LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife announced a partnership on Monday with Utlium Cells, LLC. It has resulted in the construction of a 172-acre habitat restoration project at the Mosquito Creek Wildlife Refuge in Trumbull County.

The project includes more than 130 acres of restored wetlands on a site that was previously farmed to control woody invasive plants.

“This area dovetails in nicely with what is already permanently protected. All this ground, the 172-acres site, was currently in agricultural production. So we took that out of agricultural production and basically put it into straight wildlife habitat,” said Scott Peters, wildlife management supervisor for the Northeast Ohio Division of Wildlife.

According to ODNR, endangered species such as the trumpeter swan and sandhill crane will benefit from this project. Bald eagles, with a penchant for hunting and establishing nests in forested wetlands, will also thrive in this habitat. Popular waterfowl, including mallards, wood ducks and blue-winged teal, are also attracted to the food and cover provided in this extensive wetland.

“There’s amphibians, reptiles. People always think of the bigger species, the birds. You know, in a case like this, we are going to have some charismatic, some trumpeter swans, sandhill cranes, but there’s a lot of lesser species that people don’t realize that depend heavily on wetlands,” Peters said.

It is located north of Mahan Denman Road in Mecca Township, within the Mosquito Creek Wildlife Refuge. The site will ultimately be managed by the Division of Wildlife.

“Creating this expansive wetland will improve and conserve water quality at Mosquito Creek Wildlife Refuge,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “Wetland habitat is vital for many Ohio wildlife species, including some that are threatened or endangered. Thanks to our partners at Ultium Cells and the Stream + Wetlands Foundation, we will preserve this beneficial habitat in perpetuity.”

The project will also help to improve habitat diversity and ecological connectivity for imperiled birds, amphibians and other wildlife species in and near the Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area.