Just the Facts About Shaker Trace

All, Nature Notes
Ohio spiderwort (Tradescantia ohioensis) is also commonly referred to as a bluejacket – even though it dawns a purple hue.

Did you know that the Shaker Trace Loop trail at Miami Whitewater Forest is nearly eight miles of paved, shared-use trail that winds through prairies, wetlands and woods?

Whether you run, walk or pedal, you’ll have an excellent opportunity to see the amazing flora and fauna in these habitats. Spring, summer and fall they are filled with the colors and scents of flowering native plants. From the lavender purple of the spring-flowering Ohio spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis), the cardinal red of the summer-flowering royal catchfly (Silene regia), to the canary yellow of the fall-flowering showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa) and everything in between, this trail is loaded with native plants!

Did you know that all the prairies and wetlands you just passed through were created from native seeds provided by Great Parks of Hamilton County?

Royal catchfly (Silene regia) catches the eye with its bright red petals.
Showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa) stands tall outside of Shaker Trace Nursery.

Great Parks’ own Shaker Trace Nursery has grown and harvested local ecotype native seeds since 1992. By now, you’re probably asking yourself, “What is local ecotype and why should I care?” First, an “ecotype” is a population within any given species that has genetically adapted to the specific environmental conditions around them. Secondly, “local ecotype” is then a collection of plants that have evolved and adapted within these specific local environments. Local ecotype is extremely important and beneficial to the germination, development and survivability of each plant species. Simply put, Shaker Trace Nursery is creating biodiversity, which is key to a fully functioning ecosystem.

For the first time since its inception over 27 years ago, Great Parks is offering tours of Shaker Trace Nursery. Register for a tour to find out more about the nursery and just what’s involved in creating biodiversity. Join for the first tour on June 1 or join in the fall on October 5.

(Or you can just show up at the open house on July 27 any time between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)


Tim Osborne
Shaker Trace Nursery Technician