“Wetlands play a unique role with that aquifer because it filters out sediment, contaminants, and farm and urban development runoff,” Moran said. “That all gets filtered through the wetlands, and it purifies the water as it gets back down into that aquifer. So it’s absolutely vital the role wetlands play in that.”
When completed, the Spotted Turtle Trail will connect Zimmerman Prairie State Nature Preserve in Beavercreek with Pearl’s Fen, north of Fairborn, to provide nearly 20 miles of wetland hiking trails. The project will create an extensive system of trails through multiple wetland ecosystems, boardwalks, pedestrian bridges and overlook platforms which will give visitors access to Greene County wildlife that was previously inaccessible.
“When you get out on these trails, you’ll be surprised at the diversity of wildlife you’ll see.
“When people come out, they’ll see meadows, prairies, wetland habitat, and all the diversity of wildlife that those attract. And you can see it all in the first five miles,” said Greene County Parks Director Jon Dobney. “You’ll be surprised at the diversity of wildlife you’ll see. "
Project cost for phase one came in just shy of $500,000, Moran said. Phase two, which will build entirely new boardwalk trails through Dane Mutter Prairie, has an estimated cost of $1.8 million.