Daughmer Bur Oak Prairie Dedicated as Ohio's Newest State Nature Preserve

COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Director James Zehringer was in Crawford County recently to dedicate Ohio’s newest state nature preserve, the Daughmer Bur Oak Prairie Savannah.

ODNR purchased the nature preserve in 2010 with funds from the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves Tax Check-Off program. The Crawford Park District assisted with the negotiations for the purchase of the property.

State and local officials cut the ribbon on the newly designated preserve, which will be managed in partnership with the Crawford Park District. After the dedication, some of the attendees enjoyed a interpretive hikes given through the prairie.

The historic Sandusky Plains was a 200,000-acre swath of tall grass prairie that once covered parts of three Ohio counties prior to settlement of the state. There are now only 75 acres left of the original prairie, and the Daughmer preserve is one of the largest remaining tracts of the original Sandusky Plains, consisting of 34 acres. Daughmer State Nature Preserve is notable for endangered species, such as the threatened Bicknell’s sedge and the potentially threatened wheat sedge and flat stemmed spike rush. The 200-year-old bur oak trees are another beautiful asset to this area.

The preserve was named for Hazel (White) Daughmer, whose family owned the property for five generations, and enabled the prairie habitat to be perpetuated through low intensity sheep grazing, which suppressed woody plants. Subsequent owners of the property have cooperated with efforts to conduct scientific studies and maintain the prairie ecosystem through periodic controlled burns.

The preserve will remain open to the public for low impact recreation including hiking, birdwatching and nature study. Volunteer opportunities are available for people who are interested in helping remove invasive plants by contacting ODNR Northwest District Preserve Manager Ryan Schroeder at 419-445-1775.

Daughmer Bur Oak Prairie Savannah State Nature Preserve is located in southern Crawford County, eight miles southwest of Bucyrus, at the intersection of Scioto Chapel Road and Marion-Mercer Road.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.com.