Kristy and Fred Walter are being honored as Ohio Conservation Farm Family Award recipients for 2019.
Courtesy of Walter family
Fred Walter is hoping his grasslands and woods will benefit generations to come. Pictured from left are family members Greyson Bazell, Evan Bazell, Jessica Bazell, Chase Walter, Kristy Walter, Kellen Bazell (in front), Fred Walter, Freddie Walter and Lisa Brooks.
To help family members and visitors navigate their woodlands, Kristy and Fred Walter mapped the system of trails through their woods.
In addition to their wooded acres, the Walters have grasslands (foreground) that can be used for hay production and pollinator habitat (the green stripe between the grass and the woods).
Fred made wooden signs to point the way along the farm’s forest trails.
A stream running through the Walters’ forested valley is home to some rare and endangered species.
Walter maintains mowed paths through the woods to allow easy access. Mowing late in the season reduces impact on wildlife and the plant species that feed pollinators.
To promote the growth of crop trees, Walter marks them and then removes competing vegetation.
The forest floor provides a home for a variety of mosses and fungi.
This patch of Christmas ferns is thriving along one of the Walters’ woodland trails.
An off-the-grid cabin in the woods gives the Walter family a place to gather and relax.
FERNS AND FUNGI
Fred finds a variety of plants and fungi thriving on the forest floor.
Fred uses some of his grassland to make hay for his Angus cow-calf herd.