140 acres that provides valuable stopover habitats along the Scioto River Flyway for waterfowl and other migratory species
The Cossin-Kreisel Preserve properties consist of 210 acres that were purchased as part of the AOA Scioto River Flyway Corridor Initiative. The purpose of this Corridor Initiative is to provide valuable stopover habitats along the Scioto River Flyway for waterfowl and other migratory species as well as nesting and foraging habitat for many native birds and pollinators.
The Preserve is historically significant since it was part of the original land grant of 1000 acres made to Major John Boggs in 1806. The deed for the property was signed by former Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. When Major Boggs arrived at the property in 1806 it was occupied by two Shawnee Towns that had been there since the year 1760.
The Preserve is one mile south of where two Shawnee Indian towns were once located along Scippo Creek near what is now Mount Oval off Emerson Road and US Route 23. The Preserve is also just south of the Pickaway Plains, a large area of tallgrass prairie several miles east to west and north to south that was heavily used by historic and prehistoric peoples.
The Preserve stretches along the Scioto River just south of the confluence with Scippo Creek, in Pickaway County. The preserve is adjacent to the 285-acre Marsha Gunder Schneider Preserve which is also a part of the Corridor Initiative.
The high elevation on the eastern side of the Preserve lies on the western edge of a large glacial moraine which slopes towards the Scioto River. The property includes a mix of river and stream frontage, floodway, floodplain, wetlands and adjacent terraces and upland areas that will help protect and conserve the riparian corridor and wetland areas along the Scioto River and Scippo Creek, a tributary of the Scioto. The Preserve contains an extensive riparian corridor which includes 5,100 linear feet of frontage on the east side of the Scioto River, 1,200 linear feet of frontage on each side of Scippo Creek (an OEPA designated Exceptional Warmwater Habitat) and 1,225 linear feet of frontage on an unnamed tributary of the Scioto.
Cutover bottomland areas on the Preserve are being reforested through managed succession. The plan is to return all riparian corridors and floodplain areas in the Preserve to native bottomland forest habitat to protect and improve water quality.
Approximately 55 acres of agricultural fields on the Preserve were restored by AOA by seeding with native prairie wildflowers and grasses. These wildflowers and grasses are now well established and include purple coneflower, bee balm, partridge pea, grey headed coneflower, black-eyed Susan and many other wildflowers. The wildflowers attract many pollinators such as bees and butterflies to the site including a population of the giant swallowtail.
Conservation of the Preserve property helps protect and buffer critically important habitat in the Scioto River. The adjacent stretch of the Scioto River includes five fish and two mussel species considered rare, threatened, or endangered by the State of Ohio. Fourteen additional mussel species of conservation concern are historically known from this reach of the Scioto River and twelve species may continue to be present or have the potential to be present with adequate protection and recovery of this stretch of river.