ODNR designates part of Coyote Run as the 140th state nature reserve
A Pickerington couple’s goal of protecting over 920 acres for centuries to come received a big boost when part of the land was designated as a state nature reserve.
In 2006, David Hague and Tammy Miller purchased 56 acres at 9270 Pickerington Road in the hopes of preserving it and returning it as much as possible to its natural state.
Now known as Coyote Run, the couple’s property spans over 920 acres after spending the last 15 years buying the surrounding land. It is located partly in the city of Pickerington and partly in the Township of Violet, bordered by the Pickerington, Allen and Busey roads.
On November 1, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced that a 230-acre portion of Coyote Run, located in the center of the property and just east of Pickerington Road, has been designated as a nature reserve for the ‘State.
It is the 140th state nature reserve, the highest level of land protection offered by the state. According to the ODNR, once public and private lands are reserved, the Division of Natural Areas and Reserves strives to ensure their protection at all times, while allowing education, science and visitation.
âIt’s a great feeling because our goal from the start was to protect this for 500 years,â Hague said. “It stays there permanently as a state nature reserve, and there are deed restrictions so you can’t take advantage of it.”
Jeff Johnson, head of the ODNR’s natural areas and reserves division, said Hague and Miller would retain ownership of the Coyote Run area designated as a state nature reserve. He said the state’s designation “essentially restricts development of any kind at this site,” including roads.
ODNR Director Mary Mertz said Coyote Run protects various forested wetlands with numerous spring pools, which are important for amphibians and other wildlife, including spotted and tiger salamanders, crucifers and tree frogs. western chorus crickets. She said the reserve also protects upland forest, a stream corridor and a wet meadow.
âAt Coyote Run, people have the chance to search for crucifers or soak up the beauty of giant oak trees. These are the things we want to protect so that future generations have the chance to do the same, âMertz said.
An ODNR statement said access to the reserve will be limited to guided hikes.
Hague said these hikes will generally be led by officials from the ODNR or a representative from the Fairfield County Parks District. He hopes to coordinate the programs with the ODNR and other naturalists. The hikes and programs should help promote environmentalism and local tourism, he said.
âHaving any natural space tends to attract people,â he said. “They’re spending money while they’re here.”
More importantly, Hague said, will be the protection of Ohio’s native trees and other flora, as well as the habitat of native wildlife.
These efforts will help maintain better water and air quality in and around the reserve, he added, and maintaining wetlands in the reserve will help control local flooding as areas dampers reduce the amount of stormwater flowing into sewer systems.
âWith nothing but the native flora and fauna on top, we are not contributing to the urban sprawl that contaminates the water,â Hague said.
Hague said he continues to work with Violet Township and Pickerington officials to lobby for land preservation as part of the communities’ respective land use plans.
âWe would love to have added (state nature reserve) designations, but we are working with the township and the city so that we don’t end up like (New York’s) Central Park surrounded by development,â he said. declared. “We are hoping for extensions of Coyote Run or Coyote Runs in other areas, and we think it will be good for everyone.”