Glade Wetland contains some of the most unique wetland plant communities and bird habitat in the state of Ohio. When the Teays River still flowed into Ohio from the Appalachian highlands and the southeastern U.S., it provided an effective migration route for plants. A few of these relicts from pre-glacial times can still be found in places in Ohio and many are found at the Glade Wetland Preserve. The significance of the Glade Wetland lies in the variety of habitats represented within the site, and the relatively diverse number of species it supports.
The terrain is flat and the poorly drained soils are clays deposited by preglacial Lake Tight. A sedge meadow is reverting from agriculture and is dominated by wetland grasses and sedges, with prairie species. The wooded areas are dominated by pin oak and swamp white oak. Very poorly drained areas support buttonbush swamps and grassy meadows.
Pike and Jackson Counties, in the abandoned valley of the preglacial Teays River Valley in the Western Allegheny Plateau Ecoregion.
Glade Wetland is the site of the only known Ohio occurrence of Wolf’s Spikerush, a state-listed species which until now was presumed extirpated in Ohio. Other plants found here include Bush’s sedge, Carolina leaf-flower, Virginia meadow-beauty, hyssop skullcap, keeled bur-reed, lance-leaved violet, low spearwort, prairie wedgegrass, least St. John's-wort, butternut, one-sided rush, Lindheimer's panic-grass and Philadelphia panic-grass.
Glade Wetland provides essential wintering habitat for numerous raptors - hawks, kestrels, and owls, and nesting habitat for grassland birds. Although not a major waterfowl staging area, both wood ducks and mallards are known to nest on the site, while black ducks and ring necked ducks are known to use the area as a migratory stopover.
Other birds found here include Henslow’s sparrow, upland sandpiper, dickcissel, woodcock, grasshopper sparrow and northern harrier
Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
The site is one of the best remaining examples of a Teays Valley wetland represented by sedge-grass meadow and pin oak-red maple flatwoods. It provides essential wintering habitat for numerous raptors and nesting habitat for birds.
Competition from invasive species, including wetland and old field invaders such as multiflora rose, Japanese honeysuckle and forage grasses, is the primary threat to the preserve's habitat.
What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
A 2004 wetland restoration project has yielded remarkable results at Glade Wetland. In an area where terrain had been altered by agriculture, the Conservancy and its partners developed a 25-acre project designed to restore topography and hydrology, in the hopes of extending the land’s wet period and attracting a wider array creatures. These efforts produced a succession of new arrivals, including the highly imperiled black rail, which previously had not been known to occupy this part of the state, or breed in Ohio.
The Conservancy plans to continue its prescribed burning and mowing regime, which are important management tools for expanding the native grassland community, decreasing non-native species and reducing the invasion of woody plants into the grassland. Additional restoration efforts are under consideration.