Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Invest in the Best of Southeast Ohio's State Nature Preserves

Pictured is Boord State Nature Preserve in Washington County. Tax donations given to the State Nature Preserves Fund supported both land acquisition and facility improvements at this state nature preserve.
CUTLER, OH - Diverse landscapes offer a variety of habitats for unique plants and animals in southeast Ohio. A number of rare species are protected in the region’s 26 state nature preserves because of the generosity of Ohioans who donated a portion of their tax refunds to the State Nature Preserves Fund.

Donations to the State Nature Preserves Fund help protect the best of Ohio’s natural landscapes: from bogs and fens to prairies and old-growth forest, as well as the native plant and animal communities found in these biologically diverse landscapes.

In southeast Ohio, donations support land acquisition, critical eco-management, research, facility improvements and public education. Every donation helps protect Ohio’s threatened and endangered species and important habitats.

Haven’t visited a state nature preserve lately? Consider a visit to Boord State Nature Preserve, located in Washington County. This 126-acre preserve protects one of the region’s best examples of a hemlock ravine, complete with the scenic Falls Run stream cutting through a 60- to 80-foot gorge.

The preserve is an excellent example of how tax refund donations can benefit local landscapes. The original site was purchased using $52,760 in tax donation funds in 1986. In later years, donations funded the development of a small parking lot and trail system. In 2008, donations were used to protect an additional 37 acres of diverse Appalachian hardwood forest.

Boord’s scenic trail takes visitors along an impressive sandstone gorge lined with hemlocks and past a scenic waterfall. The landscape along the trail shifts from forest to fields and back to forest. This year, donations will support an expansion of the trail system so visitors will be able to better view the waterfall.

Lovely in any season, Boord is especially beautiful in April when the floor of this wooded preserve is touched with the colors of spring. The preserve harbors three species of rare plants: rock skullcap, narrow-leaved toothwort and golden-knees. Spring flowers easily found along the preserve’s trail include Dutchman’s breeches, squirrel corn, rue anemone, cut-leaved toothwort as well as yellow and sweet white violet.

Visiting Boord State Nature Preserve is more enjoyable, and accessibility has been greatly improved because of donations to the State Nature Preserves Fund. Becoming a partner in future preservation projects is easy.

Ohioans can donate all or part of their state income tax refund by making a contribution on line 27d of the 2014 Individual Income Tax Return (line 20d of the 1040 EZ form).

To learn more about visiting Boord or any of Ohio’s 136 state nature preserves open to the public, visit

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit ODNR website at

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