Forrest Woods Nature Preserve

In April of 2017, Davey Resource Group was selected by the Black Swamp Conservancy organization to reforest approximately 124 acres of old farmland at the Forrest Woods Nature Preserve near Cecil in northwest Ohio. This nature preserve, BSC’s largest property, is a remnant of the historic Great Black Swamp and offers 346 total acres of wetlands, prairie, and forested areas called home by more than 30 rare or endangered species.

With a budget of nearly $250,000 from a grant provided by the Clean Ohio Fund Green Space Conservation Program administered by the Ohio Public Works Commission, BSC put out a request for proposal to reforest three tracts of the farmland to its natural conditions. DRG submitted an alternate option than what was outlined in the request, recommending native trees and seedlings 4 foot or smaller to provide a higher density of reforestation and an increased chance for plant success. This creative approach, backed by the reputation and experience of the Davey team, ultimately won the bid.

To begin the project, DRG sourced over 3,000 4-ft bare root trees and more than 14,500 bare root seedlings – even storing trees in refrigerated trucks for a period of time to ensure plant dormancy before installation. For several weeks, the DRG team worked on the project site to complete the project. The bulk of the 17,000+ trees were mechanically installed by working hand-in-hand with a specialized subcontractor. The DRG team manually installed time-released fertilizer, tree protection and staking to help ensure plant survival. Work was completed in June of 2017, but the contract also makes provision for two years of DRG maintenance and warranty including mowing and herbicide application.

Davey Resource Group’s experience allowed the Black Swamp Conservancy to achieve their reforestation goals at the Forrest Woods Nature Preserve, providing a cost-effective solution that enhanced the project success. The DRG team looks forward to witnessing the Forrest Woods Nature Preserve project thrive in the coming years.

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