More than 100 acres of farmland have been restored to prairie and wetlands at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge in Ottawa County in honor of Adam Grimm, the 2000 federal duck stamp artist from Elyria, Ohio.
A ceremony dedicating the project in Grimm's name is set for 1 p.m. tomorrow at the site, on Krause Road about a quarter-mile east of State Rt. 2.
About 60 acres have been restored to prairie grasses and about 40 to wetlands, according to Rebecca Hinkle, a refuge spokesman. The land recently was acquired from an area farmer. Prairie and wetlands are among the more threatened types of wild habitats.
“I'm just happy to see more wetlands for wildlife in that area,” said Grimm, now 23 and who at 21 became the youngest wildlife artist ever to win the prestigious federal duck-stamp competition. His winning work was an oil painting of a mottled duck stretching its wings on a sun-dappled pond. It appeared on the 2000 duck stamp.
The refuge restoration project, Grimm said, “kind of stemmed from my winning ... ” A hometown celebration of his duck stamp art included a fund-raising event with raffles and other activities. The artist, himself an avid duck hunter, donated a drawing and a print to the event as well.
It netted some $11,000 toward the Ottawa project and restoration of a 40-acre wetlands cell at the 645-acre Willow Point State Wildlife Area on Sandusky Bay. The latter is in an overall $75,000 Ducks Unlimited project.
The Erie-Ottawa-Sandusky Chapter of Pheasants Forever contributed $15,000 in seeding and planting the prairie portion at Ottawa, said Dave Harlan, a chapter spokesman.
At Ottawa, Ducks Unlimited also raised some $5,000 in a charity Sporting Clays shoot, with additional contributions by the Ohio Division of Wildlife and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Harlan added. Finally, an $18,000 federal grant from the North American Waterfowl Conservation Act fund was used to complete the project.
In all, the restoration cost about $45,000, said Dan Frisk, manager of the Ottawa complex.
Among plans for the site are wildlife observation points, a parking lot and kiosk, additional wetlands restoration, and waterfowl hunting blinds.
The week's activities culminate with an open house Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., based at refuge headquarters, 14000 West State Rt. 2, Oak Harbor.
A seven-mile auto-tour route will allow access to places normally off-limits to the public. Displays and exhibits will be featured in a tent near the headquarters, and the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Association will conduct a Series of Birding contests from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For other details, call Ottawa, 419-898-0014, extension 815.
The Ottawa complex is the only national refuge in Ohio and encompasses nearly 9,000 acres. It is among 536 national wildlife refuges in the 50 states.
The complex includes three related national wildlife refuges under one umbrella: Ottawa Refuge, about 5,400 acres in its main unit, plus the 591-acre Navarre Marsh and 520-acre Darby Marsh east along the lake; Cedar Point Refuge, 2,445 acres just east of Maumee Bay State Park, and the 77-acre West Sister Island Refuge, Ohio's only federally declared area.
Bid forms are available from Magee, 13229 West State Rt. 2, Oak Harbor, 43449, telephone 419-898-0960, extension 30. Forms also are available from Ohio Wildlife District 2 headquarters, 952 Lima Ave., Findlay, 45840, telephone 419-424-5000.
Bids will be opened Oct. 23 at 3 p.m. at Magee headquarters. Marsh units may be viewed Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday and Monday - Public trapshoots, 6:30 p.m., Wolf Creek Sportsmen's Association, 349 Teachout Rd., north of State Rt. 2, Curtice, call Frank Schaffer, 691-2769.
Friday - Naturalists' Camera Club of Toledo, 7:30 p.m., Secor Metropark Nature Discovery Center, program on Maine trekking; also, Saturday, field trip to Oak Openings Preserve Metropark, 10 a.m., meet at lodge parking lot; call Adele Shelton, 474-2911.
Friday through Sunday - Outdoor Abilities Expo, I-X Center, next to Hopkins International Airport, Cleveland; equipment and opportunities displays for disabled outdoors persons, with emphasis on hunting and shooting sports; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday; call NRA Disabled Shooting Services, 703-267-1495.
Saturday - Black Swamp Bird Observatory, bird hike, Buck Creek State Park, Clark County, meet at 9 a.m. at parking area nearest the beach, call BSBO, 419-898-4070; also, Saturday, hike the dikes at Magee Marsh State Wildlife Area and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, 9 to 11 a.m., meet at Sportsmen's Migratory Bird Center at Magee, call Mary Warren at Magee, 419-898-0960 extension 31.
Saturday - Semi-annual litter pickup, Pearson Metropark, 9 a.m., co-sponsored by Christ Dunberger American Legion Post 537 and Friends of Pearson Metropark, meet at Packer-Hammersmith Center, call Bob Bassitt, 693-1398.
Saturday - Lighthouse festival, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Marblehead Lighthouse State Park; demonstrations, entertainment, crafts, food, tours; call 419-797-4530.
Sunday - Toledo Muzzle Loaders, ghost shoot, 11 a.m., Clinton Boothby Memorial Range, 875 Schwamberger Rd.; kielbasa prizes; call Richard Hulsebus, 474-6666.
Sunday - Bowshoot, Willard Conservation Club, Willard, register 8 a.m. to noon; call Herman Collins, 419-935-3044.
Steve Pollick is The Blade's outdoor writer. E-mail him at email@example.com.
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