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Trella Romine Prairie and Nature Preserve

Trella Romine Prairie Preserve is an abandoned railroad right of way with significant populations of rare prairie plants of the Sandusky Plains Ohio Prairie Area


Prairie Name

Trella Romine Prairie and Nature Preserve


Location

The Trella Romine Prairie and Nature Preserve is a mile-long strip along the abandoned Erie/Dayton Railroad right-of-way accessed near the intersection of State Routes 203 and 739, east of Green Camp in Marion County.

Owner

Marion County Historical Society

Prairie History

The Trella Romine Prairie and Nature Preserve is a remnant of the abandoned Marion to Bellefontaine railroad. Prairie enthusiast and preservationist, Trella Romine, bought the property at a sheriff’s sale in 1996 and donated it to the Marion County Historical Society. It is a narrow strip, less then 100 feet wide and one mile long, located at the southern extremity of the Sandusky Plains Ohio Prairie Area (Prairie Regions of Ohio). At the time of purchase only about 36 prairie species were seen.


Most of this portion of the railway was constructed on the Little Scioto River flood plain, on a created 6 to 10 foot elevated causeway nearly nine-tenths mile long. Wetlands, uplands, marshes, and swamps are included in the preserve. The causeway makes an ideal observation level from which to observe the plants and landscape.


Presently, at least 80 prairie species, 70 non-prairie species, 20 tree species, and several shrub species can be found. Wild potato vine, royal catchfly, false wild indigo, lance-leaf loosestrife, prairie panic grass, slender gerardia, pinnatifidum prairie dock (illustrated above), purple milkweed, heart-leaf golden alexanders, sainfoin, broad-leaf blazingstar, nodding onion, and  prairie phlox are some of the more uncommon and interesting Sandusky Plains prairie plants of the site.


Among non-prairie species are halberd-leaved hibiscus, found only in the Scioto River basin of Ohio, and buttonbush, great angelica, and American wild plum. The Little Scioto River frequently overflows and completely covers the causeway. Consequently, species numbers and densities vary from season to season and year to year, depending on soil flooding.

Size

The Trella Romine Prairie Preserve is a mile-long right-of-way of the abandoned Erie/Dayton Railroad, approximately 75 ft wide.

Prairie Description

Located within the original boundaries of the Sandusky Plains Ohio Prairie Area, this railroad remnant was donated to the Marion County Historical Society by Trella Romine in 1996, and has over 80 species of locally-native prairie plants, including wild-potato vine, royal catchfly (state-listed as threatened) and an unusual color form of sawtooth sunflower.

New species are regularly being discovered.

Visitation Information

The public is welcome to walk around the gates to access the prairie proper during daylight hours only. No motor vehicles are allowed without permission granted by the Marion County Historical Society. Call 740-387-4255 for more information.

There are parking areas along State Route 203 near the Ohio Historical War of 1812 Blockhouse Marker on the grassy berm. No restroom facilities or water are available at the site.