Living In One Of The World's Last Great Places
Michelle T. Grigor, editor
F O R W A R D
If you are a homeowner in the sand country of western Lucas County or parts of Fulton and Henry counties in Ohio, are lucky indeed. You possess property in one of the rarest and most significant natural areas in the Midwest. This sand country, called the Oak Openings, is a complex of diverse land of prairies, forests, savannas, sand barrens and wet sloughs. It is a curious place that attracted the attention of Ohio’s leading naturalists at the turn of the century as the land became settled and explored.
As settlement has proceeded and land uses changed, the Oak Openings has survived in small fragments surrounded by thousands of homes, businesses and industrial parks. Living on these little green islands are thousands of native species of plants and animals, species that make up some of the rarest natural communities on earth.
This Homeowner’s Guide provides an introduction to these endangered communities. It tells how they sustain themselves and how natural and human forces have shaped them over thousands of years. There are chapters on plants, birds and animals highlighting the species tha make their home in the Oak Openings. But more importantly, this guide describes ways the average homeowner can use land preservation and ecological restoration to save these rare natural gems for the next generation of sand country residents. It is up to us to ensure their survival. Thank you for doing your part.
Chapter 1 - Geology
Chapter 2 - Plant Communities
Chapter 3 - Significant Birds
Chapter 4 - Rare Plants
Chapter 5 - Mammals
Chapter 6 - Amphibians & Reptiles
Chapter 7 - Significant Insects
Chapter 8 - The Oak Openings at Risk
Chapter 9 - Who's Saving the Oak Openings
Chapter 10 - What's A Land Owner To Do?
Appendix 1 - Bird List
Appendix 2 - Rare Plant List
Appendix 3 - Amphibian & Reptile Lise
Appendix 4 - Butterflies / Conservation Groups