The 609-acre preserve boasts a rich diversity of native trees, shrubs and wildflowers across rugged hills.
Many uncommon native species and a lack of non-native exotic plants suggest that past land disturbance at Oak Glen Nature Preserve was minimal. 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.
7584 Thompson Road
Cincinnati, OH 45247Get Directions >
- Open daily from dawn until dusk.
2014 Oil Spill Overview
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 endangered animals.
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 nature preserve.
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.
About Oak Glen Nature Preserve
Karen 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.
About the Pipeline
The 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.
Remediation & Restoration