Speed River Natural Area

This natural area is part of the Speed River ecosystem. In this ecosystem you may find:

  • Red Osier Dogwood – The root systems of native shrub species like red osier dogwood stabilize soils and protect against erosion.
  • Common Merganser – The Speed River is important to waterfowl during the winter. This includes the common merganser, which is a frequent visitor to this area.
  • Black Chokeberry – Black chokeberries provide food into the winter months. Birds feed on the berries while larger mammals snack on the twigs.
  • Snapping Turtle – Snapping turtles are a species of conservation concern. They nest in gravelly or sandy soils near freshwater, like the Speed River.
  • Allegheny Serviceberry – The serviceberries featured in this planting are one of many plants that offer nectar, pollen and nest sites for bees, butterflies and caterpillars.
  • Ringlet Butterfly – Skipper, common ringlet, wood nymph and little wood satyr butterflies like to feed on prairie meadow grasses.

The planting in this natural area has been designed to provide a home for native animals, insects and birds. Flowering shrubs provide nectar for insects and produce fruit for birds and mammals. Trees grow keys and acorns which are also a good source of food. Native shrub planting will provide soil stability along the river and protect it from erosion. All species planted are native to the region and contribute to the biodiversity of the area.

The naturalized area is intended to function with no maintenance or disturbance from humans. Please respect the natural processes occurring and keep your distance from any observed wildlife.

You can help protect this area:

  • Keep pets on a leash at all times
  • Stay on the pathway
  • Do not dig or pick wildflowers
  • Do not dump yard waste
  • Take and share pictures