Work has been completed and continues at the Penney Nature Center to develop a 20-acre, forested wetland complex. To this end, many thousands of trees have been planted over the course of 12 years. In 2015 alone, 8,000 hardwood trees and shrubs were planted and 6,500 of these were mulched and sheltered to protect them from the elements and from deer browse. The goal is to replicate the various types of natural wetlands that existed throughout the Great Black Swamp. Many of these wetlands consisted of saturated soils and seasonal ponding, not always what people may envision when thinking about wetlands. Also included are areas of the more traditional “emergent” wetlands that hold water year round. In addition to the wetlands, the nature center transitions to more upland forests and to several acres of tall grass prairies. These varied habitats lend to great plant and animal diversity. The public is welcome to visit the site, with parking off of Ashpacher Road, just over a half mile south of SR 15.
If you or your organization would like to volunteer at Penney Nature Center, please call Defiance SWCD at 419-782-1794 for more details.