The Deeds Wetland construction project was completed in 2011 which included the construction of a new dike system, spillways, and wetland pools along the Hocking River on the south side of Lancaster. The project restored 6,000 feet of stream channel and two levee breaches were constructed to allow water to enter the wetland. Approximately 52 acres of wetlands were restored and 16 acres of riparian zone vegetation was planted. The City has been monitoring the progression of this young wetland and closely following and addressing the presence of harmful invasive species such as Tree of Heaven.
Located between Sugar Grove Road and the Hocking River, the project site is approximately 59 acres in size and was used for agricultural purposes. Along the northern and eastern borders, a flood protection levee constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers shielded the site. The levee extended approximately 3,000 feet in length. Railroad tracks exist along the southern and western edges of the property.
The City of Lancaster purchased this land on April 7, 2006 with funding from the Clean Ohio Grant. The city bought this property with the intention to create a wetland while also protecting it from possible future development. Restoring this area was intended to promote the restoration of the floodplain to the natural state it was in prior to construction of the levee. The City's bike path master plan includes the construction of a path along the wetland to promote viewing and learning about the wetland and its benefits.
In February 2010, the City applied for a Surface Water Improvement Program Grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for the project. The $150,000 grant was awarded in June 2010 to the City and construction began soon after that.