FAIRBORN — Wetlands span across the City of Fairborn, and according to Executive Director Bob Jurick of BW Greenway, they are beneficial for the environment – and are at risk. He will spend Monday evening discussing this topic at Fairborn’s citizen forum, beginning 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28 at the Senior Center.
“The BW Greenway Land Trust, which has been around for 20 years now, [is] concerned with the greenway between the Estel Wenrick Wetland in Medway, and the Beavercreek Wetland,” Jurick said. “In that stretch, there are at least 92 wetlands. In general, [they are at risk].”
In order for an area to be considered a wetland, it must have water present most of the year, include hydric soil as well as certain types of plants. Jurick said this is beneficial to the environment, as wetlands serve as a means of filtration for the aquifers, flood control by preventing erosion, habitat for birds, fish and the pollinators, carbon dioxide and air filtration and a habitat for species living within soils, which could benefit the medical field in the future.
“They are the kidneys of the earth,” Jurick said. “We live over a valley that was 400 feet deep before the glaciers came. They filled it up with gravel, and when they melted they filled it up with water. We have the best aquifer east of the Mississippi, maybe in the United States. Wetlands are the best source to keep the water clean.”
Protecting the local wetlands may be a race between identifying all wetlands within the area between the Wenrick Wetland and the Beavercreek Wetland, and new business and housing developments.
“Although there are regulations that keep them (wetlands) from being concerned … We don’t know where for sure they are,” he said, adding that properties and erosion may contribute to the destruction of local wetlands. “The BW Greenway is what you may call an urban, rural transition area, with Fairborn being urban and Greene County, Bath Township, Beavercreek may be rural with farming, you have this area where there’s a lot of pressure for other kind of land uses. They can coexist, but [wetlands] have to be preserved and have good buffers around them.”
Jurick feels that individuals can help preserve wetlands through volunteer actions offered by the BW Greenway, as well as by supporting Clean Ohio legislature.
Whitney Vickers can be reached by calling her directly at 937-502-4532, or by following her on Twitter by searching for @wnvickers. For more content online, visit our website or like our page on Facebook.