The Oak Openings Region stretches across seven counties in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan and was formed over 12,000 years ago at the end of the last glacier period. At that time a large lake covered this area. As the lake receded to what is now present-day Lake Erie, it left behind huge amounts of sand creating dunes and ridges. The higher elevation of the dunes allowed for many natural plant communities to form, including oak savannas, woodlands and wet prairies. This habitat combination is what makes up the oak openings. Five of the natural plant communities in the region are considered globally rare. Because of these unique communities, The Nature Conservancy has included the Oak Openings on its list of “one of the last great places.” Today, less than 1% of the local ecosystem remains.
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