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Grand opening coming for Chapparal Prairie hiking trails

WEST UNION – A grand opening of the new hiking trails located on the new 60 acre acquisition at Chaparral Prairie will take place on Oct. 17, sponsored by the Arc of Appalachia and the Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves. Festivities will begin at 1 p.m., beginning with a ribbon cutting and followed by guided hikes. The event is free to the public, and following the grand opening the trails will be free to the public throughout the year.

Chaparral Prairie is a State Nature Preserve, a rare botanical site and a public hiking destination located a few miles northwest of West Union, Ohio in Adams County. Of the few prairie remnants left in Ohio, Chaparral is the most visually appealing – with its wide vistas of rolling green meadows and its spectacular floral showcases. Twenty-two state-listed rare plant species have been recorded there.

Nancy Stranahan, Director of the Arc of Appalachia, said, “We have great hopes that this special event will not only excite the interest of nature-lovers across Ohio, but attract Adams County residents too. Many local citizens have not yet discovered the world treasure that is in their own backyard.”

“Adams County is the only county in Ohio to harbor this particular type of prairie ecosystem, one that from a world perspective is quite endangered. “Drive just outside the county lines,” said Stranahan, and the prairie dock, blazing star, and false white indigo flower – all prairie indicator plants – all but disappear.”

Earlier in 2015, the Arc of Appalachia partnered with Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Natural Areas and Preserves to successfully purchase an adjacent 60-acre property that nearly doubled the preserve’s land holdings, bringing the preserve up to 130 acres. Financial assistance also came from Clean Ohio and Ohio Natural Areas and Preserves Association

The Grand Opening will be held rain or shine. Refreshments will be available. Please call 937-365-1935 or email info@arcofappalchia.org with any questions.

Prairie Dock in full bloom look like a floating golden carpet in the open fields.
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_chaparral-prairie-grand-opening.jpgPrairie Dock in full bloom look like a floating golden carpet in the open fields. Photo courtesy of the Arc of Appalachia

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