Clean Ohio Fund Recommendations for
At a meeting December 14, the Natural Resources Assistance Council (NRAC) scored and ranked 15 applications for projects that would preserve open space in Lucas County. Eight projects fell within the budget of $1.35 million and have been recommended for funding by the Clean Ohio Fund. Ranked first is a Sylvan Prairie project in the Olander Park System in Sylvania Township. It would add 51.5 acres to an existing 106-acre park and protect riparian, wetland, and prairie habitats. The next seven are all projects of the Metroparks of the Toledo Area, protecting property in the Oak Openings Region. Areas protected by the Metroparks would include the largest areas of forested wetlands remaining in the environmentally sensitive Oak Openings Region and acreage that is home to state-listed endangered plant species. Greg Lipps, vice-chair of NRAC District 12 said, “Lucas County has been fortunate to have an abundance of high-quality applications from our partners. While some districts might be scrambling to find eligible projects, District 12 is in the enviable position of choosing the best from a pool of excellent applications.”
Clean Ohio funds in this round of grants will help to preserve 176.7 acres in the eight projects. Each project requires a local financial contribution. In the case of the Sylvan Prairie Project, the local match is $225,610 with a Clean Ohio funds contribution of $425,390.
Since the inception of the Clean Ohio Fund in 2001, the Ohio General Assembly has appropriated more than $200 million for conservation projects in Ohio. These projects have already returned more than $7.5 million dollars to Lucas County for protection of open spaces and wetlands. Acreage the size of four Wildwood Preserve Metroparks has been preserved since the program began in 2001.