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Old 09-25-2023, 07:34 AM  

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Fernald Preserve

Who knew that there was a tiny national area in Hamilton County, Ohio, northwest of Cincinnati? I don't know if this place is considered a national park or preserve, but it is owned by the US Department of Energy.
I visited the Fernald Preserve for the first time yesterday. Sept. 24 was National Public Lands day, so I visited four parks in Hamilton County (the other three were Hamilton County parks). https://www.nps.gov/subjects/npscele...-lands-day.htm
Here are two links about Fernald Preserve:
The Fernald Feed Materials Production Center, also known as National Lead of Ohio, was a mostly secret uranium processing plant in Crosby Township until 2006, when the cleanup of the plant and surrounding area was completed. I know that many people have bitter memories of this place (including me, which I won't go into), but it is a park now.
All but one of the original buildings is gone, and that place is bordered up. Even the red and white checkerboard water tower has been taken down. What are there now are the visitor's building and a few other buildings for storage and maintenance, and they are newer buildings.
The place is flat, with a few ponds and a stream. The mound?/levee?/waste dump? is a long rectangular hill. The visitors' center has information about the trails, restored wetlands and wildlife, but the only non-plants I saw were the humans at the center or hiking, one butterfly and one wasp. The whole location is eerily quiet, except for the occasional sound of traffic. No birds singing, no cicadas or crickets, no dogs barking in the distance.
Admission to the park is free daily, if you want to go hiking.
There is also an electric vehicle charging station at the visitors' center, but when I went there it was out of service!
The best word to describe this place is "desolate."
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