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Glen Osborne nature park sees improvements

| Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Out of a frustrating situation, something good has come.

That's how Natasha Green has come to see the aftermath of a sewer-line construction project that temporarily blocked access to the Mary Roberts Rinehart Nature Park in Glen Osborne and removed native plants and trees.

The secretary of the nonprofit Osborne Trail and Park Association which runs the park, she said now that the project is completed, she's seeing changes in the park as the board prepares for Octoberfest from 3 to 5 p.m. Oct. 12.

The entrance has been improved and now includes a new fence and gravel path marked with large rocks. Green said at some point, the park board would like to extend the fencing closer to Route 65 to increase the safety of those walking along the hillside.

In addition, a hillside near a path leading to a fence outside Osborne Elementary School now receives more sunlight, which Green said was the basis of a decision to include a butterfly sanctuary.

Another hillside was cleared so those walking along the upper portion of the park can look down onto a stone fire pit.

Another feature is a new switchback trail, which will zigzag down the hill to the bottom portion of the park.

A new 200-foot fence was added to cut down on noise and increase privacy along the Route 65 boundary of the park.

The ultimate goal is to build a pavilion near where the switchback trail begins, park board member Robin Musher said.

It would overlook Ohio RiverBoulevard.

She said board members want to plant shrubbery to block noise and traffic.

Musher also is organizer of the butterfly sanctuary project and received training on how to create the sanctuary at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., which maintains a butterfly garden. Four butterfly habitats are represented in the garden — wetland, meadow, wood's edge and urban — all of which eventually will be included in the park, said Musher, of Edgeworth.

In addition to butterflies, more vegetation is being added.

Milkweed, the first plant to be included in the garden, arrived last week. Local Girl Scouts will be helping to plant the milkweed, where butterflies lay their eggs.

Butterfly sanctuaries are important, as some nesting areas are being overrun by manufacturing, Green said.

“They need sanctuaries for their travels back and forth, or they will become extinct,” she said.

“I never imagined I would ever become entranced by butterflies, but now, I do imagine what we could do locally to help save this species. The more I learn about them, the more fascinating they are.”

Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1406 or jbarron@tribweb.com.

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