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.
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.