Great Parks Forever, the philanthropic partner of Great Parks of Hamilton County, has received a $10,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to test several reforestation methods and determine which will best create wildlife habitat and support the growth of native plant species. The project began this fall with site preparation and native seeding across 9 acres owned by Great Parks along the Whitewater River corridor. In 2022, Great Parks will begin planting trees and shrubs at the site, located west of Miami Whitewater Forest and Mitchell Memorial Forest.
As a leader in conservation, Great Parks works to restore forests, prairies, shrublands and wetlands throughout the county with projects such as converting former farmland back into natural areas. However, such projects can be severely impacted when white-tailed deer browse on young trees.
Great Parks will use this funding from the Duke Energy Foundation to pilot different reforestation methods by planting trees and shrubs in different ways and monitoring their growth and success over time. Planting techniques to be tested will include varying levels of plant protection, locations close to and farther away from busy traffic, variations in planting densities and planting bare root versus container plants.
Results of the project will be publicly available and used to improve the success of future reforestation efforts throughout Hamilton County.