Utzinger Bog Preserve
85-acre Utzinger family farm on Highway 104 South in Franklin County
AOA utilized funding from Clean Ohio and a donation from the Utzinger heirs to purchase the 85-acre Utzinger family farm on Highway 104 South in Franklin County in 2018. The family was committed to conserving their farm property and wetlands which are in a rapidly developing residential area.
The Utzinger property contains four open water ponds created by 20th century peat mining. Prior to settlement, the site was a large kettle pothole and high-quality peat-accumulating fen with no natural drainage outlet, a geologic remnant of the last ice age. In addition to the peat mining operation, removal of the forest buffer, intensive farming and site drainage improvements have greatly diminished the quality of the fen habitat and eradicated many of the fen species.
AOA is currently enhancing and restoring the wetlands on the property through a program that includes hydrology improvements, wetland expansion and revegetation, invasive plant removal, elimination of intensive agricultural activities and reestablishment of native plant buffers. Recent stewardship improvements include the planting of trees, removal of two farm buildings and the construction of a gravel parking lot.