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Medina County Parks Project Protects Sensitive Headwaters

The Medina County Park District was awarded a Surface Water Improvement Fund (SWIF) grant from Ohio EPA in 2014 to construct a wetland to catch and treat runoff before it entered a sensitive high quality headwater stream at Princess Ledges Nature Preserve in Brunswick Hills Township.  The 2/3 acre constructed wetalnd and its associated forested buffer, constructed during the summer and fall of 2015, will reduce the number and severity of erosive flows in the headwater stream during storms, as well as the amount of excess nutrients and other runoff pollution from neighboring land uses, all while providing precious wetland habitat.  

The Princess Ledges Nature Preserve had been known as the Strongsville Heights Allotment since the 1920s when the area was subdivided to create summer cottage lots. The difficult financial times of the late 20s slowed the sale of the properties to the point that many were given away as prizes at movie theaters. The existence of sandstone just below the surface made the lots difficult to develop. The park district has been acquiring land for this nature preserve since 1973. The name given to the area comes from one of the previous owners of the property. His daughter, named Princess, liked to play on the sandstone ledges, thus the name Princess Ledges. These beautiful ledges become a fascinating sight in the winter as ice forms from springs flowing from the rock formations.

This area is heavily wooded and offers an abundance of wildlife and wildflowers. Extending more than 1,100 feet in length, these ledges significantly influence the plant and animal life found here. This is an excellent spot for spring warbler watching and wildflower photography. It also has a high-quality forest including mature oaks and tulip poplars. At one time thousands of years ago, these cliffs were the shore of Lake Erie.

For more information on the Princess Ledges Nature Preserve, including driving directions and trail maps, visit http://www.medinacountyparks.com/index.php/en/county-parks/princess....

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