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Conservation Alliance Names Region’s Greatest Natural Wonders

Perrysburg, OH – The Black Swamp Regional Conservation Network has announced its selection of the greatest natural wonders in northwest Ohio. They include the Oak Openings region, the annual bird migrations and the western Lake Erie islands.

The network is an alliance of conservation organizations and agencies working together to protect the region’s natural resources. Members include the Wood County Park District, Toledo Area Metroparks, Maumee Valley Heritage Corridor, Black Swamp Bird Observatory, Partners for Clean Streams, Sandusky River Watershed Coalition and the Lake Erie Islands Chapter of the Black Swamp Conservancy.

The selections were announced by Kevin Joyce, executive director of the Black Swamp Conservancy.

“We just held our network’s annual meeting, and everyone agreed that we had to do more to spread the word about the great quality of life we enjoy in northwest Ohio,” said Mr. Joyce. “We’ve got world-class natural resources that provide lots of healthy outdoor recreational opportunities like boating, hunting, fishing and birding – which in turn give a big boost to our region’s economy.”

The Maumee River valley is also on the list. “One of the best ways to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Maumee River is by walking the North Country National Scenic Trail,” noted Dick Kudner, president of the Maumee Valley Heritage Corridor of Toledo, Ohio, a member of the alliance since 2007.

The complete list of northwest Ohio’s greatest natural wonders includes:

· Western Lake Erie islands
· Oak Openings region
· Lake Erie coastal marshes
· Annual bird migrations
· Maumee River valley
· Waters of western Lake Erie
· Spring walleye run
· Goll Woods
· Sandusky River corridor

“Whether you’re a naturalist or not, if you drank water or breathed air today, these natural wonders are relevant to your life,” said Kim Kaufman, executive director of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory of Oak Harbor, Ohio, another member of the alliance.

“Most people have their own ideas about what makes our community special. I know I do,” said Mr. Joyce. “So I encourage everyone to post their thoughts or their own list on the Black Swamp Conservancy group page on Facebook or to e-mail us at bsc@blackswamp.org.”

The Black Swamp Regional Conservation Network is a program of the Black Swamp Conservancy of Perrysburg, Ohio, a land trust dedicated to protecting agricultural land and natural areas, now and for future generations, through land conservation agreements.

By protecting the region’s valuable land and water resources, the conservancy hopes to create healthier communities with strong, sustainable economies including agriculture and ecotourism. To date, Black Swamp Conservancy has permanently protected 9,300 acres of woods, wetlands and rich farmland across the region.