been sent to the largest land owners in Price Hill, and follow-up contacts are planned. Personal contacts are the best way to approach land owners. If you know someone along the corridor or in Price Hill who owns a large piece of land, please let us know. You could help us determine the best way to approach this person. It is an exciting time for the Westem Wildlife Corridor! We are gaining momentum on preserving this beautiful land along the river. Western Wildlife Corridor Joins the Land Trust Alliance In February the Western Wildlife Corridor was accepted to be a member of the Land Trust Alliance the national organization of land conservancies. Founded in 1982, LTA provides leadership, information skills and resources to the 1,227 local, regional and national land trusts across the nation. Its sole mission is to strengthen the land trust movement, helping to ensure that land trusts conserve land for the benefit of communities and natural systems. Devin Schenk, Western Wildlife Corridor’s environmental science intern feels that membership in such a influential and successful organization will significantly add to the Corridor’s mission. “Besides offering valuable technical support, LTA will put us in touch with hundreds of groups that are similar to the Western Wildlife Corridor and keep us on the pulse of the conservation field.” Throughout the county, organizations like the Corridor are using tools such as conservation easements to help landowners preserve their family lands for their children and grandchildren. Often times, when land owners pass away, the Estate taxes that their heirs are forced to pay can be so much that they are forced to sell the land to pay them. With a conservation easement this burden can be avoided and the land can continue to stay in the family. Tools such as conservation easements are being used to great success across the country. To date local and regional land trusts have protected approxi­mately 4.7 million acres of wetlands, wildlife habitat, ranches and farms, shorelines, forests, recreation land and other property of ecological significance. Membership in the Land Trust Alliance will assure that the Western Wildlife Corridor will continue to grow and protect land along our wooded corridor that runs from Mt. Echo Park in Price Hill to the Indiana state line.

Delhi Man Into Green By Forrest Sellers Originally printed in Delhi Press Wednesday, March 1, 2000 Delhi Township businessman Ron Kruse is green, but its not with envy or inexperience. Kruse was recently appointed director of land preservation for the Western Wildlife Corridor (WWC). It’s almost like coming full circle for the former Delhi trustee. Several years ago he was instrumental in getting the Five Points Park built at Neeb and Rapid Run roads. He plans to cut back on some of his business work to devote time to the WWC. He said he will work with WWC in developing a direction and work plan. One of Kruse’s goals is to promote green space in Delhi, Price Hill, and along the Western Wildlife Corridor, which extends from Price Hill to North Bend (sic). As these areas become more urbanized, “green space becomes more important for quality of life,” he said. “The corridor will work with any groups to help develop pocket parks or recreational areas.” He said that maintaining a certain amount of green space is important. “As cities grow and develop, a certain amount of green space makes for better living (conditions), otherwise we become wall to wall concrete and blacktop.” Devin Schenk, an intern for the WWC. said the organization will benefit from Kruse’s involvement. “Ron has shown the ability to reach out to people, and that is a really important qualification for performing in his position (as director),” he said. “He also has a strong dedication for green space in Delhi and Western Hills.” Schenk said Kruse’s work on Five Points Park demonstrated not only his enthusiasm, but his ability to gct others involved. “I think through his expertise he is going to be able to lead projects that will preserve greenspace. he said. “With Five Points Park, he’s proven himself as someone who can get people excited about a cause. Kruse said Five Points Park was spear-headed by former Delhi Fire Chief Don Ohmer. who wanted to use the area for the recognition of fire department personnel. “We didn’t think about money, we just started ,“said Kruse. He said everyone involved in the project came through. More than 100 volunteers helped in the construction of the park. “He’s a very energetic and dedicated person.” said Dave Myers, a friend who has worked with Kruse in the WWC and the Delhi Land Conservancy. “He has a lot of good ideas, and what he thinks is right he will go after.” In addition to preparing a plan for the WWC. Kruse hopes to establish a solid volunteer base in the organization. “I think everyone can work together to keep a balance between green space and development,” he said. “We’ll all be happier in the long run.” Land Preservation: Why, What For, and How? By Ron Kruse Why? As communities become more urban, we must look to the future and try to envision what we may become, wall to wall homes, businesses, and wider and wider roads to connect everything together. Growth will happen. How it happens can be influenced by all of us and through the work of WWC and IMAGO, and with everyone’s help, (residents, businesses, developers. etc.) we can make a difference. What for? As our communities become more urban. we must work and plan just to maintain some of what attracted us to the area — Green Space. Once Green Space is lost it is gone forever, so our involvement is now and forever. Maintaining open land and working landscapes no matter how small, is important for our communities. It protects our health and welfare, enhances quality of life. preserves our heritage and makes economic sense. It is important that we work together encouraging land conservation, for the betterment of our communities and the environment now and especially for the future. To see the importance of conservation take a look back 10, 20, 40 years, and remember what our community looked like compared to today. This encourages all of us to be concerned about how we would like our community to be in 10. 20. 40 more years. We can all make a difference, it only takes a little effort now compared to the immense task of creating green space once its lost. No one can project the future. but we can help shape how it looks. How? There are many methods to preserve the precious Western Wildlife Corridor. We will be focusing on conservation easements, education, and community empowerment. Conservation easements, a tool increas­ingly used by land trusts to permanently protect open spaces, has proven to be reliable and beneficial through tax incentives, grants, etc. Conservation easements offer a flexible land protection tool that will protect land forever. The property is still privately owned and can be lived on, but in the easement, which is tailored to each owner’s particular needs, they are free to specify what restrictions to put on the use of the land. WWC is a member of the Land Trust Alliance and through their experience and information and your help we will establish a system by which we will be able to promote and support land conservation throughout the Western Wildlife Corridor. Your involvement, through a donation of time, money or knowledge, will help in the progress to enhance our environment for the future.Western Wildlife Gets a New Office And New Mailing AddressAs a WWC Board member and the new Land Protection Director, Ron Kruse has done a lot of good things for the Corridor. With a donation of office space and a computer, he has now done us all another favor. Ron, a long time Delhi businessman, is part owner of KLR Associates, Inc. KLR Associates is a food service planning and design firm that helps design kitchens all over the country. The office building is located on Delhi Road, near St. Dominic Church. From here, WWC’s intern has been working with Ron to initiate our Land Protection Program. We have also been using the space to hold Board meetings and store the mounds of information the WWC has saved and produced over the last ten years. We want to take this time to thank Ron and KLR Associates for the generous donation. If you call the WWC office, please be aware that we also share the phone with KLR (513-244-2250). If a stranger answers the phone. please be courteous, they are simply KLR staff. Just ask for Ron or Devin and they will connect you right away.

Cincinnati Greenways Plan Many of you may be aware of the comprehensive Greenways Plan that The Cincinnati Park Board has been working on for the last few years. This project is a progressive movement to produce a greenways plan for Cincinnati. The proposed greenways would connect important cultural centers, parks, and residential areas with bicycle and pedestrian paths. Also included in this plan are wildlife corridors, including the Western Wildlife Corridor. Doug Fraser, a Park Board landscape architect has agreed to offer our organization technical information and advice. We are hoping also to form a relationship that will guarantee that the Western Wildlife Corridor receives legitimate consideration in the Greenways Plan. Spring Wildflowers by Devin Schenk Spring wildflowers are truly fantastic! They are incredibly colorful, very diverse, and their life cycles are quite interesting. Spring wildflowers although delicate in appearance, are a hardy bunch of plants. They are the first plants to emerge from the ground in the early spring. They fight their way to the surface in newly thawed soil, struggle through frosts and late snowstorms long before any of the trees or shrubs have woken up from their winter dormancy and produced leaves. There is a specific reason why these wildflowers grow during such harsh conditions: Sunlight. The extensive canopy of leaf-laden trees in the summer robs a great deal of the sun’s light, darkening the forest floor. Some plants are shade tolerant, meaning they can survive under the umbrella of the tall forest trees. However, they are slow growers. Spring wildflowers, on the other hand, come up before the trees leaf out. and therefore get the benefit of full sunshine. These plants grow quickly, flower, pollinate, go to seed. and die before most plants can even begin to grow. These early flowers are not only important to wildlife as food, and to us for their beauty. they also are important to the overall health of the forest. Spring wildflowers absorb large amounts of nutrients from the soil as they grow. These nutrients have leached out of the decomposing leaf litter that accumulated in the fall. These nutrients are very important to the plants of the forest, but can easily be washed away in spring rains. The spring wildflowers stop this by taking the nutrients and storing them in plant tissues. Most of these nutrient-rich wild­flowers then die after their quick lifecycle is completed. They decompose and the nutrients are then available to the other forest plants. This is a very efficient cycle that would be severely hurt if the spring wildflowers were not there to stop the nutrients from washing away in the spring showers.Spring Wildflower Walk Please come join us on April 16 to explore more about these wonderful plants! Everyone is welcome. The walk will be at Old Delhi Road (Sisters Hill). Parking will be available at Mt. St. Joseph College. Call us at 244-2250 for directions and to tell us if you are coming.