CCPD_Leadingham-PrairiePhoto credit: Mike Shade

 

Leadingham Prairie and Nature Preserve

3656 Spangler Road, Medway, Ohio
Parking on corner of Spangler & Union Roads
Open daily from dawn until dusk.
Leadingham Prairie Google Maps Locator

Thanks to grant assistance, the Clark County Park District was able to purchase the Leadingham farm south of the Estel Wenrick Wetlands Nature Preserve in 2003. The Leadingham Prairie Preserve opened in 2014 with nearly two miles of walking trails through the prairie.  The prairie boasts over 40 species of butterflies, countless species of plants and a number of songbirds such as the Cedar Waxwing, Great-Crested Flycatcher, Common Yellowthroat and Dickcissel. There is a Great Blue Heron rookery at the edge of the prairie, that borders the Estel Wenrick Wetlands, with  usually over 20 nests. The Common Snipe show up in the early spring, as well as a diversity of other songbirds, waterfowl and some raptors. Once it gets warm, the Leopard Frogs start jumping across the path and in the summer, look for the beautiful Queen of the Prairie that grows towards the back. The Rattlesnake Master is another fascinating plant that looks like it comes from the southwest.

From April to October, volunteers and staff count the butterflies that emerge each year. The butterfly transect is done by walking the same route in the prairie, once a week, during the hours of 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM. It takes about 2 1/2 hours to conduct the transect. The volunteers record the number of each species identified. This data is then used to determine how butterflies are doing around the U.S.

In June, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with Park District staff and volunteers, conduct the Prairie Fringed Orchid count. The Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid is an endangered orchid that is only found in three locations in Ohio, the Leadingham Prairie being one of them.

When walking this property, wear long sleeves and pants, a hat, waterproof boots and bring plenty of water. It gets hot during late spring and summer.

Long range plans for the farmstead buildings include a Nature Center to offer educational opportunities to the entire region.

If interested in volunteering for any of our counts in the prairie, please call the Park District at 937-882-6000.