CINCINNATI, OHIO (February 12, 2021) – Ohio River Foundation (ORF) is embarking on the largest habitat restoration project ever undertaken in Southwest Ohio. The project, made possible by a $50,000 grant from Coors Seltzer and its Change the Course partnership, will restore six miles of riverbank along three Ohio River tributaries: The Little Miami River, Great Miami River and O’Bannon Creek.
ORF will plant 10,000 to 15,000 native trees and shrubs along those riverbanks. Phase one of the project begins this month and involves harvesting live stakes – taking cuttings from native trees that grow in riparian areas during their winter dormancy. Those “live stakes” will then be planted on riverbanks once the weather warms up in March.
“The Ohio River is a source of drinking water for more than 5 million people. But because of pollution from urban runoff, agriculture, sedimentation and industrial pollution, many sections of the Ohio River do not meet water quality standards,” said Rich Cogen, Ohio River Foundation’s executive director.
Plants along riverbanks improve water quality by keeping pollutants out of the water and by helping control erosion, thus reducing sedimentation. As they mature, these riparian plants also provide habitat for streamside birds and mammals and create shade that helps fish and other aquatic species thrive.
“Restoring the habitats along these tributaries will go a long way toward improving their health, and it will reduce the amount of pollution that makes its way into the Ohio River,” Cogen said.
Assisting ORF with this project are Great Parks of Hamilton County, Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District, Miami Township, Miami Conservancy District, Anderson Township, City of Loveland, Cincinnati Parks, Colerain Township, and Rivers Unlimited.
Volunteers are needed for both phases of the project. Live stake harvesting will take place on:
- Sunday, Feb. 28 (10 a.m.-1 p.m.) at Nisbet Park, 126 Karl Brown Way, Loveland, Ohio, 45140
- Thursday, March 4 (10 a.m.-1 p.m.) at Miami Township West Community Park, 4063 E. Miami River Road, Cleves, Ohio, 45002
- Sunday, March 7 (10 a.m.-1 p.m.) at Heritage Park, 11405 E. Miami River Road, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45252
Volunteers, who will be helping cut stakes, should dress for the weather, wear waterproof shoes, bring a mask and follow all COVID-19 recommendations. All tools, including boats needed to access some sites, will be provided. Advance registration is required; for more details, or to sign up, visit www.ohioriverfdn.org.
Additional volunteer opportunities to help with spring stake planting will be announced at a later date. For more information, visit the volunteers page