Land donation creates first state nature preserve in Meigs County

Miriam Walter Barrens
Miriam Walter Barrens(ODNR Communications)
Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 1:32 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - A donation of land has allowed for the creation of the first state nature preserve in Meigs County.

Named in honor of the parents of the property’s donor, the 46-acre Miriam Walter Barrens Preserve will be Ohio’s 139th State Nature Preserve and the third added this year. Due to the sensitive habitats and species, the preserve will only be open to the public by acquiring a permit from the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves.

The preserve is home to a globally rare limestone barren habitat now being protected by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Natural Areas and Preserves (DNAP). The property donor plans to volunteer with the Division in improving the rare barrens.

“There are a handful of remaining examples of limestone barrens in southeast Ohio, and few match the quality of those at Miriam Walter Barrens,” DNAP Chief Botanist Rick Gardner said. “A suite of uncommon and rare species occurs here, including the state threatened cylindrical blazing-star.”

The associated acquisition costs for the new preserve were covered by the Natural Areas Tax Checkoff Fund.

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