FAIRBORN — As Earth Day approaches, there are a few things local residents can do to make conservation in the community a little bit better.
The biggest thing? Get out and enjoy the green spaces.
BW Greenway has been hard at work preserving local parks and wildlife. Recently, the organization finished planting prarie grasses behind Waterford Landing, which will protect the ecosystem of Pearl’s Fen. The greenway plans to use Clean Ohio grant funding to conduct restoration work on the Pearl’s Fen buffer, which spans roughly seven acres.
BW Greenway is responsible for roughly 20 properties between the Beaver Creek Wetlands and the Estel Wenrick Wetlands, including Hebble Creek in Fairborn. The Hebble Creek Wetland reserve was originally a property spanning 64 acres but has expanded to 80 acres under the organization’s care.
One of the next goals is generating a database of plant and animal species that live in the greenway. Data like that would be a benefit to both naturalists and hobbyists who enjoy those spaces.
BW Greenway has conservation easements with many local governments, including the city of Fairborn, Bath Township and Mad River Township. What that means is that on those properties, the ratio of developed land to open land is roughly 50:50.
“We don’t want to be considered anti-progress. We need farmland, and people have their property rights to sell to a developer,” said BW Greenway’s Bob Jurick.
Doing this helps ensure that when area projects are proposed, developers are developing responsibly.
“Not all development has to be opposed, but it could be better,” Jurick said.
Small things to do as Earth Day approaches include some fairly standard ones, like recycling. Some apartment buildings don’t typically have recycling, but there are other ways to reduce the amount of plastic that goes in the trash.
For remodeling projects, LED lightbulbs are more energy efficient, and for decking, using composite materials instead of wood. Composite decking, besides being less prone to splinters and maintenance, doesn’t require staining or sealing, processes that typically require harsh chemicals.
Residents can also plant pollinator gardens, using native plants. Greene County has a history of supporting honeybees and other pollinators, which are essential for healthy plants across the region.
Reach London Bishop at 937-502-4532 or follow @LBishopFDH on Twitter.