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Monday, June 1,2009

Conservancy creates new preserve in The Plains; will connect to bike path

By Athens NEWS Staff

The Athens Conservancy is creating a new nature preserve in The Plains, according to a news release.

This preserve will maintain a scenic corridor along Athens County's most-travelled county road, Johnson Road, the release said. The Conservancy is purchasing the 5.5-acre property with a grant from the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund.

The preserve will protect the stream that drains the terrace of The Plains. This terrace is an unusual geological feature, according to the news release, "comprising an area of deep glacial outwash that resulted in one of the largest level areas in Athens County." It is also an aquifer that drains year-round, resulting in small wetlands around the fringes. This project will protect some of those small wetlands, the release said.

The property will also provide right-of-way to Athens County for establishing a new bike path section. This section of bike path will connect Athens High School with the Hockhocking-Adena Bikeway. Eclipse Village on Jackson Drive, owned by a local consortium, is donating right-of-way for the bike path and is also giving a conservation easement to the Conservancy that will effectively double the preserve area.

This property is close to a local Indian mound that was recently purchase for preservation by the state archaeological society.

The land will be available for use by Athens High School classes as an extension of their current land lab, offering habitat type that is not a part of their current land-lab area, the release said.

In order to meet the terms of the grant awarded for purchase of this property, the Athens Conservancy must raise another $10,000 as match. The organization needs donations from the public in order to accomplish this, the release said. Information may be found at the Web site,


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