Outstanding Natural History
The 622-acre Tremper Mound Preserve will include roughly 200 acres each of forested Appalachian hills, rolling meadows, and a tall grass prairie bordering the Scioto River.
Tremper Mound’s Riparian Forest. Tremper Mound protects an outstanding 6.17 miles of forest corridor, including 3.56 miles of Pond Creek’s main stem and primary headwaters, and 1.30 miles of corridor along the Scioto River. The riparian forest – long missing from the fertile floodplain of the lower Scioto that is today entirely occupied by farmlands – will be restored on the 200-acre lower terrace bordering a mile long stretch on the Scioto River. The restored woodlands will include native sycamore, red and silver maple, box elder, and cottonwood. This riparian forest will serve as a welcome sanctuary for migrating birds.
Pond Creek – intact macroinvertebrates and fish community. Pond Creek, which drains and runs through the center of Tremper Farm, is an unusually intact stream community. Field studies conducted by Ohio EPA immediately upstream from Tremper Farm’s boundary document macroinvertebrate species that earn Exceptional Warmwater ratings. Inside the Tremper Mound property itself, an EPA fish study documented 28 species of fish, earning an outstanding IBI score of 54 – perfect being 60. Although Pond Creek is not rated as an exceptional warmwater habitat in most of its higher reaches, after it enters the Tremper Mound property and begins it last run toward the Scioto, the stream community becomes much more intact. It is likely that Pond Creek maintains its exceptional warmwater habitat throughout the Tremper Mound property due to the inactivity of the farm, its undisturbed forest cover, and its lack of residential housing. Future aquatic studies are planned for the site.
Lower Scioto is a State-Significant Reservoir for Fish Species. The lower Scioto, as it approaches its confluence with the Ohio River, is a significant site for rare fish associated with large waterways. Tremper Mound is located on the Scioto River between river miles 5.0 to 10.00. Here, 61 species of fish have been reported, with noteworthy listings that include the shortnose Gar (state threatened), Blue Sucker (state threatened), River Redhorse (species of concern), American Eel (state threatened), and River Darter (state threatened). The lower Scioto is also known for a rare mussels.
Intact Appalachian Hill-country Forests & spring ephemerals. The steep unglaciated sandstone/shale hillsides found at Tremper Mound are low in pH and grow classic Appalachia hardwood species, including oaks, hickories, sugar maple, beech, poplar and black gum. Some of these trees have reached impressive sizes, such as the one seen at right. Acid Appalachian soils like these rarely grow the density of wildflowers that more basic soils can support, but they do offer a wider diversity of species. These include yellow mandarin, fire pinks, showy orchis, twinleaf, twayblade orchid, ginseng, goldenseal, wild comfrey, twinleaf, bear-corn, wild ginger, rattlesnake plantain, white baneberry, partridge berry, large-leaf waterleaf, toadflax, dwarf larkspur, sweet William wild phlox, rue anemone, long-spurred violet, Virginia bluebells, Solomon’s seal, Jack-in-the-Pulpit and a large diversity of ferns.
Amphibian Rich Wetlands. Tremper Mound protects 68 acres of wetland habitat that support high populations of breeding wood frogs and spotted salamanders, and thousands of spring peepers that can be heard singing in April.
A Future Firefly-Watching Destination. Last June, Arc Staff members witnessed an extraordinary firefly light show at Tremper Mound. Chinese Lantern fireflies were observed in the woodlands and lower terraces, and are likely to be encountered along the river corridor. The lower field on the east side of SR 104 was loaded with Photuris temulons, which are known as “Four-flashers” for their distinct flash pattern. Because of the spectacular nature of the displays, the Arc intends to include Tremper in its line-up of firefly watching destinations that it will promote each June.