February 26, 2017 Otway, OH —
Chalet Nivale Nature Preserve shelters one of the largest colonies of Snow Trillium, Trillium nivale, in Ohio. They are usually the first of the spring wildflowers to emerge and the tiny flowers are often caught in a late winter snowfall. This diminutive little wildflower can be found blooming in the headwaters of the Scioto Brush Creek. Come join the Friends of Scioto Brush Creek, Inc. as we explore the nature preserve with Arc of Appalachia naturalist Fern Truitt who will be our guide. She will lead us on a hike across a small stream to view the wonders of the spring woods and dolomite cliffs. Wear sturdy, waterproof footgear and bring your walking stick, camera and binoculars if you have them. We’ll meet at 10 a.m. at the nature preserve located at 1272 Bacon Flat Rd., Peebles, OH 45660.
The dolomite bedrock of Chalet Nivale creates a compelling karst-country landscape of springs, seeps, grottos, and sinkholes. These alkaline soils and bedrocks are renowned for producing a diverse assemblage of rare and endangered wildflowers, ferns and shrubs, including herbs with prairie-associations, such as Climbing Milkvine, Stiff Gentian and Tall Larkspur. Ancient White Cedar Trees, isolated hundreds of miles south of their normal range in the North Woods, cling to the bluffs of the cliffs. Other rare spring wildflowers at Chalet Nivale include the limestone-loving Walter’s Violet, the smallest-flowering violet in Eastern United States.
State researchers were stunned to discover that one of Chalet Nivale’s two headwater streams earned a virtually unheard-of “perfect” Biotic Integrity Index Score of 60. The second tributary earned an impressive score of 54, making both streams the highest-ranked waterways in the entire Scioto Brush watershed. What these scores mean to the layman is that they possess a high diversity of fish species for their size, exceptionally clean water, and a high-production of aquatic insects and invertebrates which fuel the richness of the aquatic ecosystem. By preserving Chalet Nivale, the Arc has not only protected a treasure house of plant species, but has ensured that the excellent water quality of its splendid streams will be protected for all time.
Founded in 1997 the Friends of Scioto Brush Creek, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit watershed organization whose mission is to protect and maintain Scioto Brush Creek through education, awareness and involvement of local residence. For more information, to become a member or volunteer, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.facebook.com/friendsofsciotobrushcreek.