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Kitty Todd State Nature Preserve

Prairie Name

Kitty Todd State Nature Preserve

Location

Access parking lot is at 10420 Old State Line Rd, west of Toledo. Specifically, access from I-475 west of Toledo is as follows:

Exit I-475 at Airport Highway (SR 2), travel west toward Toledo Express Airport. Then, turn right (north) on Eber Rd. Proceed north on Eber, which ends at Old State Line Rd. Turn left on Old State Line Rd. The Kitty Todd State Nature Area parking area and office is approximately a quarter-mile distant, at 10420 Old State Line Rd.

Owner

Kitty Todd State Nature Preserve is owned by the Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, but is managed by The Nature Conservancy, which maintains an office at the site.

Prairie History

Kitty Todd State Nature Preserve was acquired in the last quarter of the 19th century, from local landowners.

The site is in the heart of the globally-significant Oak Openings ecological region west of Toledo, an area that was never fully developed for modern agriculture or development because of the combination of dry sand uplands and very wet lowland landscape elements, both of which supported rare,unique plant communities,including black oak savanna, xeric sand prairies, and wet hydric tallgrass prairies.

Size

The Preserve is 500 acres or so.

Prairie Description

The Oak Openings, because of its diversity of dry and wet prairies, along with Ohio-rare black oak savannas, provides a unique prairie experience. The dry sand prairies have a diversity of rare xeric (dry-habitat) prairie plants, including Lupinus perennis, wild blue lupine (the plant at the top of this page).


The trees of the area are mostly oaks, primarily Quercus velutina, black oak, restricted to dry, sandy soils. Instead of dense forests, the tress here are in savanna arrangement, spread apart, allowing sun to reach the ground between the trees, as in the photo at the top.


A detailed description of the Oak Openings is here: http://www.epa.gov/ecopage/upland/oak/oakopen.html


The Oak Openings Ohio prairie region is shown on the Ohio Prairie Regions Map.

Visitation Information

Visitation of the Kitty Todd State Nature Preserve is restricted to designated times. It is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the first full weekend of the month from May through October only. For information on guided walks and preserve volunteer projects, contact the Oak Openings Project Office at 419-867-1521.



Kitty Todd is regarded as the finest oak savanna in Ohio, and one of the very best in all of the tallgrass prairie regions of North America.