Richland County Park District is committed to maintaining the health of the natural resources within the Park District promoting biological diversity and the protection of habitat by:
- Managing native plant and wildlife populations to promote balanced and naturally functioning ecosystems
- Surveying, identifying, inventorying, protecting, and managing endangered species and habitats within the Park District
- Substantially improving water quality within the Park District through monitoring and advocacy of appropriate improvement measures
- Engaging citizens about the benefits of sustainable natural resource management through the implementation of best management practices to reduce the overexploitation of our renewable resources (soil, air, water, lumber) for the benefit of current and future generations
Protecting Our Resources
Healthy, functioning ecosystems are crucial for providing services conducive for a healthy, functioning human society. While this statement is clear from the perspective of ecology, it is not always apparent in human-dominated landscapes where issues related to the day-to-day repair and maintenance of our built infrastructure (e.g. water, wastewater, transportation, energy) appear separated from natural ecosystem processes.
Naturally functioning and sustainable ecosystems provide services that support human activities in the region. For example, forests, wetlands, and natural lakes slow storm water runoff and reduce flooding while also providing habitat for native plants, mammals, birds, amphibians, and fish. Replacing natural infrastructure with human engineered infrastructure requires a large initial development investment and perpetual repair and replacement costs from human society. Protecting, conserving, and restoring natural ecosystem structure and function represent a cost-effective way to maintain and improve the benefits humans derive from the ecosystems they inhabit.
RCPD provides area leadership in protecting existing and also additional open space throughout Northcentral Ohio with special attention to areas adjacent to existing park properties. Through partnership, cooperative efforts, and the support of other agencies, the Park District pursues the protection of the remaining major river valleys within the Northcentral Ohio region. To this end, the Natural Resource Division assists with the evaluation of tracts of land that are candidates for protection through acquisition, easement, or other means.