OXFORD — On Sunday, Jan. 15, the public is invited to join Audubon Miami Valley for a field trip to the Fernald Preserve, near Ross, a half-hour drive from Oxford.
This 1,050 acre property, managed by the U.S. Department of Energy, is located on the site of a former uranium processing facility that ceased operations in 1989. Comprehensive environmental remediation and ecological restoration of the site was completed in 2006 at a cost of $4.4 billion – one of the largest environmental cleanup operations ever undertaken in U.S. history.
The property’s natural features have been restored using native plants and grasses, creating one of the largest man-made wetlands in Ohio. The Preserve features 400 acres of forests, 387 acres of grassland including tall grass prairie and savanna, and 140 acres of wetland habitat including three lakes.
The site’s varied and unique habitats are accessible on a seven-mile network of trails. Over 240 bird species have been observed at Fernald, and over 100 have been documented as nesting there.
This outing will be led by Gary Stegner and Brian Wulker, expert naturalists who are knowledgeable about this property. The trip will leave Oxford at 8 a.m. from the TJ Maxx parking lot (on Locust Street across from McDonald’s) and return in the afternoon.
Participants should pack food if desired and bring binoculars if possible. For more information, or instructions on meeting the trip at the site, send an e-mail to Jim Michael, AMV field trip coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each month between September and June, Audubon Miami Valley sponsors a field trip to a regional site of special interest. All are welcome on AMV field trips.