116.5 Acres of Very Rare Pickaway Plains Habitat and Ecology Near Circleville, Ohio
The Bartley Preserve is a 116.5-acre property in Pickaway County near Circleville, Ohio that was originally purchased by AOA from the List family in 2013 and 2015. This property is one of the largest protected blocks of the Pickaway Plains habitat of the very rare Pickaway plains ecology.
The property includes “pothole wetlands” with some of the rarest plant community types in Ohio and the Midwest. The pothole wetlands accumulate water during storm events and attract numerous waterfowl. These wetlands also serve as a seed bank for native species of plants. The property is home to four species of State listed or endangered plants including the tansy mustard, burhead, Engelmann’s spike rush, and the Rocky Mountain bulrush.
Floyd Bartley. The Bartley Preserve was named in honor of the legacy of Floyd Bartley, a Pickaway County farmer and naturalist. Floyd contributed to the science of botany by collecting Ohio plants and placing thousands of plant specimens in herbaria throughout the United States. These collections began about the year 1928 and continued through the early 1940s.
Floyd donated hundreds of plant specimens to the Ohio State University Herbarium in Columbus, Ohio, the Smithsonian Institution, and the New York Botanical Garden which remain on display. In addition, the personal plant collection of Floyd Bartley and Leslie Pontius of about 5,000 specimens was donated to the Ohio University Herbarium at Athens, Ohio. Floyd was also a noted conservationist who was active in the Ohio Preservation Society which was responsible for the preservation of historic and prehistoric landmarks. Floyd Bartley’s contributions to the understanding of Ohio flora will always be an outstanding achievement.
The Bartley Preserve property was formerly used for intensive agriculture but is being restored to native prairie habitat by AOA stewardship work. So far, 95 acres of prairie wildflowers and grasses have been planted on the property and agriculture has been discontinued. In 2022, AOA planted approximately 400 plugs of native prairie plants on the property. AOA continues to steward the property by removing invasive tree and shrub growth as it occurs and planting additional prairie vegetation.
Luther List Adena Mound on the National Register of Historic Places. The property is also home to the Luther List Mound which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This mound is also known as the “Burning Mound” or “Signal Mound” and is an archaeological site of the Adena Culture. The mound is one of the largest of its type in Pickaway County and is believed to contain the skeletons of many leading members of the Adena culture that built it. The mound has a diameter of about 75 feet and is about 12 feet tall. The mound is in very good condition due to its location on a ridgeline that is covered with trees which protected it from farming activities for many years.