Part of the Park District’s mission is to protect natural resources. We are protecting water quality in Miami County through education programs, storm drain stenciling, wetland restoration, tree plantings and river clean-ups.
Honey Creek Reserve located in Southeastern Miami County is part of the Honey Creek Watershed. A watershed is an area of land that forms the drainage system for a stream or river. This area collects surface water from land. Healthy watersheds provide stable habitats for both biological diversity and human recreational uses. These stable systems are capable of adapting to environmental changes over time and are good indicators of the quality of the surrounding habitat.
For more information on watersheds visit this Ohio State University watershed page.
Honey Creek Watershed
Part of the Honey Creek Watershed is in the Southeastern part of Miami County. The mission of the Honey Creek Watershed Association is to protect and enhance the entire Honey Creek Watershed ground and surface water resource base by encouraging the use of, and educating the community on, water quality enhancement and watershed concepts.
Honey Creek Stream Restoration
The Miami County Park District and Honey Creek Watershed Association joined forces to complete the Honey Creek Stream Restoration which began in 2008. It was made possible with funding by the Ohio EPA through their 319 Stream Restoration Grant Program. The project included restoring and stabilizing 510 feet of stream bank, planting two acres of native tree species and two acres of native grasses to widen and enhance the riparian habitat along this section of Honey Creek. The project was completed in May of 2009.
This stream restoration project alone can improve the local water quality by reducing an estimated 41.4 tons of sediment, 82.7 pounds of nitrogen and 21.4 pounds of phosphorus from entering the Honey Creek. These reductions in nutrients from neighboring fields and sediment loading will also enhance the aquatic habitat, inviting more diverse and higher quality fish species such as the River Chub and the Scarlet Shiner.
The Miami County Park District in an effort to protect water quality and preserve wildlife habitats takes the conservation of wetlands very seriously. Throughout the parks you will find inland freshwater marshes, riparian corridors and vernal pools.
Wetlands are an important part of Ohio’s history as well as their future. Two hundred years ago there were 90% more wetlands than there are today. This is mainly because of humans. Most threat is from farming, housing developments and building large businesses. Today on the Earth only 6% of the surface is made up of wetlands. Wetlands are home to about 43% of all endangered bird species and many other endangered animals rely on these watery environments.
Why Are Wetlands Important?
The wetland habitat sustains more life than almost any other ecosystem. Wetlands provide a buffer between land and water, protecting the water from pollutants such as provide a buffer between land and water, protecting the water from pollutants such as fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides. This habitat holds water and is we during much of the growing season. When the land floods, wetlands trap or filter all the chemicals and sediment preventing erosion and preventing pollution from entering our streams and rivers. Wetlands hold back the pollution like a sponge holds back water, keeping our waterways healthy.
Wetlands Don’t Bite
Many people believe that wet marshes and other watery areas are a breeding ground for mosquitoes and therefore make their life miserable. The breeding ground part is true, but for the potential of many of the mosquitoes maturing is very low. Wetlands are home to so many mosquito-eating animals such as salamanders, dragonflies, ducks, water striders, crayfish and beetles, the mosquito population tends to be very low.
Aquatic Invasive Wildlife
As Americans, we love to spend time on the water.Protecting these resources is an important part of our overall enjoyment. A concern we must all address is the spreading of harmful plants, animals and other organisms. Click the following link to learn more about aquatic invasive species and what you can do to stop them.
A forest is a plant community of mostly trees and other woody plants growing closely together. Forests provide many benefits: as homes for wildlife, filters for air and water and recreation.
In the last 200 years Ohio’s forest cover has gone from 95% to 10%. Today, Ohio has recovered hundreds of acres of forest. Over a half-billion trees have been planted, increasing the forest cover to over 30%.
Following the retreat of the last ice sheet to cover our region, a “Prairie Peninsula” was established across present day Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Historically, these landscapes occurred as scattered pockets of open field habitat within the forested landscape. Today, less of 1% of Ohio’s original prairies remain intact.
The distinct trait of prairie communities is that they are stable and self-perpetuating, rather than a stage in natural succession towards a forest. The unique characteristics of prairie plants enable them to endure drought, fire and poor nutrient levels. About two-thirds of a prairie actually exist underground as an extensive root system. While individual prairie roots live only a short time, the entire plant can live for centuries. Prairies are comprised of various types of grasses and diverse mixes of wildflower species, known as “forbs.” Forbs represent a wide array of flowering plants that provide abundant food for insects, particularly moths and butterflies. Prairies also create habitat for many birds in the form of food, cover and nesting areas.
Prescribed burns are necessary to maintain the prairie’s health. It is an effective tool that helps control woody growth and prevents the prairie from evolving into a young forest. Burning dried remains of the previous year’s growth benefits new plants and provides important nutrients to the soil. This is how the various grasses and wildflowers are able to thrive.
Prairie burns are usually scheduled for early spring during the months of February through April. The park staff chooses this time frame as to not disrupt the animals that begin nesting in late April and early May. After considerable planning over the winter, park staff and a burn team choose the areas that are in need of management. Typically, prairies are burned on a three to five year rotation depending on the overall health of the prairie.
Precautions are taken to assure the burn is safe for the public and surrounding areas. A team of highly trained park staff plan and execute the burns. Property owners who are adjacent to a selected burn site are notified by letter that a burn will take place. Also, most prairies have a firebreak in place which is widened prior to a burn. Parks are not closed during a burn but there is limited access to certain areas based on public safety.
Ohio Native Plants
Visit the University of Texas Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to learn more about native plants. Pick a state to view native plants in the area. This list represents a large variety of species native to Ohio that can be used for a variety of habitats.
Invasive species are any plant or animal that is not native to the area and has adverse effects on the habitat or region it is living in. These effects can be environmentally, economically and/or even socially damaging. There are approximately 50,000 non-native species in the U.S. and of those non-natives about 5,000 are considered invasive. You may think that this is a small number; however these species can do some major damage.
A few of Ohio's invasive species are garlic mustard, honey suckle and the emerald ash borer (click on each to learn more). Since these species have no natural predators in their new homes, they can spread rampantly. The spread of invasive species causes a loss of biodiversity and disrupts the way an ecosystem works. This can eventually impose large costs on a variety of enterprises such as agriculture, forestry and fishing. The cost to control invasive species and the damages they inflict upon property and natural resources in the U.S. is estimated at $137 billion annually.
So what can you do to offset these high costs? Three of the most important things you can do to prevent the spread and introduction of invasive species are to make sure you do not have invasive species in your own yard, clean your recreation equipment after use and not to release unwanted pets or fish into the wild. Since most invasive species have been introduced accidentally, these simple steps can help to control invasive pests.
For more information visit the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Recycling is a key component of modern waste reduction and is the process of turning used materials into new products. You can help reduce energy usage, air pollution and water pollution by recycling. Thanks to a grant from Keeping America Beautiful and the Dr Pepper Snapple Group Your Parks now have recycling bins! Please be sure to keep Your Parks clean and us them. To learn more about the grant we received, read the press release. If your looking to recycle at your home, take a look below to find recycling information for your area.
Recycling in Miami County
The Recycling Center is located behind the Sanitary Engineering Administration office. Below is some basic information on recycling. Please visit the Transfer Station and Recycling page for more information on recycling in Miami County.
Miami County Recycling Center
Business Phone: 937-440-3488
Open Monday – Friday, 6 a.m. 6 p.m.
Saturday from 7 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
They take the following for recycling: #1 & #2 Plastics, aluminum cans, steel cans, cardboard, glass (all Colors) and newspapers. They ask that you rinse containers, discard lids, crush cans, boxes and plastic containers. Clean aluminum foil should be packed in steel cans.
The Recycling Center does not take: windows, ceramic materials, plastic insulation, #3 - #7 plastics, Styrofoam, no liquids and no hazardous materials.
Click here to get a list of regulations that describe the conditions under which the City of Troy provides residential refuse collection to its citizens. Any questions regarding refuse collection should be directed to the City’s Central Maintenance & Service Facility at 937-335-1914.
The City of Piqua Recycling Program is provided by Rumpke Recycling. The recycling materials should be placed in the recycling bins and placed alongside the regular refuse prior to 6:30 a.m. on your scheduled refuse collection day. For more information on the City of Piqua recycling Program follow this link.
Waste Management, Inc. is the contract hauler for residential trash removal and recycling services within Tipp City corporation limits. All residential dwellings in Tipp City are required to use Waste Management as their refuse hauler. The billing for refuse will be part of your utility bill. If you have any questions on the billing of refuse or need to change the type of service you are receiving, please contact Tipp City Utilities at 937-667-8424. If you have any questions or problems with service (i.e. what day do they pick up my trash, large item pick up, or they didn't pick up my trash), please contact Waste Management at 1-866-695-3433. If you are in need of the lawn bags, they are available at the Tipp City Government Center. For more information click here.
Environmental responsibility is everyone’s responsibility. Find out more about what you can do to help protect the environment at home, at school, on the road, or at work by visiting the EPA website http://www.epa.gov/gateway/learn/greenliving.html.
Green Tips Booklet
The Miami County Park District naturalists compiled a booklet full of recipes for green cleaning products. Green Tips Booklet
Wildlife Feeding Policies
Please DO NOT feed the animals
Feeding the wild animals in the parks is very dangerous for both the animal and for the people visiting the parks. Animals that are fed by humans lose their fear of humans, making them more prone to approach people, including hunters. A person in the parks may see an approaching animal and overreact, causing harm to both the animal and themselves.
Wild animals are very capable of taking care of themselves. So just sit back, relax, enjoy nature, and leave the animals to themselves.