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Golf Course will Revert to Wetlands

The Black Swamp Conservancy recently took members of the TMACOG Water Quality Council and officials in Fremont and Sandusky County on a tour of the River Cliff Golf Course in Fremont to describe future plans for the riverside property.

As golfers got in a couple rounds nearby on the last season for the course, Rob Krain, Executive Director of the Black Swamp Conservancy, said that the time was right for the ambitious restoration project. Standing near the first tee, Krain pointed out the nearby Ballville Dam on the Sandusky River. That structure will soon be removed. Krain said that habitats on either side of the dam have been entirely separated for 100 years. The dam is no longer needed since the City of Fremont constructed a large water reservoir many years ago. Removal of the dam will restore fish access to 22 miles of critical walleye and white bass spawning habitat. Recreational fishing which is currently banned in the area will be restored.

When the current summer golf season ends, the conservancy will begin work to plant trees and other plants, restore stream habitat, and allow portions of the 70-acre course to revert to seasonal wetlands. Allowing the Sandusky River to flood the area in times of heavy rains may reduce flooding in Fremont’s residential and business districts.

The conservancy is partnering with the Sandusky County Park District on the long-term plans for the area. The park district will take over mowing and general maintenance now. When restoration is complete, the Black Swamp Conservancy will gift the land to the park district. The club house will become a park building, possibly a site for weddings or public events. The plans call for public access with walking trails and picnic areas and will also include launch areas for canoes and kayaks.

Rob Krain, Executive Director of the Black Swamp Conservancy,
(at left), hosted a tour of the golf course which will become parkland
in Fremont.

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