Cedar Bog preserve limits hours after plant, wildlife thefts

A National Natural Landmark, the Champaign County site formed from glacial activity thousands of years ago.

The Cedar Bog Nature Preserve has limited its hours after the theft of wildlife and plants at the famous fen in Champaign County.

The preserve now is open from Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., times when its one full-time employee, the preserve manager, is on duty.

The National Natural Landmark is one of 25 in the state of Ohio, recognized for its natural significance of wildlife and plants. Preserve manager Madison Brown emphasizes the importance of that fact and talks about the devastation of people stealing from the preserve in recent years.

“ ... People tend to steal rare plants such as the orchids, pulling and ripping them from the ground,” Brown said, adding some wildlife also has been stolen from Cedar Bog. “The spotted turtles haven’t been seen in 15 years, and people have been stealing them and selling them online for expensive prices because of how rare they are.”

As for the wildlife being stolen, Brown notes snakes and racoons have been taken too.

When asked about the future hours of The Cedar Bog preserve, Brown was hopeful.

“These hours aren’t forever,” she said. “In the past, the boardwalk would stay open but the building would be closed with no one here to monitor things.”

“After only having one employee since the 70s, we will eventually be hiring a second person here as well to make sure things are running smoothly,” Brown said.

Effective April 1st, access to the Cedar Bog Nature Preserve property will be limited to the *following hours (please...

Posted by Cedar Bog Nature Preserve on Monday, March 11, 2024

Cedar Bog will look to expand their hours in the future, and officials are still looking for dedicated volunteers and potential part-time employees.

To volunteer, contact Brown at 937-484-3744 or email cedarbognp@gmail.com.

Cedar Bog is located 4 miles south of Urbana off U.S. Route 68 at 980 Woodburn Road. The Cedar Bog Nature Preserve was the first nature preserve in Ohio purchased with state money and is considered by many to be Ohio’s premiere natural area. More than 40 endangered, threatened and rare plants and animals can be found at Cedar Bog. The preserve is a protected area of about 450 acres of land that remain from the original area of approximately 7,000 acres.

Cedar Bog actually is a fen, or a wetland area that drains water. Bogs retain water.

Glacier activity created Cedar Bog roughly 12,000-18,000 years ago, scientists say.

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