Metroparks tree planting included Oak Openings

Metroparks Toledo planted 35,000 trees several weeks this spring in four parks and other land owned by the park district, according to its blog.

A contractor planted the majority of the trees, while volunteers assisted park staff in planting the remainder.

About 68 acres of land was reforested with 30,000 native hardwood seedlings at Blue Creek, Oak Openings Preserve, other properties in the Oak Openings Corridor and Swan Creek Preserve. The Board of Park Commissioners hired Conservation Services of Waynesboro, Va., which planted the trees in late April.

The $273,637 project was funded by a grant sub-award through The Nature Conservancy (TNC), which received the funds from the Pittman‐Robertson Wildlife Restoration Program. The federal funds are collected through excise taxes on hunting gear to use for habitat restoration.

TNC is working to implement a long-term habitat restoration initiative to restore 1 percent (30,000 acres) of current agricultural lands within the Western Lake Erie Basin back to natural habitat. The purpose of the project is to improve water quality in the lake. The reforestation project builds on a long list of habitat restoration initiatives accomplished by Metroparks through collaboration with the non-profit organization. Since 2010, Metroparks has received $1.3 million in grant funds through TNC to restore hundreds of acres.