T. Wayne Vickers of Circleville is being recognized with a 2018 Ohio Conservation Farm Family Award for his work restoring and conserving the lakes, grasslands, woodlands and farm fields on his properties in Pickaway County.
A bur oak on Wayne Vickers’ farm holds the record as the largest in Ohio with a score of 393. Its protected location in a hollow likely helped protect it from lightning, which damages many large trees.
Vickers has mounted bat boxes near his ponds to attract bats, which help control mosquitoes.
Plantings of native vegetation, such as blooming plants, provide habitat for a wide range of wildlife species on Vickers' property.
Girdling is used to eliminate undesirable trees like this locust.
Grapevines that threaten to overwhelm desirable trees are cut and sprayed.
Vickers preserves stands of milkweed to provide habitat for pollinators as well as butterflies.
Vickers’ property includes five lakes totaling about 80 acres that were formed when previous owners used the land for a stone quarry. Vickers is working to protect the water quality and enhance the habitat for aquatic species.
Vickers is working to restore natural vegetation on the rough, overgrown wasteland of the former quarry.
Ponds of varying sizes and depths provide habitat for a variety of species.
Vickers likes to include food plots along field borders to support wildlife while diverting them from feeding on crops.
Some of Vickers’ steep ground is not suitable for row crops but works well for hay production. Other steep ground is best managed as wildlife habitat.