Mill Creek Metroparks Nature Preserves webpage
Mill Creek Preserve trail map
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Located in Boardman Township, the Mill Creek Preserve consists of over 300 acres of upland and wetland habitats. Formerly the Orvets Sod Farm, the MetroParks acquired the property using grants from the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund and Wetland Resource Restoration Sponsorship Program (WRRSP). Due to its location along Mill Creek and the presence of a regionally significant large forested wetland complex, the MetroParks identified this property for acquisition in order to protect these sensitive habitats.
A restoration project was planned to return about 50 acres of the sod farm to the wetland and floodplain habitats that were originally present before the land was used for farming. By partnering with the Village of Lordstown on the WRRSP grant, the MetroParks obtained 100% grant funding for the project.
The first step was the removal of invasive plant species such as buckthorn, narrow-leaf cattail, giant reed, and reed canary grass. These species are not native to Ohio and were growing in thick colonies that choked out native species. Afterward, earthwork created pools and waterways to direct water through the wetlands. Then, thousands of plants and seeds from 70 native wetland species were introduced to the site. The project was completed in November 2009. The restored wetlands will help protect the existing wetland system by acting as a buffer, filtering pollutants from the water before it reaches the high-quality wetlands.
The Mill Creek Preserve also has an upland ridge to the west which overlooks the Mill Creek valley. Habitats here include a large wooded ravine, several small streams, young forests, fallow fields, and a prominent ridge of low, densely covered shrubby vegetation ideally suited as cover for wildlife of all types.
The expansive acreage of the Mill Creek Preserve and its diverse, high-quality habitats create many opportunities for bird watching, hiking, and other passive recreation activities. Look for white-tailed deer, coyote, eastern cottontail rabbits, red-tailed hawks, and a wide variety of songbirds, which have all been observed at this unique site. The Preserve offers visitors the opportunity to observe wetland habitats up close throughout the year, and each season brings with it new colors and activity.
About 2 miles of trails have been created through wetland and upland habitats at the Preserve, allowing visitors to experience these habitats and the wildlife within them up close. Parking is available off of Western Reserve Road.; there are no restroom facilities on-site.
From Mill Creek Metroparks Nature Preserves webpage
No restroom facilities.