Posted September 6, 2013
By David Dyer, Curator of Natural History
On Wednesday this week I was at Cedar Bog, a well-known natural area owned by the Ohio Historical Society. I was there to continue the release of the parasitoid wasps that hopefully will help control the Emerald Ash Borer Beetle, and save the remaining ash trees. This process has been well-documented in previous blog posts by Bob Glotzhober. Anyway, since I’ve been back in Ohio and at OHS I’ve been on the lookout for information about the OHS natural sites, especially items that can help explain the basic question: So why is this site worth preserving? While I was waiting at the Visitors Center for the wasp shipment to arrive via UPS (you should have seen the drivers face when we told him he was delivering a cooler full of almost 2000 live wasps!), I noticed this sign in the exhibit:
Cedar Bog is Important Because….
- over the last 200 years more than 90% of Ohio’s wetlands have been drained, leaving sites like Cedar Bog as critical remnants.
- in 1941 Cedar Bog was the first land protected by the State of Ohio specifically as a nature preserve.
- it is one of only 25 National Natural Landmarks in Ohio, recognized by the United States Department of Interior for its national significance.
- it is a Dedicated State Nature Preserve, recognized by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
- it is the southernmost example in the United States of a fen surrounded by northern white cedar.
- it was formed by changes in the land caused by the Ice Age. It mirrors what much of Ohio was like at the close of the Ice Age, 14,000 years ago.
- more than 40 endangered, threatened and rare plants and animals survive at Cedar Bog–one of the highest concentrations found in Ohio.
- it ranks the highest of any site on the Ohio Floristic Diversity Index, meaning that no other site in the state has a greater diversity of plants.
Any one of those statements would make Cedar Bog a pretty amazing place, but as a whole its pretty incredible! It shows that Cedar Bog is recognized by both state and federal agencies, and that it’s a refuge for more than 40 protected species of plants and animals. But my favorite is the statement: “It mirrors what much of Ohio was like at the close of the Ice Age, 14,000 years ago.” With Ohio being so developed and so much of the original ecosystem lost, it’s awesome that we can still go to visit a place where the flora and fauna are a remnant from when the huge glaciers had just left Ohio.
If you haven’t been to Cedar Bog yet, go and enjoy a beautiful fall day on the almost one-mile long boardwalkand take a stroll back to the Pleistocene. And there’s a nice paved bike trail that runs past the Bog, so take your bikes too!
Curator of Natural History