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Feb
05
2023
Village Life

Photo by Reilly Dixon

Dam-o-rama

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2022 was a productive year for the busy little fellers who reside in the Glen Helen Nature Preserve. The beaver dam that clogged up the flowing waters of Yellow Springs Creek in 2021 grew significantly in breath, depth, height and sticks over the last year.

In damming the creek, the beavers’ impressive structure inadvertently created a welcome habitat to that part of the Glen: a new wetland, which, according to the preserve’s executive director, Nick Boutis, has given water fowl and thirsty native plant species quite a thrill.

Although Boutis said the beavers’ handiwork has given him and his staff more work of their own — such as needing to build up the boardwalk that became waterlogged — Boutis said he’s chuffed to be able to continue to host industrious furballs.

“We have this remarkable species that is second only to humanity in their ability to manipulate their environment,” Boutis said. “It’s probably been since the early 1800s since there was another beaver dam in what is now Glen Helen.”

“I just wish they’d eat some honeysuckle,” he added.

Sometime in the coming weeks, Boutis said he and his staffers will likely close the trail on which the boardwalk rests to, once again, keep it above the water’s surface.

“By and large, our staff, our board and our visitors have accepted that some of what the beavers are doing is inconveniencing us,” he said. “But we are a nature preserve and we are intentional about providing habitats for all native species.”

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