Forests were the most visible victims of westward expansion, but about 90 percent of Ohio's wetlands were drained and dried to make way for farms and homesteads during the past 200 years. Realizing their ecological importance, naturalists have been pushing to restore wet meadows, ponds, marshes and swamps across the state.

Forests were the most visible victims of westward expansion, but about 90 percent of Ohio's wetlands were drained and dried to make way for farms and homesteads during the past 200 years. Realizing their ecological importance, naturalists have been pushing to restore wet meadows, ponds, marshes and swamps across the state.

A great wetland system exists at Pickerington Ponds Metro Park, a favorite haven of birders and photographers. You can jump into this exquisite ecosystem Sunday afternoon during a mile-long wading hike in search of aquatic creatures.

Wear shoes you don't mind submerging in mud. Meet at the Glacier Knoll Picnic Area on Bowen Road.