Team in place to make pollinator area bloom


The final partner joined a team that will transform Bowling Green’s solar field into blooming, pollinator
area that’s intended to attract butterflies and bees, and improve the area’s watershed.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the Wood County Park District board approved a memorandum of understanding with the
city of Bowling Green to mow the area around the Carter Road solar field.
Board member Bob Hawker asked how much time and expense it would cost the park district. Depending on
equipment, employees would spend two to four days a year on the mowing, Munger said.
"The big thing was being able to use it as an educational tool," he said.
Daryl Stockburger, assistant Bowling Green utilities director, said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
has pledged $32,688 to prepare and plant the area, which is about 12 acres and could encompass up to 22
"It is for the purchase of seed, planting, plugs. It is for a mix of basically low-growing,
shade-tolerant vegetation," he said in a phone interview. "It’s been beneficial for reducing
stormwater run-off, stopping erosion, and beneficial for a habitat for migrating bird and monarch
The pollinator area will also benefit the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in the Maumee area of
concern, Stockburger said.
"The idea is even soybeans benefit from pollinators," he said.
The land will be prepped in the spring.
"The idea is for the different plantings to blossom at different times through spring, summer and
fall," Stockburger said.
The park district is a good partner for the city on this because of the staff’s expertise, he said.
"We’re good at mowing grass and taking care of right-of-ways, but maybe not so much at maintaining
pollinator habitats," he said.
Stockburger added that the area is outside of the city, taking the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation
Department out of the management role.
"We see a lot of benefit to this type of practice, incorporating land that was not otherwise
utilized," Stockburger said. "And ultimately, it should save in maintenance costs once the
initial development is matured."
Bowling Green City Council and the Bowling Green Board of Public Utilities approved the project last
The solar field, located at 16520 Carter Road, is owned by developer NextEra Energy, but the land on
which it is situated is owned by the city. Another 70 acres to the west of the solar field are owned by
the city and rented as farmland.
The county park board voted to authorize Munger to enter into the collaborative plan for pollinator
Also at the meeting, the park board:
• Voted to purchase a 2018 Dodge Ram pickup from Al Smith Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Inc. for $27,452. It
will replace a ranger vehicle. Munger said this was the only bid received, but it was under the $30,000
budgeted. He added that the Ram is preferred because of its beefed-up electrical system and storage.
• Heard that AEP Ohio has put on hold a project that could move lines and take out vegetation on the
Slippery Elm Trail. The board had been initially opposed to the realignment, which would have removed
vegetation and tall trees along the trail. Munger said Tuesday that the entire project is on hold and if
it occurs at all, it would be in late 2018 or early 2019. Munger said he had been approached by a number
of people who did not want changes there.
• Heard from Jim Witter, program coordinator, that the district is starting to offer more camps for
children around school breaks. They have been popular in the summer.
• Re-elected Denny Parish as chair for 2018; Bob Hawker was selected vice chair. The board also welcomed
new board members Bill Cameron, Tom Myers and Sandy Wiechman. The board will continue to meet the second
Tuesday of the month at 3 p.m.
• Went into executive session to discuss real estate. No action was taken.

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