Turtlehead Swamp

62 acre donation in Knox County

Total Project Cost: TBD – Balance to Raise: $0

The Arc’s first preservation footprint in the Kokosing River and Knox County. The 57-mile-long Kokosing River in the Muskingum Watershed is one of Ohio’s most pristine waterways. It protects over 70 species of fish and 24 species of amphibians, including the state-endangered mountain brook lamprey, spotted darter, and eastern hellbender. The Kokosing’s riparian corridor and uplands are used by 72 species of birds for nesting, and by the state and federally endangered Indiana bat for roosting, feeding, and raising young. Due to its exceptional ecological value, the Kokosing is classified as an “Outstanding State Water” by the Ohio EPA.

Janet Kohr, a landowner and long-time Arc supporter has created her own private preserve system along the Kokosing River. Her five preserves totaling 270 acres will be donated in their entirety to the Arc at her passing. She has also put into a place an endowment fund that will help the Arc establish a staffing hub in Knox County to serve the larger Knox-Holmes County region.

Turtlehead Swamp – an early gift to the Arc. One of Janet’s preserves, Turtlehead Swamp, spans both sides of the Kokosing River and protects more than 2,100 feet of riparian corridor. Over the years, Janet has planted native prairie forbs in the swamp, as well as beech, swamp white oak, and Kentucky coffee trees in the river’s floodplain. Rather than give Turtlehead Swamp to the Arc at her passing, Janet chose to jump-start the Arc’s entry into Knox County by donating the preserve to us this year. Knox County is heavily impacted by the expansive growth of Columbus. Farms and wetlands are being rapidly replaced by housing developments and retail stores. Turtlehead Swamp gives the Arc an important foothold in this part of Ohio and will enable us to continue working with Janet and other conservationists to further protect one of the state’s most valuable natural resources—the Kokosing River. Click here to read the full article from the 2022-2023 campaign news magazine.

Common Mergansers have made a huge comeback on the Kokosing. Photo courtesy Shutterstock.
A view of the beautiful Kokosing River. Photo by Janet Kohr