2018-08-08 / Front Page

New Sauder Village Wetlands A Result Of 2015 Flood


This image, a composite of an aerial photograph and an artist’s rendering, shows both where the Sauder Village wetlands area will be located and how it will look in the future. Dotted lines around the wetlands are planned walking paths. The wetlands will both alleviate flooding at the Village and provide a showcase for conservation practices.– images courtesy Sauder Village; Archbold Buckeye composite graphic This image, a composite of an aerial photograph and an artist’s rendering, shows both where the Sauder Village wetlands area will be located and how it will look in the future. Dotted lines around the wetlands are planned walking paths. The wetlands will both alleviate flooding at the Village and provide a showcase for conservation practices.– images courtesy Sauder Village; Archbold Buckeye composite graphic June 2015 was perhaps one of the wettest months on record.

Between Friday night, June 26, and Sunday morning, June 28, anywhere from six to eight inches of rain fell on the Archbold area.

Roads were flooded. Basements were flooded. And Sauder Village was flooded.

Water got into the museum building, including the quilt shop, and other buildings in the village complex.

Three years later, Sauder Village and other organizations have started work on what could be a partial solution to the problem– and an attractive addition to the Village.

Workers have begun converting about 30 acres of agricultural land into a publicly accessible wetlands area.

Village officials are working with the Ohio and U.S. Environmental Protection Agencies, Fulton Soil & Water Conservation District, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, and The Nature Conservancy to create a new wetlands.

Kim Krieger, Sauder Village spokesman, said the two EPAs are providing $78,660, roughly a 57% share of the total estimated cost of $138,000.

Local matching resources are being provided through grant funding and in-kind contributions.

“We are still in conversations with other potential partners about their involvement,” she said.

Need

Since the 2015 flood, Village officials have worked with local and state partners to address “significant flooding and erosion issues on our property,” Krieger said.

“Sauder Village sits at the lowest point for approximately 1,024 acres of predominantly agricultural land that drains onto our property. This fact makes us a key site for wetland restoration to address both water quantity and quality concerns.”

Converting land from rowcrop agriculture to wetlands and conservation cover “traps, stores, and treats water before it travels further downstream.

“Sauder Village benefits not only from alleviation of flooding on developed areas of our property, but allows expanded public education programming in conjunction with our project partners,” Krieger said.

The wetlands will also reduce sedimentation and nutrient loads in the Flat Run Watershed and restore natural habitats.

Design

The wetlands are being constructed on the edge of the Sauder Village property, east of Little Lake Erie and south of the Shalom Mediation and Counseling Center.

The wetlands will border along Oak Savannah, a line of trees to the east.

Earthen dikes will be built to contain storm water.

For vegetative buffers, “A mix of warm- and cool-season grasses and tree selections is being done by ODNR and FSWCD,” she said.

“It’s a long list but includes orchard grass, red clover, Indiangrass, switchgrass, swamp milkweed, purple coneflower, prairie coneflower, black-eyed Susan, etc.”

Plans call for a walking trail of mown grass along the tops of the new dikes and through a portion of the trees.

That will allow the public to view the conservation practices in place.

“In the future, we hope to add a boardwalk, observation stations, and bird watching blinds,” Krieger said.

There are currently no benches along the trails in the current budget.

“We’d hope that those supportive of the project will consider funding to add benches over time,” she said.

Mosquitoes?

Doesn’t a wetlands create a ready-made sanctuary for mosquitoes?

“Our project partners have explained the public misconception about wetlands being a breeding ground for mosquitoes, and how a healthy, functioning wetlands actually provides habitat for the animals, birds, and insects that feed on mosquitoes,”

Krieger said.

“In contrast, standing water in areas that do not support the natural enemies of mosquitoes create breeding concerns.”

In a press release, Debbie Sauder David, Sauder Village president and chief executive officer said, “Our hope is that the area will be well established by late spring of next year so that we can open it for public access and educational programming.”

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