Todd's Fork Nature Preserve
Our 220-acre Todd’s Fork Nature Preserve is just a couple of miles east of Wilmington in Union Township, Clinton County.
Due to a relationship with our board member, Laura Curliss, the owners were somewhat familiar with Cardinal and were interested in preserving their land forever as a nature preserve. We worked diligently with them to create a restoration plan that enhanced our Clean Ohio Greenspace grant application and were fortunate enough to rank high enough for funding. After closing on the property in late 2017, we have been working diligently to restore native prairie, plant trees and improve the parking lot.
This nature preserve is beautiful and unique. The Todd Fork of the Little Miami National Wild and Scenic River runs through the middle of this property with pools, riffles and meandering runs that are so scenic and remote that you truly feel like you’re in a wilderness area. With almost 100 acres of prairie that has been restored on the property, the wildflowers in the spring are amazing! We have a mixed tall-grass prairie, a big bluestem and little bluestem prairie and two shortgrass prairies of sideoats grama. We have also planted over 1,000 trees ranging from oaks, hickories and walnuts to plum, persimmon and dogwood. This site has a known location of the federally endangered Indiana bat and there is scientific evidence to support that bats have a higher feeding success rate when foraging for insects that feed on white flowering plants – which we have planted.
We have had quite a few volunteer work-days at the preserve with more than 100 different people showing up to help us remove invasive plant species or plant trees. Being able to be outside and work with other people during a time of isolation in the pandemic was very therapeutic for those who wanted to be around others and helping nature while keeping at a safe distance. Nature helps us heal and this preserve works wonders.