Preserve Knoop Prairie

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In 1995, with Marie Aull’s support, Paul Knoop and other Aullwood staff planted what became the Paul Knoop Prairie on approximately 140 acres of airport property adjacent to Aullwood Farm at the corner of Frederick Pike and U.S. 40 (National Road). This prairie still thrives and is one of the oldest reconstructed prairies in the State of Ohio. It attracts hundreds of resident and migratory birds and mammals, and thousands of species of insects, butterflies and bees each year.

Even more critical is the fact that it is flourishing on and protecting 120 acres of the watershed for Wiles Creek and it is, in fact, the headwaters to this critical tributary of the Stillwater River. Wiles Creek runs through the Aullwood Audubon property, providing key habitat throughout our 200 acres and then flows into Marie Aull’s garden where it has been a central landscape element of this National Historic Landmark since Marie and John Aull originally purchased the property. (To help visualize these water resources, please see the Wiles Creek map at updated July 2019 and created by David Nolin, Retired Director of Conservation, Five Rivers MetroParks.)

The City of Dayton and the Dayton International Airport have rezoned the Paul Knoop Prairie and are actively seeking the sale and development of the property for commercial/industrial construction. This is a tragic blow to Marie Aull’s legacy and to the environmental welfare of Aullwood, Marie’s garden, and to our region. It is impossible to predict all of the negative environmental consequences that this action will cause.

Please join us in expressing our shock and dismay at this decision, and our belief that the Paul Knoop Prairie in its entirety should be permanently preserved.