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Clark County adding 200 acres to parks property

One of Clark County Park District’s natural preserves will be expanding. The park property near Spangler Road will be increasing by more than 200 acres.

The new park area, which will be paid for with grants from the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund, will include the Leadingham Prairie and the newly acquired parcels along the Mad River. The new preserve will protect wildlife, songbirds, insects, and endangered plants like the Prairie Fringed Orchid.

The park district and B-W Greenway will be partnering in this expansion. Executive Director of the Clark County Park District, Carol Kennard, said they are partnering to help preserve the land that it is home to so much wildlife.

“With B-W Greenway’s involvement, a conservation easement is placed on the land, forever preserving this natural environment,” Kennard said. “B-W Greenway will monitor the lands and provide input into the management of invasive species, and native plantings to enhance the natural environment.”

Kennard also said this expansion and partnership will be a great benefit to Clark County.

“The protected properties possess natural, scenic, and open space conservation values that are of great importance to the people of Clark County and the Miami Valley region,” Kennard said. “Protecting this property in its natural state safeguards water quality in the Mad River watershed.”

Kennard added that new hiking trails will be developed along with the existing ones to help the people of Clark County enjoy and explore the outdoors.

Clark County Park Commissioner, Kim Fish, said the people of Clark County will get a chance to name the new park property. The park district is hosting a naming contest with a $25 Speedway gift card going to the winner.

Residents who chose to participate in the contest can submit their name suggestions to the park district’s Facebook page or email with “Name Your Park!” as the subject line of the email or Facebook comment.

If residents come up with a name that is history-based, they should provide background behind their name. Kennard said The Medway Historical Society has a lot of history about the area and they are hoping to learn more about it through the contest.

The Estel Wenrick Wetlands, which is also a part of the park property, will keep its name due to the Wenrick family’s generous donations.

Suggestions must be turned in by Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 4 p.m. The Board of Park Commissioners will announce the winner at their board meeting on Jan. 9.

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