Many uncommon native species and a lack of non-native exotic plants suggest that past land disturbance at Oak Glen Nature Preserve was minimal. The 402-acre preserve boasts a rich diversity of native trees, shrubs and wildflowers across rugged hills.
Conservation areas are managed by Great Parks to preserve some of Greater Cincinnati's most beautiful natural features. No public parking or facilities, including bathrooms, are available.
On March 17, 2014 Great Parks Park Rangers discovered that an
underground pipeline owned by Mid-Valley Pipeline and managed by Sunoco
Logistics, carrying crude oil from Texas to Michigan had ruptured,
releasing approximately 20,000 – 30,000 gallons of crude oil into Oak
Glen Nature Preserve. Because only approximately 18,800 gallons of oil
were recovered, a substantial quantity of oil remains in the
environment, largely subsurface. The break occurred just outside the
preserve boundaries but the oil quickly entered Oak Glen following
approximately 3,000 linear feet of an existing stream which flows into a
vernal pool wooded wetland. A Unified Command was established with the
U.S. EPA, Ohio EPA, Great Parks of Hamilton County, Colerain Township,
and Sunoco Logistics / Mid-Valley Pipeline to address the immediate
effects of the spill. The discharge of the crude oil, coupled with the
emergency response and initial cleanup activities, has caused
significant long-term impact to the preserve, the intervening private
properties, and native flora and fauna including the two state
Field work by Sunoco Logistics and its
contractors continued throughout all of 2014 in an effort to complete
emergency cleanup and begin the remediation and restoration of the
Because of past damages and ongoing,
continuing releases of oil into the environment, work will continue in
2015 and well beyond to remediate and restore the damaged natural
resources. Preliminary restoration projects being planned for the
upcoming year include: restoring and stabilizing the impacted stream
using bioengineering principles; removing invasive plant species and
reforest with a mix of native species; and removal of emergency access
roadways and staging areas and restoring the impacted field areas to
native grasslands and meadows. Plans are also being refined to monitor
the ongoing effects of this significant environmental impact to this
unique natural treasure within Hamilton County.
and Eugene Schunk, being deeply committed to nature, carefully managed
their Colerain Township home and its surrounding 109 acres to maximize
native wildlife diversity. When the Schunks offered their property to
the park district in 1999 to assure its continued preservation, Great
Parks quickly agreed and designated it Oak Glen Nature Preserve. Since
1999, Great Parks has added additional, adjoining parcels bringing the
preserve up to its current 402 acres. From its inception, Oak Glen has
been an exceptionally fine preserve with mature forests and diverse
native wildlife unsurpassed in the Great Parks’ system. It is home for
two state endangered animals (Cave Salamander and the Lark Sparrow),two
potential threatened plant species (Pale umbrella sedge and Spring
coral-root), and provides habitat for many other animals.
pipeline has existed on the property since 1950, nearly 50 years prior
to when Great Parks of Hamilton County took ownership in 1999. It is
owned by Mid-Valley Pipeline, which is a subsidiary of Sunoco Logistics.
Great Parks of Hamilton County neither receives any funding for the
pipeline nor do we manage the pipeline.
Parks of Hamilton County will continue to work with the Ohio EPA, Sunoco
Logistics and Mid-Valley Pipeline by continuing to examine the stream
and surrounding areas and providing recommendations to remediate and
restore the damaged natural resources.
Choose Activities to display the location on the map