Experience this EarthCache
Welcome to Forest Avenue Wetland Park in the beautiful city of Mount Healthy! We have brought you here to observe an urban wetland.
What is a wetland?
A wetland is an area where water covers the soil or saturates the soil either permanently or temporarily. The water can either be groundwater, be sourced from local bodies of water, or accumulate from rain. Wetlands can support both terrestrial and aquatic species of organisms. Wetlands are not very common in Cincinnati. Why? You may notice that the Cincinnati area is dominated by river valleys and stream valleys. Our City of Seven Hills is really the City of Valleys. Our "mounts" are really hills that have been eroded. Additionally, the bedrock around here is limestone, which formed when Cincinnati was under a shallow sea about 250 million years ago. This limestone is not very stable, and when it erodes forms sinkholes or unstable slopes. In this case, this area is covered by sediment that originated from the glacier, which did not reach downtown Cincinnati. This outwash sand and gravel is the perfect place to collect water, and form a wetland. Here, a small depression in the sediment has collected water over time, and helps to recharge the local aquifer (groundwater) which flows through the gravel below.
Why are they important?
Wetlands provide the following benefits:
- Water storage: Wetlands can recharge groundwater, other water supplies, and even prevent flooding by capturing precipitation!
- Water filtration: Organic contaminants (like sewage, fertilizers, manure, etc.) yield nutrients that are used by wetland plants and microorganisms. Other contaminants stick to the soil and are removed from the water.
- Biological productivity: Wetlands are comparable to tropical rainforests and coral reefs in the productivity and diversity/variety of species.
- Whoa! 95% of commercially harvested fish and shellfish are dependent on wetlands! (Source: EPA Functions and Values of Wetlands Fact Sheet)
* Source research and text by LtStabos.
Once you log this Earthcache as "FOUND" please message us the answer to the following question within 1 hour.
- Gaze to the north. What is the vegetation like in this wetland area? (big trees, small trees, grasses, shrubs, tiny plants, etc.). Does it change as the water gets deeper?
- Walk up to the edge of the water (to the north). What color is the water in the wetland? Why do you think it’s that color? Your answer can be brief!
- Walk around the wetland (just between the park entrance and the waypoint). Is there any indication of where water flows in or out of the wetland?
For your GeoTrail Passport you will need to collect the following answer.
- How many benches are in the clearing? Please write out the number (i.e. one, two, three, etc.)
To access the Earthcaching 101 GeoTour Digitial Passport: CLICK HERE.
EarthCaching 101 GeoTour Locations:
- ECGT A Walk Through Time (GC7P5RE)
- ECGT Rocks of Fountain Square (GC7P5RG)
- ECGT Ohio River Flood Gauge (GC7P5RJ)
- ECGT Very Old Logs (GC7P5RM)
- ECGT Mount Adams Landslide Hazard (GC7P5RN)
- ECGT Cincinnati River Valleys (GC7P5RQ)
- ECGT "Glacial Erratic" (GC7P5RT)
- ECGT Pervious Pavement (GC7P5RW)
- ECGT Forest Avenue Wetland (GC7P5RZ)
- ECGT Cincinnati Fossils and Stratigraphy (GC7P5T1)