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Cook Wetland Breaks Ground

The wetland restoration project at the property of Bob and Candace Cook broke ground on September 13th, 2022. The 250 acre property is primarily dedicated to conservation practices such as pollinator plantings and warm season grass prairie providing habitat for many upland bird species. The wetland restoration focuses on a 2.5 acre area of hydric (wetland) soils. In Butler County we only have 2 types of wetland soils Patton (Pa) and Ragsdale (Ra), so finding remnants of these can be tricky. Over many years of agricultural activity the topography of the wetland had become less defined and the site began to lose many of its characteristics.

Planning phases began over a year ago when soil cores were taken and confirmed that under years of deposition lay the dark highly organic layer that makes Ragsdale soils so special. Just under this thick, heavy layer of sticky black soil lay the key to a wetland soils function, the clay layer. Clay subsoil was field verified to be roughly 40% clay, just perfect to construct levees and seal vernal pools necessary for restoring the wetland.

Butler SWCD, USDA NRCS, and Pheasants Forever have all had important roles in the planning and execution of this process. However, without the support of the Cook Family this project would have not happened. Bob and Candace have worked tirelessly to convert their property to a true sanctuary for wildlife and providing habitat for rare and endangered species. The wetland restoration project and supplemental wildlife plantings affirm the Cook's commitment to habitat restoration and will benefit the surrounding Four Mile Creek Valley for years to come.

Aerial View of the Project Area

Heavy black soils make up much of the site giving clear indication this is a legacy wetland.

Looking across the lower pool berm, nearly 7 feet of fill has been placed in this area to hold water.

Topsoil is scraped to the side and saved so it can be spread back across the excavated area.

A view of the plans reveals the nature of work to be performed.


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