AOA Moving Forward with Bison Hollow Preserve Addition

Fall Color Hike at Kleinmaier State Nature Preserve

AOA is completing a new acquisition that will expand our Bison Hollow Preserve, part of AOA’s Greater Hocking Hills Conservation Initiative. The Corby property is a critical addition that encompasses 177 acres at the core of the Preserve. Both the Corby property and the Bison Hollow Preserve straddle the Hocking and Vinton County boundary line, south of Ash Cave.

The conserved property will provide critical water quality and riparian corridor protection for the East Fork of Queer Creek. Approximately 350 linear feet of cold-water habitat in the South Branch of the East Fork of Queer Creek, in addition to over 3,400 linear feet of cold-water habitat tributaries are located on the site. Typical Hocking Hills features including Black Hand sandstone bluffs and outcrops, waterfalls and Hemlock forests are found over much of the property, contributing to its scenic beauty.

The Bison Hollow Corby Addition project is being undertaken with Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program monies provided by a municipal sponsor (City of Akron, WRF Headworks Improvements), as administered by the Ohio Department of Environmental Protection (OEPA). An environmental assessment process for the project has been completed by OEPA. A copy of the assessment may be found here.

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AOA Annual Dinner and Celebration
Wagnalls Memorial Library, Lithopolis
Saturday, November 9

Mexico or Bust

Getting Conservation Done – Partnerships and Collaborations

Jeff Johnson
Chief, ODNR Division of Natural Areas and Preserves
Guest Speaker

Friends and Supporters – Please join us in celebrating our many land and water conservation achievements and your role in helping sustain our ongoing success.

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Fall Color Hike at Kleinmaier State Nature Preserve

Saturday, October 26
Fall Color Hike at Kleinmaier State Nature Preserve
Sugar Grove, Fairfield County

Enjoy the fall colors and crisp cool weather in the Hocking Hills as we hike AOA’s beautiful Kleinmaier State Nature Preserve. Kleinmaier is a magnificent property that includes ridges, high Black Hand sandstone bluffs and a shallow stream gorge. While we have visited Kleinmaier often for the spring wildflower display, this will be the first time we have taken a fall hike on the property. The bright red and yellow trees should be near peak color this weekend, highlighted by the darker rock outcrops along the ridges.

Event Information
Bald Eagle Release
Bald Eagle Release

Bald Eagle Released Back into the Wild
Marsha G. Schneider Preserve, Pickaway County

After three months of care and rehabilitation at the Ohio Wildlife Center, a young Bald Eagle was released back into the wild at AOA’s Marsha Gunder Schneider Preserve along the Scioto River in Pickaway County.

“Releasing a Bald Eagle, the symbol of the United States, is always a fulfilling moment for everyone at the Ohio Wildlife Center” said Dusty Lombardi, Executive Director of the center. “Our free community Wildlife Hospital provided the emergency care this raptor needed, and our goal from the beginning was to see this eagle fly to freedom.”

The Marsha Gunder Schneider Preserve is part of AOA’s Scioto River Flyway Corridor which protects riparian areas, water quality and habitat corridors for native and migratory species.

Bald Eagle Release
Bald Eagle Release
Bald Eagle Release
Work Days 2019

Volunteer Stewardship Opportunities
Help AOA protect our Native Wildflowers and Landscapes

Spending time in AOA’s beautiful forests can be very peaceful and therapeutic – as well as providing opportunities for viewing the many beautiful wildflowers and camaraderie with fellow conservationists. You can help us make a difference and enhance the quality of the rare and wonderful native habitats at our preserves.

We need your assistance to combat the Garlic Mustard and invasive scourge on our preserves. We know garlic mustard pulling is not the most glamorous activity, but it is badly needed to protect our native wildflowers. We cannot do it alone.

We have scheduled a series of organized work days each week for volunteers to visit our preserves and assist with our habitat protection and stewardship activities. Please join us.

Work Day Schedule and Info
Birdwatching 2019
Birdwatching 2019

Mercer Woods Orchid and Wildflower Hike Highlights

40 participants enjoyed a beautiful spring day at AOA’s Mercer Woods Old Growth Forest on May 19th. We hiked across several streams and up the steep slopes, rock bluffs and ridgetops exploring the preserve site while looking for the last of the spring blooming wildflowers. We were fortunate to see many different species including seven orchids.

Special thanks to our orchid expert Ken Mettler for leading the group and sharing his wealth of knowledge regarding our native orchids. Credit to Kathy Cubert for the great photos from the day.

Birdwatching 2019
Birdwatching 2019
Birdwatching 2019
Birdwatching 2019
Birdwatching 2019
Birdwatching 2019
Birdwatching 2019

Bison Hollow in Bloom for Ephemeral Wildflower Hike

It turned out to be a beautiful day for the 14 hardy souls who braved the rainy skies and forecast for the Ephemeral Hike at Bison Hollow. We delayed entering the woods for about 40 minutes until the rain slowed, giving way to a beautiful spring day and blue skies to accent the plethora of blooming wildflowers and gorgeous waterfalls. Most of us spent several hours rambling through the gorge, across streams and up the steep hillsides. Thanks to Angela Carter for driving from Cincinnati to lead the hike and identify the many wildflowers and plants we encountered. Credit to John Potter and Kathy Cubert for the great photos from the day.

AOA is squeezing in another hike at Bison Hollow on April 28th for those who still wanting to make this popular trip. A new cycle of mid-spring wildflowers should be in bloom by then.

Bison Hollow 2019
Bison Hollow 2019
Bison Hollow 2019
Bison Hollow 2019
Bison Hollow 2019
Bison Hollow 2019
Tree Planting Success

Tree Planting Makes a Difference

AOA volunteers braved a cold, wet, windy day to plant and stake 300 trees along the Hocking River in southern Fairfield County. The new trees will stabilize an eroding river bank on AOA’s Ellinger Preserve.

Reforestation of the fields adjacent to the river will restore the bottomland forests, helping to protect the Hocking River riparian corridor and water quality.

2018 AOA Year in Review Available

Thanks to your support 2018 was another very successful year for land and water conservation. AOA celebrated the conservation of 10 new properties totaling nearly 800 acres. These included over 500 acres along Big Darby Creek and 110 acres in the Hocking Hills, two primary AOA initiatives..

Check out our most recent activities and accomplishments in our most recent Year in Review. If you would like to receive a hard copy via mail, please contact AOA at

2018 Year in Review
AOA 2018 Year in Review Now Available

AOA Conserves Two Properties Along Big Darby Creek
530 Acres Added to the Big Darby Creek Conservation Corridor

Two Pickaway County properties were recently added to AOA’s Big Darby Creek Conservation Corridor. Big Darby Creek is a National and State designated Scenic River that is recognized as one of the most diverse waterways in the Midwest. Through this Initiative, AOA seeks to preserve riparian properties and to create a continuous corridor of connected conservation lands to safeguard water quality, natural habitat and scenic qualities of the river.

AOA recently closed on the 276-acre Fickardt Farm property located on the west side of the Big Darby, between Circleville and Darbyville. This site will protect 4,440 linear feet of riparian corridor along the river.

AOA previously acquired Mishe Moneto, a 255-acre property along Big Darby Creek adjacent to Darbyville. This property includes 1.8 miles of riparian frontage along the river which is home to numerous species of mussels including five that have been listed as threatened and/or endangered. Recent bat studies along the Big Darby identified a number of trees supporting summer maternity colonies of endangered Indiana Bats on these properties.

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Big Darby

AOA Conserves Hocking Canal Lock

Appalachia Ohio Alliance (AOA) partnered with the Canal Society of Ohio to preserve old Hocking Canal Lock No. 8 and a section of the canal in Fairfield County. The Canal Society donated funds to help purchase the canal structure while AOA utilized Clean Ohio grant funds to purchase the canal property. AOA is very grateful to Ronnie and Rita Williams who owned the lock for their interest in preserving this piece of local heritage and saving it from demolition. This property is part of AOA’s Hocking Canal Heritage Corridor Initiative.

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Hocking Canal

AOA Partners in Ohio Bat Conservation Project
Over 500 Acres to be Conserved

Appalachia Ohio Alliance (AOA) is partnering with several compatible organizations to increase habitat for rare bats in Ohio. A project team, led by prime consultant EnviroScience, Inc., a regional environmental consulting and restoration firm, was selected by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to carry out a $5.0 million contract for bat mitigation activities in their Western Management Unit (WMU). AOA and The Conservation Fund, a respected nation-wide conservation organization, are key team members along with several subconsultants.

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Indiana Bat in flight with Grasshopper meal.

Our Mission

Appalachia Ohio Alliance is dedicated to the conservation and stewardship of our land and water as sustainable natural resources that are an asset and a legacy for our community

Mission and Goals

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Appalachia Ohio Alliance is a regional non-profit conservancy dedicated to the conservation of land and water resources in central and southeastern Ohio. Find out how you can help our efforts.

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Upcoming Events

Get outside with AOA and explore and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us!

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November 2020

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When we consider what it took to create this landscape, we must also consider what we can do to insure that future generations will also be able to marvel at its beauty.
Paul Knoop
The scenic views, diversity of plants and wildlife, and quiet times in the country will all be enhanced by the security of knowing that things can stay this way into the future.
Larry R. Menchhofer

In the end, I decided to sell my property to AOA because I love it so much. It was hard to part with it – but I am not really parting with it – it is there forever thanks to AOA.

Read Full Testimonial

Steve Fought

Latest News

Bald Eagle Released Back into the Wild Marsha G. Schneider Preserve, Pickaway County

September 17th, 2019|Comments Off on Bald Eagle Released Back into the Wild Marsha G. Schneider Preserve, Pickaway County

AOA Moves Forward with Big Darby Creek Conservation – Adds Over 530 Acres

November 27th, 2018|Comments Off on AOA Moves Forward with Big Darby Creek Conservation – Adds Over 530 Acres

AOA Conserves Hocking Canal Lock

November 20th, 2018|Comments Off on AOA Conserves Hocking Canal Lock

AOA Partners in Ohio Bat Conservation Project
Over 500 Acres to be Conserved

November 1st, 2018|Comments Off on AOA Partners in Ohio Bat Conservation Project
Over 500 Acres to be Conserved

AOA Initiatives Featured in The Buckeye Bulletin

October 8th, 2017|Comments Off on AOA Initiatives Featured in The Buckeye Bulletin