News & Events

Land to Lake Magazine

The Autumn 2018 issue of Land to Lake magazine is here!

This issue covers stories about Local Watershed Groups and Riverfront Improvements, as well as important information on Improving Water Quality.

Look for the print magazine insert in the Cresent-News on October 26.

Not a C-N subscriber?  Sign-up to receive the magazine via US mail by contacting

View the latest issue:  Autumn 2018 – Riverfront Improvements.

Compost Your Fall Leaves

Composting is a good way to keep nutrients out of our waterways and help improve water quality!

Did you know that one teaspoon of compost enriched soil contains one billion bacteria and several yards of fungal filaments? For those of you wondering if this is a good thing- YES, great for helping your plants grow! Did you know that grass clippings stockpiled near waterways can cause algal blooms and fish kills? Did you know that the average household sends 650 lbs. of compostable material to the land fill every year? Why not take your grass clippings, leaves, yard waste, and kitchen scraps and turn them into valuable soil? Composting is easy! If it is a plant or was once part of a plant, it can be composted.

Get started —or improve your compost skills— with our Home Composting Guide.

38 Species of Invasive Plants Now Illegal To Sell in Ohio

By Marion Renault
The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio is taking a swing at nature’s bullies.

Under new rules that went into effect Sunday, the sale and distribution of 38 destructive, invasive plant species will become illegal.

In its list, the state agriculture department included various types of honeysuckles, Bradford pear trees, autumn olive shrubs and fig buttercup flowers that line freeways, coat forest floors and choke wild spaces across Ohio.

State officials who already inspect nurseries and garden centers will keep an eye out for the now-prohibited species.

Many of the plants were at some point nursery favorites for desirable qualities such as fast growth, low maintenance and big leaves and flowers — traits that also make them capable of aggressively spreading beyond garden beds to parks and preserves.

“A lot of these species offer all those qualities people look for when they’re buying a plant; there’s demand for them,” said Alistair Reynolds, a forester for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. “Up until now, we didn’t have any rules preventing the sale of them. There were no rules keeping them from getting into Ohio.”

This month, the Ohio Department of Agriculture also will assemble a five-person invasive plant advisory committee to review potential future additions to the no-sale list, agricultural administrator Dan Kenny said.

Biologists say there’s no time to waste.

“Plants evolved over millions of years. But invasives suddenly start spreading,” said Theresa Culley, a University of Cincinnati plant biologist. “Rather than waiting millions of years for an environment to change, it can take a few years.”

With speed and aggression, the newly prohibited invasive plants often consume, infect, out-compete and steal precious water or sunlight from Ohio’s 174 endangered or threatened wildlife species.

Phragmites, a common reed grass pervasive in northern Ohio, for example, casts a shadow over native neighbors by towering upward of 12 feet.

Garlic mustard can release chemicals in the ground that prevent native plant seeds from germinating.

Kudzu — the vine that swallowed the South —has begun to coat buildings, cars and electric power lines in Ohio’s southern regions.

“They elbow out and swamp out everything else. It’s not natural,” Culley said.

Several of them do more than crowd out native species or alter an area’s water and soil.
Ohio State researchers have found bush honeysuckle plants can negatively impact the genetic fitness of Ohio’s state bird, the cardinal. And the Japanese barberry shrub has been linked to increased tick population and incidence of Lyme disease.

“We may not see it with the naked eye when we’re walking through the woods, but it’s happening,” Reynolds said. “You see something really pretty, but you don’t see the damage.”
Invasive species can also lessen the property value of natural spaces while surging the expense of never-ending battles to hedge their presence using chemicals and hand weeding.
At least half of the 50,000 non-native species introduced to the United States are plants, which wreak more than $34 billion a year in environmental, agricultural, industrial and public health damage, according to the Ohio Invasive Plant Council.

“You can eliminate an invasive, but you’re always doing follow-up. A lot of money goes into this,” said Karen Siedel, a conservation project manager for the Nature Conservancy, which oversees 1,500 acres of wild space in central Ohio. “I don’t know that many people addressing invasive species would say there’s sufficient funding. We could use a lot more.”

The agriculture department’s no-sale list is a good first step, said Jim Bissell, botany curator and director of natural areas for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
“These are among the worst,” Bissell said. “Some of these things are so rampant and widespread, unchecked they would cover every floodplain in Ohio.”

The list will limit plant selection available to nurseries and landscape artists, said Andy Doesburg, president of Thornton Landscape based in Maineville, a village in Warren County. But it’s a small setback compared to the benefit of instructing professional landscapers that species do more harm than good.

“We’re embracing this. I can’t argue with it, I’ve seen the impact,” Doesburg said. “We want to be good stewards of the environment. We want to do right.”

Land managers are waging costly battles against invasive species across the state, including the exotic emerald ash borer, zebra and quagga mussels, Asian carp, the West Nile virus and the bat-killing white-nose syndrome.

“We seem to get new mosquitoes, new insects, new plants and animals every growing season,” Reynolds said. “We’re behind the ball; we’re going to have to work really hard. It’s a growing problem. It’s not going away.”

Ohio invasive species:
(1) Ailanthus altissima, tree-of-heaven;
(2) Alliaria petiolata, garlic mustard
(3) Berberis vulgaris, common barberry;
(4) Butomus umbellatus, flowering rush;
(5) Celastrus orbiculatus, oriental bittersweet;
(6) Centaurea stoebe ssp. Micranthos, spotted knapweed;
(7) Dipsacus fullonum, common teasel;
(8) Dipsacus laciniatus, cutleaf teasel;
(9) Egeria densa Brazilian, elodea;
(10) Elaeagnus angustifolia, russian olive;
(11) Elaeagnus umbellata, autumn olive;
(12) Epilobium hirsutum; hairy willow herb;
(13) Frangula alnus, glossy buckthorn;
(14) Heracleum mantegazzianum, giant hogweed;
(15) Hesperis matronlis, dame’s rocket;
(16) Hydrilla verticillata, hydrilla;
(17) Hydrocharis morsus-ranae, european frog-bit;
(18) Lonicera japonica, japanese honeysuckle;
(19) Lonicera maackii, amur honeysuckle;
(20) Lonicera morrowii, morrow’s honeysuckle;
(21) Lonicera tatarica, tatarian honeysuckle;
(22) Lythrum salicaria, purple loosestrife;
(23) Lythrum virgatum, european wand loosestrife;
(24) Microstegium vimineum, japanese stiltgrass;
(25) Myriophyllum aquaticum, parrotfeather;
(26) Myriophyllum spicatum, eurasian water-milfoil;
(27) Nymphoides peltata, yellow floating heart;
(28) Phragmites australis, common reed;
(29) Potamogeton crispus, curly-leaved pondweed;
(30) Pueraria montana var. lobate, kudzu;
(31) Pyrus calleryana, callery pear;
(32) Ranunculus ficaria, fig buttercup/lesser celandine;
(33) Rhamnus cathartica, european buckthorn;
(34) Rosa multiflora; multiflora rose
(35) Trapa natans, water chestnut;
(36) Typha angustifolia, narrow-leaved cattail;
(37) Typha x glauca, hybrid cattail; and
(38) Vincetoxicum nigrum, black dog-strangling vine, black swallowwort.

Resource: Landscape Alternatives for Invasive Plants

2018 Spring Events – June

June 3

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm — Wildlife Festival, Toledo Botanical Garden, Free and open to the public.
Stroll the garden, visit environmental/conservation displays, see live animals, enjoy crafts for kids, and much more.

June 4-7

Youth Summer Camp: Kid’s Outdoor Science Camp, at Camp Palmer, for grades 3-8.
Scholarships available.

June 9

8:00 – Noon — Confluence Clean-up see flyer for details

June 12-14

Youth Summer Camp: Outdoor Camp at Penney Nature Center, for grades K-2.

June 16

5:00 pm – 10:15 pm— Take Me to the Rivers ~ Jazz Festival at Kingsbury Park

June 22-24

~ RIVER FEST ~ Join us to Celebrate Our Water Resources!
see flyer for details

2018 Spring Events – May

May 11

10:00 amGround breaking ceremony for the new Black Swamp Beekeepers Association Pollinator Sanctuary and Training Facility, at Schick Road near Evansport Road, Defiance

May 11 & May 12

Friday 8:00 am – 6:00 pm, Saturday, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm — Hicksville Beautification Committee’s 13th Annual Plant Sale, Hicksville Township Building (across from school on corner of Routes 2/49) Featuring native plants and specialists to assist!

May 12

7:30 am – 10:00 am — 33rd Annual N.W. Ohio Maumee Valley Tri-Adventure Race. Biking. Canoeing. Kayaking. Backpacking. 419-826-5182 or

10:00 am – 4:00 pm — Lilac Fest, Downtown Defiance, music, arts & crafts vendors, kids activities.

May 16

11:00 am — Maumee River Water Trail Opening Dedication, Farnsworth Metropark, Boat Launch Area, Waterville, Ohio. Bring your own canoes & kayaks (no trailers, parking is limited)

May 19

8:00 am – Noon — Defiance County Master Gardeners’ Annual Plant Sale, at Eric’s Ice Cream,
North Clinton Street

9:00 am — Maumee Nature Club Nature Hike at Black Swamp Nature Center, Paulding.

May 26

9:00 am – Noon — Fort Defiance Bass Anglers Kids Fishing Derby.


Why we all should care about POLLINATORS

an interview with Jamie Walters

Jamie Walters – 46yrs, Defiance lifelong residence, Defiance County OSU Extension Master Gardener, Hancock County Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist, Ohio State Beekeepers Association – Journeyman Beekeeper, Northwest Ohio Beekeepers Assoc. – Vice President, CSAW Ohio Forestry Management, Ohio State Pollinator Specialist and Defiance County Apiary Inspector.

  1. Jamie, pollinators seem to be a hot topic these days, can you explain your interest in promoting them?
    Since taking the Pollinator Specialists class with Denise Ellsworth at OSU, it has really opened my eyes to our needs of having pollinators. When some people think pollinators, they only think of honeybees, in which they are missing all types of bees, bumble bees, leaf cutter bees, long-horned bees, mason bees, minor bees, oil-collecting bees, sweat bees, & yellow faced bees. We have over 500 species of bees just in Ohio, let alone the ants, beetles, birds, butterflies, flies, moths & some wasps that also pollinate our flowers, trees, plants, and vegetables.
    These animals help to pollinate nearly 75% of our food crops; apples, strawberries, plums, peaches, and 35% indirectly contribute to our food chain; alfalfa and clover for animal forage/feed, dairy and beef. Most of your fresh fruits and vegetables would disappear from our grocery stores shelves without pollinators. The best examples I can give that would affect most people are:
    Chocolate – Cocoa beans could not develop from not being pollinated. The milk from dairy cow would significantly be reduced from the alfalfa and clover that it needs to eat, which is pollinated to help produce seed to grow more alfalfa and clover.
    Beef, pork, poultry and lamb – derived one way or another from insect pollinated legumes such as alfalfa, clover, lespedeza, and trefoil.
    Coffee – directly impacted as it requires pollinators to set seed; coffee bean.

  3. Why do you believe pollinators populations are at risk?
    Forage: Through research of State Colleges, USDA, Pollinators Partnership, and more, there is solid concrete proof that forage is disappearing at alarming rates. The pollinators use the pollen as their protein to consume, reproduce, and store to get through periods when pollen is not available. This is no different than humans going to the grocery store to eat their next meal or put it in the cupboards for next week. Do you enjoy going to the corner market, local grocery store or what if you had to go to Toledo or Ft. Wayne every time you wanted nourishment?  Pollinators require pollen from the first signs of skunk cabbage blossoms, dandelion, white Dutch clover through summer till golden rod and asters in the late Fall.
    Chemicals: Pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides are becoming an increasing concern. There is an ever growing abundance of chemicals on the store shelves. Knowing what to spray, when to spray, and even if you need to spray should be everyone’s responsibility. Properly identifying the pest first, either by reaching out to your County OSU Extension Office, Soil & Water Conservation District, or trained personnel, you can then react to what needs to be done. Using an integrated pest management (IPM) practice will help reduce chemicals in our environment and always follow label directions. There is research & development that goes into writing them, placing an extra doing no good to you or the environment.
    Humans: Wanting the perfect green lawn, spraying chemicals, cutting back native areas and/or trees and best management practices.

  5. Where do honey bees fit into this equation?

    On January 10, 2017 the United States Fish and Wildlife Service placed the rusty patched bumblebee (B. affinis) on the list of endangered species.

    Honeybees are a big part of this because we place them into a hive, manage, and they are the only insect that humans get a product from – honey. Since we can move our hives to any location for pollination of apple orchards, vegetable gardens, strawberry fields, and many others, we tend to see first-hand if there is enough forage in the areas. If there isn’t enough forage for native pollinators, they move out of that area or go extinct, as in the case of the Rusty Patch Bumblebee here in Ohio. Beekeepers, like myself can use tools; Google Earth to look for proper forage areas for our beehives and move them, if needed. Knowing that from each hive, our honeybees will forage in a maximum 5 mile radius, approx. 50265.5 acres. Pollinators contribute more than $20 million dollars to the United States economy, of which honeybees account for more than $15 million dollars through their vital role in keeping, fruits, nuts, and vegetables in our diets.


  7. What can people do to help?
    If everyone would help just a little, the impact would be tremendous. Having a “Spray Free Zone” on your property. Planting and landscaping with Ohio native plants;  milkweed, purple cone flower, cup plant, joe pye weed, etc. Allowing their lawns to grow dandelions, white Dutch clover, or just allowing an area of their lawn to grow will.  I ask everyone to take the “1 Foot Challenge”, allow 1 square foot of your property to go back native by planting a plant, clover, dandelion, etc. per year, each additional year, add another square foot. I’m asking everyone to give just a little back so pollinators have a place to forage, reproduce, and thrive.

  9. Where can people visit your booth or go to learn more?
    Visit and are both great resources for native pollinator plants, information, and best practices. You are welcome to add me on Facebook at where I post upcoming presentations and information. The Defiance Public Library asked me to present on Attracting/Preserving Pollinators on June 7th, 5pm, at the Northtowne Community Room where I will have a power point presentation and hand-outs for everyone. If you have an organization that is interested in hearing more, you are welcome to contact me and I would be happy to help.

Around Defiance County


Our region is not the only place undergoing a paradigm shift to create healthy living opportunities for the community. Developing pedestrian transportation resources, promoting our most obvious natural resources as assets to be enjoyed by the public and creating connectivity within and between neighborhoods—these are just a few of the ways that Defiance is creating more access and visibility to the Maumee and Auglaize Rivers. To beautify and enhance the confluence, developing a central location for a gathering place by envisioning a pedestrian “tridge – three legged bridge” connecting Kingsbury, Pontiac and Fort Defiance Parks together is just a start!

Riverfront Concepts

The City of Defiance has acquired several properties through the FEMA Floodplain Mitigation Program. The additional green space is becoming part of the park system which prompted the City to contract with a firm to develop a concept plan for the Riverfront and Confluence Area. One of the sketches appears on the back cover of our fall issue of Land to Lake Magazine.

Connectivity: Boat, Bike & Walking Trails

The Defiance County section is pictured here. Click to see the full trail PDF.

Maumee River Water Trail

The proposed Maumee River Water Trail will go from the state line to Lake Erie.

The ‘Trail’ is the River!

Designation as an ODNR State Water Trail will include signage at access points, water view signs, additional and improved access sites along with printed and digital maps. All of this makes planning your trip on the Maumee River easy, safer and fun. If you were not able to attend a public meeting, please learn more and share your input at:

Trail to Independence Dam

Plans are beginning to create a 4-mile pedestrian/bicycle trail along River Road, or County Road 424, by widening the road from Pontiac Park to Independence Dam State Park. The project is expected to get underway in 2018. We look forward to sharing more details as they become available.

This trail will allow pedestrian and bicycle traffic to travel safely along the existing roadway. This 4 mile stretch, when completed will allow trail users connectivity to the trail system in Lucas County, utilizing various tow path trails through Henry County.

Reservoir Nature Trail

The City has been awarded a grant for $150,000 from Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Recreational Trails Program toward the construction of a boardwalk-style pathway through the wooded portion of the municipal reservoir site. An asphalt path was constructed around most of the base of the Reservoir in 2015. This new boardwalk pathway will connect both ends of the existing asphalt path, giving trail users a unique woodland experience and completing the loop around the reservoir. This multi-use trail will be fully ADA compliant with select areas designated for birdwatching and educational features.

Buckeye Trail

The City of Defiance and Defiance Development and Visitors Bureau (DDVB) have submitted an application for the designation of Defiance as a “Trail Town”. Watch for opportunities to enjoy
the trail and “follow the blue blazes.” Details at

Walking Trail at Defiance County East

This trail has two ½ mile sections, one gravel and one paved—starting on the back edge of the parking lot, looping around through the woods adjacent to the Maumee River. Spring is coming; it’s time to take advantage of these great resources in our community!

Rotary Walkway

Watch for new benches coming soon to enjoy views of the confluence!