KALIDA — There’s a new wetland installed at the Kalida Fish and Game Club.
On Wednesday, a new sign was dedicated, officially completing the project. The wetland is located at 16415 state Route 694, just north of Kalida and west of Ottawa.
Eight organizations were involved in funding the project, including the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
“We have a pot of money we can use for private land wetland restoration, especially stuff identified for wildlife habitat and water quality improvements, and this was a project we thought was worthwhile,” said Mark Witt, private lands biologist for the ODNR.
The project is important in providing habitat for animals and helping to filter the water going into Deer Creek.
“Any wildlife habitat we can make is a positive thing, and then secondly, there’s a big push, especially in a Maumee basin, to improve water quality. Any time we can filter surface runoff from drainage — agriculture, residential — and you can put it through a wetland, it’s allowing mother nature to do the right thing, to basically clean it up before it hits the creek or stream,” Witt said.
Mark Nordhaus, district technician for Putnam Soil & Water Conservation District, added, “We wanted to control that runoff — phosphorus, nitrogen — that comes off of the agricultural fields around here and that 17-acre watershed. We wanted to divert those and move them through a wetland and then outflow out of that wetland, and hopefully that will allow that water to re-enter into the Deer Creek system cleaner, with less pollutants into the system and ultimately to Lake Erie.”
Ducks Unlimited provided funding for the signage. Gerding Ditching did the hard work of changing the landscape to allow the wetland to exist.
“We cut the swales in; we used the dozer to push up a lot of dirt. We put a pipe in for the overflow, things of that nature, and we seeded the project,” said Bill Gerding, owner of Gerding Ditching.
The project was a plus for wildlife, endangered species, water quality and education for youth.
“It’s a win-win for water quality, and it’s a win-win for education, for this will be used as an educational tool to teach our youth about the benefits of the wetland. The Envirothon in 2021, for Northwest Ohio, will be held right here on this property. So that’ll be an integral part of their testing and in learning about the environment,” Nordhaus said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.