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Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
Herrick Fen is important for its tamarack fen and cinquefoil-sedge fen communities. The tamarack fen supports one of the few reproducing populations of tamarack in Ohio, the only native conifer in Ohio which sheds its needles each year. The cinquefoil-sedge fen contains an extensive population of bayberry, a state endangered plant found in only three locations in Ohio. The preserve provides habitat for over two dozen state-listed species.
Threats to the preserve include urban encroachment, siltation, and invasive non-native plant species such as buckthorn, cattail, and reed canarygrass. Extensive and prolonged fluctuations in the lake level can negatively impact the fen community, especially the tamaracks which are sensitive to high water levels caused by beaver activity in the preserve.
What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
The ecological goal for this preserve is to restore or maintain the biodiversity of the tamarack fen and cinquefoil-sedge fens through aggressive invasive species control and managing the water level of the lake.
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Why You Should Visit
The site lies on a buried preglacial valley that was filled with 400-500 feet of glacial gravels during the advances of the Wisconsinan Glacier. The impermeable silt and clay layer of the buried valley floor covered with the glacial gravel allows for the rise of cold, calcium- and magnesium-rich springs which promote the presence of the fen communities.
The initial preserve tract was purchased by Dr. J. Arthur Herrick in 1969 and now comprises some 140 acres. It is owned by The Nature Conservancy and Kent State University, and managed by The Nature Conservancy as a dedicated state nature preserve.
What to See: Plants
Herrik Fen provides habitat for over two dozen state-listed species. Among them are:
Open year-round, dawn to dusk
The boardwalk, among other things, at Herrick Fen has been renovated, allowing for better public access. In order to protect the sensitive species, and for your safety, please stay on the boardwalk and nature trails. The boardwalk is an excellent place to launch a winter wander.