Howland will allocate ARP funds to the preservation of the creek | News, Sports, Jobs

HOWLAND — Township administrators are using more than $10,000 of Howland’s U.S. bailout money to preserve just under 84 acres along Mosquito Creek.

Township planning director Kim Mascarella said the area the township is acquiring is one of the last large chunks of wetlands and floodplains along the Mosquito Creek corridor north of North River Road. The township has been working for about two decades to preserve areas along the creek, she said.

“Once purchased, these natural spaces are protected forever. They can never be clear or developed, said Mascarelle. “They contain countless acres of high-quality wetlands, floodplains unique to our natural heritage, mature forests and diverse wildlife.”

The new property is adjacent to land owned by Trumbull County MetroParks to the north and to the south connects to more than 100 acres already owned by the township.

The total cost of acquiring the land is $164,334, including $10,463 from the township’s federal ARP money. The rest of the funding comes from a grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission’s Clean Ohio Program. Mascarella said much of the natural space the township has acquired has been possible because of Clean Ohio.

The local match to buy the land was seen as an appropriate use of ARP funding by Baker Dublikar, the law firm retained by the township to advise on ARP purchases.

The township received approximately $1.7 million in ARP money. The township also used ARP funds to replace an air conditioning unit in the township administration building and invested $70,000 in drainage upgrades at Howland Township Park, according to township administrator Darlene St. George. The township is also considering using the ARP money to purchase a new ambulance and has now committed to acquiring Mosquito Creek.

Mascarella said preserving this section of land is important because it is a floodplain, which is an area that stores water and slows runoff, reducing the risk of flooding.

The Mosquito Creek Corridor is internationally recognized as an important flyway for migratory birds. The Audubon Society lists the Mosquito Creek Corridor as a “important bird area” according to its website.

The Metropark land adjoining the new acquisition is behind the Walmart in Bazetta and was donated to the park district by the developer, who had to set aside land for conservation in order to build there, according to Metroparks director Zachary. Svette.

Svette said the park district and Howland officials have considered preserving the adjacent section for years.

“So we’re really happy that Howland was able to acquire it and preserve it,” Svette said.

While most of Howland’s green spaces along the creek don’t have official hiking trails, Mascarella said. “passive leisure is the perfect use of land.”

“Residents can enjoy nature photography, bird watching or hiking along the corridor. However, the hike can sometimes be difficult due to wet conditions,” said Mascarelle. The township also issues a limited number of hunting permits each year.

The township wants to establish a network of hiking trails one day, Mascarella said, though wet conditions along the creek could make that difficult and expensive.

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