A Rare Orchid Is Thriving In Clark County And Volunteers Want To Keep It That Way
Early last month in Clark County, volunteers helped state naturalists from the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves (DNAP) protect a federally endangered flower.
Ohio is home to a number of endangered plant species, including the rare eastern prairie fringed orchid. The flower likes native grassy meadows, but most of those in Ohio were turned into farm fields over a century ago. But here, in a tiny wet sedge meadow surrounded by farm fields in Clark County, the orchid is thriving.
Jennifer Windus is on the board of the Ohio Natural Areas and Preserves Association, which organized the event.
“We're going around the state all the time and we feel like every place we go, we're putting this little Band-Aid on a gaping wound." She said, "But every little bit that we do, we're making a difference to save natural areas in Ohio.”
At the meadow, the volunteers cut the invasive plants back to the roots. Then, professional naturalists carefully painted the roots with an herbicide so the trees wouldn’t come back.
Environmental reporter Chris Welter is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.