Knoop Prairie

Preserve Knoop Prairie

Revised 6 September 2019 - See Newest Info Under LATEST UPDATE Below
Knoop Prairie

Preserve Knoop Prairie

Revised 6 September 2019 - See Newest Info Under LATEST UPDATE Below
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Dear Friends of Aullwood and Marie Aull,

Marie Aull’s legacy is in serious jeopardy.

In 1995, with Marie Aull’s support, Paul Knoop and other Aullwood staff planted what became the Paul Knoop Prairie on approximately 140 acres of airport property adjacent to Aullwood Farm at the corner of Frederick Pike and U.S. 40 (National Road). This prairie still thrives and is one of the oldest reconstructed prairies in the State of Ohio. It attracts hundreds of resident and migratory birds and mammals, and thousands of species of insects, butterflies and bees each year.

Even more critical is the fact that it is flourishing on and protecting 120 acres of the watershed for Wiles Creek and it is, in fact, the headwaters to this critical tributary of the Stillwater River. Wiles Creek runs through the Aullwood Audubon property, providing key habitat throughout our 200 acres and then flows into Marie Aull’s garden where it has been a central landscape element of this National Historic Landmark since Marie and John Aull originally purchased the property. (To help visualize these water resources, please see the Wiles Creek map at the bottom of this page updated July 2019 and created by David Nolin, Retired Director of Conservation, Five Rivers MetroParks.)

The City of Dayton and the Dayton International Airport have rezoned the Paul Knoop Prairie and now have a buyer interested in purchasing the property for commercial/industrial construction. Press reports have indicated that NorthPoint Development is the buyer for the proposed project. This is a tragic blow to Marie Aull’s legacy and to the environmental welfare of Aullwood, Marie’s garden, and to our region. It is impossible to predict all of the negative environmental consequences that this action will cause.

Please join us in expressing our shock and dismay at this decision, and our belief that the Paul Knoop Prairie in its entirety should be permanently preserved, to the individuals below. Please try to stay positive but passionate without resorting to name calling or hostility toward individuals or organizations who need to be involved in the solution.

Dayton City Commission
Matt Joseph, Jeffery J. Mims, Christopher L. Shaw, Darryl Fairchild
P.O. Box 22
Dayton OH 45401-0022
matt.joseph@daytonohio.gov
darryl.fairchild@daytonohio.gov
CommissionerMims@daytonohio.gov
CommissionerShaw@daytonohio.gov
c/o anita.johnson@daytonohio.gov

Nan Whaley, Mayor, City of Dayton
101 W Third Street, Dayton OH 45402
937-333-3653
nan.whaley@daytonohio.gov

Shelley Dickstein, City Manager, Dayton
101 W Third Street, Dayton OH 45402
937-333-3600
c/o Angela.Coleman@daytonohio.gov

Tammi Clements, Deputy City Manager, Dayton
101 W Third Street, Dayton OH 45402
937-333-3600
c/o Esther.Rohm@daytonohio.gov

Terry Slaybaugh, Aviation Director
City of Dayton Department of Aviation
3600 Terminal Drive, Suite 300, Dayton OH 45377
937-454-8212
TSlaybaugh@flydayton.com

Johan Henriksen, Vice President of Development
NorthPoint Development
4825 NW 41st St. Suite 500
Riverside, MO 64150
816-888-7380
jhenriksen@northpointkc.com
  
Nathaniel Hagedorn, CEO
NorthPoint Development
4825 NW 41st St. Suite 500
Riverside, MO 64150
816-888-7380
nathaniel@northpointkc.com

** LATEST UPDATE 6 SEPTEMBER 2019 **
Planned Prairie Tenant Backs Out of Deal; Drive for the Permanent Preservation of Knoop Prairie Continues

At a brief press conference today, the City of Dayton announced that the tenant interested in developing the Paul E. Knoop, Jr. Prairie property has walked away from the deal. (You can view a recording of the news conference online here.) As the leader of an organization whose essential functions would clearly be impacted by the destruction of the Paul E. Knoop, Jr. Prairie, I am obviously relieved that we appear to have more time to work together on a win-win solution, which I fervently hope involves preserving this important ecosystem, its watershed protection and its functions as a carbon sink, in perpetuity.  

Our concerns regarding the property were not dependent on a specific tenant – they would be the same concerns should another party be interested in the prairie parcel. We need to work together to find the right balance between essential economic development and high paying jobs and the preservation of one of the critical elements of what attracts the talented workforce to our region to compete for those jobs – the natural beauty of our area, the park and bike systems, and the uniqueness of our many scenic waterways.

I want to personally thank everyone in the community who has worked so eloquently to describe the important ecological benefits of the prairie. Our work, however, is not yet done. The most important next step is to continue to work diligently to obtain the permanent preservation of the Paul E. Knoop, Jr. Prairie site. This involves continuing to discuss this option with our partners throughout the community. Please watch for further updates as this effort continues.

Alexis R. Faust
Executive Director, Aullwood Audubon

** UPDATE 20 AUGUST 2019 **
ODNR Comment Letter; Dayton Commission Meeting Weds August 21st at 6 PM

As we work to permanently preserve Paul E. Knoop Jr. Prairie, Wiles Creek and the local watershed, environmental organizations continue to examine the impacts of the planned industrial development of the prairie. A letter of comment was recently issued by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources regarding the proposed development of the Knoop Prairie parcel owned by the City of Dayton; this letter can now be read at https://aullwood.audubon.org/ODNR_Letter in its entirety. We greatly appreciate their careful and thoughtful analysis and the support they provide for the preservation of our natural resources.

As we move forward, we need to stay visible and keep the permanent preservation of the Paul E Knoop, Jr Prairie in view by continuing our attendance at Dayton City Commission Meetings! Demonstrate that citizen concerns over this issue will not be overshadowed by attending as many meetings as possible! The next meeting takes place on Wednesday August 21st at 6:00 PM. We need as many people as possible to continue to attend these meetings, stay present, stay visible and shine a spotlight on the goal of preserving Knoop Prairie.

Meetings take place at 101 W Third St, Second Floor, Dayton, OH 45402. Please arrive as early as possible and sign up to speak prior to entering the Chambers. When called, you will need to state your name and address for the record. If you are a registered voter in Dayton, make sure you state this as well. Then all you need to say is, "I oppose the development of the Paul Knoop Prairie." You can continue to speak about your reasons and concerns for up to the maximum of 3 minutes allowed per speaker. Attendance at these meetings is crucial to demonstrate that this issue is not going away and to showcase our unshakable resolve to preserve Knoop Prairie in perpetuity. Wondering what to say? Here are a few ideas:

  • Jobs for our community are certainly important, but there are many other locations for this development. Preserve both our environmental future at Knoop Prairie and our future jobs by finding a better site for this project!
  • Nearly all of Knoop Prairie will be destroyed by buildings and pavement, according to the NorthPoint development site plan. ( View this plan at https://aullwood.audubon.org/KPSitePlan ) Surely there are alternatives to this total devastation.
  • This development is a threat to the entirety of Aullwood's property, Aullwood Garden MetroPark, Wiles Creek and the Stillwater River downstream, and the full array of wildlife depending on them all. Everything living in the beautiful streams and springs flowing through Aullwood and Aullwood Garden MetroPark could be destroyed. This is unacceptable.

Be visible and demonstrate that the concerns of Miami Valley citizens over this industrial development are permanent, pronounced and indelible by attending this meeting and as many meetings as possible. Dayton residents, speak to your representatives and make your views clear. Bring your neighbors! Not a Dayton resident? Continue to come and be seen and heard, as all perspectives are important for this issue which involves the entire Miami Valley community. We must be present at this commission meeting and every meeting that follows until Knoop Prairie in preserved in perpetuity. Thank you for your constant and consistent support!

** UPDATE 12 AUGUST 2019 **
Aullwood Prairie Bumbleblitz, Dayton Commission Meetings Weds August 14th and Weds August 21st 

To raise awareness of the devastating loss of pollinators in Ohio, and to shine a light on their critical prairie and grassland habitats – such as the Paul E. Knoop, Jr. Prairie – Aullwood Audubon is sponsoring its first Prairie Bumbleblitz on Friday, August 16th, 2019 from 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM at Aullwood Farm, 9101 Frederick Pike, Dayton, OH. Using the popular app iNaturalist, friends, members and volunteers of Aullwood will set out in search of the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee --- last sighted in Ohio in 2002 and now listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service --- and other local pollinators in a variety of fields and prairies in and around Aullwood.
  
You can join in by bringing your smartphone and meeting us at Aullwood Farm! We will break up into teams to look for pollinators, take photos and videos, and upload to iNaturalist. Afterward we'll meet back at the Farm Discovery Center at 11:30 AM to share discoveries. Complimentary ice cream will be provided for all Blitzers; bring lunch and explore Aullwood on your own afterward. Pre-registration is required and is limited to 120 participants, so learn more and sign up at https://aullwood.audubon.org/PrairieBumbleBlitz or call 937-890-7360.
  
While this Bumbleblitz raises awareness, it's crucial that concerned parties continue to be seen, send letters and emails, and spread the word to maintain pressure against the destruction of Knoop Prairie. Your impressive support for the permanent preservation of Paul E. Knoop Jr. Prairie, Wiles Creek and the local watershed has resulted in over 16,300 signatures on our change.org petition. Thank you!
  
It's crucial that we stay visible and keep this issue in front of the City of Dayton by continuing to attend Dayton Commission Meetings. Demonstrate that citizen concerns over this issue are strong and persistent by attending as many meetings as possible! The next two meetings take place on Wednesday August 14th at 8:30 AM and on Wednesday August 21st at 6:00 PM. We need as many people as possible to continue to attend these meetings, stay present, stay visible and shine a light on the goal of preserving Knoop Prairie.
  
Meetings take place at 101 W Third St, Second Floor, Dayton, OH 45402. Please arrive as early as possible and sign up to speak prior to entering the Chambers. When called, you will need to state your name and address for the record. If you are a registered voter in Dayton, make sure you state this as well. Then all you need to say is, "I oppose the development of the Paul Knoop Prairie." You can continue to speak about your reasons and concerns for up to the maximum of 3 minutes allowed per speaker. Attendance at these meetings is crucial to demonstrate that this issue is not going away and to showcase our continuing resolve to preserve Knoop Prairie in perpetuity. Wondering what to say? Here are a few ideas:

  • Jobs for our community are certainly important, but there are many other locations for this development. Preserve both our environmental future at Knoop Prairie and our future jobs by finding a better site for this project!
  • Nearly all of Knoop Prairie will be destroyed by buildings and pavement according to the NorthPoint development site plan. ( View this plan at https://aullwood.audubon.org/KPSitePlan ) Surely there are alternatives to this total destruction.
  • This development is a threat to the entirety of Aullwood's property, all of Wiles Creek and the Stillwater River downstream, and the full array of wildlife that depend on them both. Everything living in the beautiful streams and springs flowing through Aullwood and Aullwood Garden MetroPark could be destroyed. This is unacceptable.

Be there and demonstrate that the concerns of Miami Valley citizens over this industrial development are permanent and pronounced by attending this meeting and as many meetings as possible. Dayton residents, speak to your representatives and make your opinion clear. Bring your neighbors! Not a Dayton resident? Be there anyway as all voices are important. This issue involves the entire Miami Valley community. We must be seen at these commission meetings and every meeting that follows until Knoop Prairie in preserved in perpetuity. Thank you for your constant and consistent support!
  
Please direct people to www.saveknoop.org for more information on this issue, share the petition at https://www.change.org/p/preserve-knoop-prairie to expand the circle of those engaged in the effort, and use social media and word of mouth to spread news of the situation. For local supporters, Save Knoop Prairie yard signs are available at Aullwood's Nature Center at 1000 Aullwood Road, Dayton Ohio during regular business hours; double sided signs are $13 and single sided signs are $10, which is our cost. You can also visit https://aullwood.audubon.org/SaveKnoopFund to donate to the Save Knoop Prairie Fund now via The Dayton Foundation. Your visibility and ongoing support is crucial and greatly appreciated! 

** UPDATE 4 AUGUST 2019 **
Please Postpone Prairie Comments at Dayton Commission Meeting on Wednesday August 7th 

In light of the shocking mass shooting in Dayton's Oregon District on August 4th, we encourage everyone to postpone their comments at the Wednesday August 7th City of Dayton Commission Meeting regarding the Paul Knoop Prairie issue. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted by this tragedy. 

** UPDATE 2 AUGUST 2019 **
Ohio Environmental Council Supports Saving Knoop Prairie; Raise Your Voice at the Next Dayton Commission Meeting on Wednesday August 7th at 6 PM

As the voices mount seeking to permanently preserve Paul E. Knoop Jr. Prairie and protect Wiles Creek, the Stillwater River and the local watershed, environmental organizations continue to weigh in with their opposition to this industrial development. This week, the Ohio Environmental Council came out in support of efforts to save Knoop Prairie, calling for an alternative site for this proposed development. Visit https://theoec.org/campaigns/save-knoop-prairie/ to learn more, then take action to add your voice to the growing chorus of opposition!
   
Our thanks to all who came out and spoke out at the City of Dayton Commission Meeting this past Wednesday! As always, your dedicated attendance and your eloquence in demanding the permanent preservation of Knoop Prairie is greatly appreciated! If you could not attend, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOJDX6_cY2U for a recording of this meeting.
   
Keep your voice raised in support and join us at the next City of Dayton Commission Meeting on Wednesday August 7th at 6 PM! We, the greater Miami Valley community, must not go silent. We must be seen and be heard at this commission meeting and every meeting until Knoop Prairie in preserved in perpetuity! 
   
Plan NOW to attend this City Commission Meeting on Wednesday, August 7th at 6 PM. Plan NOW to stand up and speak your opposition to plans to destroy the Paul Knoop Prairie. Plan NOW to demonstrate that the concerns of the citizens of the Miami Valley over this industrial development are permanent and pronounced by attending this meeting and as many meetings as possible!
   
Dayton residents, this is your chance to speak to your representatives and take a stand on what actions you want them to take. Bring your neighbors! Not a Dayton resident? Attend this meeting anyway --- all voices are important! This issue effects tens of thousands of people and transcends the simple boundaries of municipal lines.
   

Wondering what to say? Speak your mind and find your passion for the prairie. Here are a few ideas:
   

  • Jobs for our community are certainly important - but there are many other locations for this development. Preserve Knoop Prairie and preserve our jobs by finding a better site for this project!
  • Nearly the entire Knoop Prairie will be destroyed by buildings and pavement, according to the public NorthPoint development site plan. ( View this plan at https://aullwood.audubon.org/KPSitePlan ) Surely there is an alternative to this total destruction.
  • This development is a threat to Aullwood's entire property, all of Wiles Creek and the Stillwater River downstream, and the full array of wildlife that depend on them both. Everything living in the beautiful streams and springs flowing through Aullwood and Aullwood Garden MetroPark could be killed. This possibility is simply unacceptable.

    
The next meeting takes place on Wednesday August 7th at 6:00 PM. We need as many people as possible to attend this meeting and every meeting, speaking out, staying present, and keeping attention focused the preservation of Knoop Prairie. Come to raise your voice and be heard!
   
Meetings take place at 101 W Third St, Second Floor, Dayton, OH 45402. Please arrive well before 6 PM, as early as possible, and sign up to speak prior to entering the Chambers. When called to speak, you will need to state your name and address for the record. If you are a registered voter in Dayton, make sure you state this. Then say, "I oppose the development of the Paul Knoop Prairie." Go on to speak about your reasons and concerns for up to the maximum of 3 minutes allowed per speaker. Attendance at these meetings is crucial to demonstrate that this issue is not going away and to voice our continuing resolve to preserve Knoop Prairie in perpetuity. Thank you for your efforts!
   
Please direct people to www.saveknoop.org for more information, share the petition at https://www.change.org/p/preserve-knoop-prairie to expand the circle of the opposition, and speak and post about Knoop Prairie to spread news of this industrial development. For local supporters, Save Knoop Prairie yard signs are available at Aullwood's Nature Center at 1000 Aullwood Road, Dayton Ohio during regular business hours; double sided signs are $13 and single sided signs are $10, which is our cost. You can also visit https://aullwood.audubon.org/SaveKnoopFund to donate directly to the Save Knoop Prairie Fund now via The Dayton Foundation. Your determined words and crucial voices are vital and greatly appreciated! 

** UPDATE 30 JULY 2019 **
Save Knoop Prairie: Come Out and Speak Out at the Wednesday July 31 Dayton Commission Meeting

Join us and maintain critical momentum toward the preservation of Knoop Prairie, Wiles Creek and the Stillwater River by attending the next City of Dayton Commission Meeting on Wednesday July 31st at 6:00 PM. This fight with the City of Dayton must continue. We, the greater Miami Valley community, must step up, be seen and be heard at this meeting and every meeting! 

PLEASE be at this City Commission Meeting on Wednesday, July 31st at 6:00 PM. PLEASE stand up and state your opposition to the plan to destroy the Paul Knoop Prairie. PLEASE demonstrate that citizen concerns over this proposed industrial development are strong and persistent by attend this meeting and as many meetings as possible!

Wondering what else to say? Here are three talking points:

  • Jobs for our community are important - but there are other locations for this development. Preserve the prairie and preserve our jobs by finding another site.
  • The NorthPoint development site plan recently made public shows that nearly the entire Knoop Prairie will be destroyed by buildings and pavement. (View this plan at https://aullwood.audubon.org/KPSitePlan )
  • Aullwood's beautiful streams and springs could be polluted and have everything in them killed. This development is a threat to Aullwood's entire property, watershed and all the wildlife that depend on them.

The next meeting takes place on Wednesday July 31st at 6:00 PM. We need as many people as possible to continue to attend these meetings and speak out, stay present, and keep attention focused on the issue. Come out and speak out!

Meetings take place at 101 W Third St, Second Floor, Dayton, OH 45402. Please arrive as early as possible and sign up to speak prior to entering the Chambers. When called to speak, you will need to state your name and address for the record. If you are a registered voter in Dayton, make sure you state this as well. Then all you need to say is, "I oppose the development of the Paul Knoop Prairie." You can continue to speak about your reasons and concerns for up to the maximum of 3 minutes allowed per speaker. Attendance at these meetings is crucial to demonstrate that this issue is not going away and to underline our continuing resolve to preserve Knoop Prairie in perpetuity. Thank you for your efforts! 
   
Please continue to direct people to www.saveknoop.org for more information on this issue, share the petition at https://www.change.org/p/preserve-knoop-prairie to expand the circle of those engaged in the effort, and use social media and word of mouth to spread news of the situation. For local supporters, Save Knoop Prairie yard signs are available at Aullwood's Nature Center at 1000 Aullwood Road, Dayton Ohio during regular business hours; double sided signs are $13 and single sided signs are $10, which is our cost. You can also visit https://aullwood.audubon.org/SaveKnoopFund to donate to the Save Knoop Prairie Fund now via The Dayton Foundation. Your ongoing and determined support are crucial and greatly appreciated! 

** UPDATE 26 JULY 2019 **
NorthPoint's Site Plan, Maintaining Pressure at Dayton Commission Meetings Weds July 31st and Weds August 7th

Above is the NorthPoint Development site plan for the Paul E. Knoop Jr. Prairie parcel as received from the City of Dayton via a public records request. (The violet shading and labels have been added to highlight overall pavement coverage.) Over one million square feet of manufacturing space, not including parking lots, storage areas and other developments, is drawn up here so as to destroy Knoop Prairie as it stands today. (See https://aullwood.audubon.org/KPSitePlan for a larger version of this plan.)

Fortunately, there is still hope. The voices of concerned citizens as well as those of some surrounding communities are being heard, and this development is not inevitable. However, it is imperative that concerned parties continue to speak out, send additional letters and emails, and spread the word to maintain pressure against this construction and save Knoop Prairie.

It's also crucial to keep the momentum building for the preservation of Knoop Prairie, Wiles Creek and the Stillwater River and keep this issue in front of the City of Dayton by continuing to attend City of Dayton Commission Meetings. Demonstrate that citizen concerns over this issue are strong and persistent by attending as many meetings as possible! The next two meetings take place on Wednesday July 31st at 6:00 PM and on Wednesday August 7th at 6:00 PM. We need as many people as possible to continue to attend these meetings and speak out, stay present, and keep attention focused on the issue. 

Meetings take place at 101 W Third St, Second Floor, Dayton, OH 45402. Please arrive as early as possible and sign up to speak prior to entering the Chambers. When called, you will need to state your name and address for the record. If you are a registered voter in Dayton, make sure you state this as well. Then all you need to say is, "I oppose the development of the Paul Knoop Prairie." You can continue to speak about your reasons and concerns for up to the maximum of 3 minutes allowed per speaker. Attendance at these meetings is crucial to demonstrate that this issue is not going away and to underline our continuing resolve to preserve Knoop Prairie in perpetuity. Thank you for your determined support!

** UPDATE 17 JULY 2019 **
NorthPoint Development, Dayton Commission Meeting Today, Wednesday July 17 at 6:00 PM

NorthPoint Development, based in Kansas City MO, is the developer who intends to purchase the Paul E. Knoop Jr. Prairie property for commercial/industrial construction. NorthPoint developments have met opposition in other proposed locations, and the company has been responsive and pulled back from some of these projects. You can read more about some of these efforts at these links:

http://www.no2northpoint.com

http://pressandjournal.com/stories/developer-officially-pulls-out-of-wil...

https://patch.com/illinois/manhattan/residents-against-northpoint

https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/daily-southtown/ct-sta-northpoint...

We urge concerned parties to contact NorthPoint directly and express their opposition to the development of Knoop Prairie using the information below. Please express your opinions in a civil, positive but passionate way without resorting to name calling or hostility. 

Nathaniel Hagedorn, CEO
NorthPoint Development
4825 NW 41st St. Suite 500
Riverside, MO 64150
816-888-7380
nathaniel@northpointkc.com

Johan Henriksen, Vice President of Development
NorthPoint Development
4825 NW 41st St. Suite 500
Riverside, MO 64150
816-888-7380
jhenriksen@northpointkc.com

As a reminder, please keep this issue in front of the City of Dayton Commission by attending the next City of Dayton Commission Meeting TONIGHT, July 17th at 6:00 PM, at 101 W Third St, Second Floor, Dayton, OH 45402. We need as many people as possible to continue to attend these meetings and speak out to keep attention focused on the issue! Thank you for your support.

** UPDATE 9 JULY 2019 **
OSRA Statement of Support, Commission Meetings Weds July 10 at 8:30 AM and Weds July 17 at 6:00 PM 

As the movement to permanently preserve Paul E. Knoop Jr. Prairie, Wiles Creek and the local watershed continues to gain momentum, local and regional environmental organizations continue to weigh in with their opposition to the development of Knoop Prairie. Here is an excerpt from a recent letter by Tom Butch of the Ohio Scenic Rivers Association:

"The Ohio Scenic Rivers Association is a statewide organization whose mission is to ensure that our Scenic Rivers are healthy and continue to provide clean water for people and wildlife and a safe place for families to enjoy nature. The Stillwater River whose 58 miles run through Montgomery County has been listed as an Ohio Scenic River since 1975. It obtained this status because it had great local support – and still does – and has outstanding water quality, filter strips and riparian buffer along most of its shores, limited human intrusions, and high biological diversity. All of these qualities are at risk if the headwaters of Wiles Creek are overwhelmed by construction." You can read the complete letter at https://aullwood.audubon.org/OSRA_Letter

You can help to keep the momentum building for the preservation of Knoop Prairie, Wiles Creek and the Stillwater River and keep this issue in front of the City of Dayton Commission by attending the next two City of Dayton Commission Meetings on Wednesday July 10th at 8:30 AM and Wednesday July 17th at 6:00 PM. We need as many people as possible to continue to attend these meetings and speak out to keep attention focused on the issue. 

Meetings take place at 101 W Third St, Second Floor, Dayton, OH 45402. Please arrive as early as possible and sign up to speak prior to entering the Chambers. When called, you will need to state your name and address for the record. If you are a registered voter in Dayton, make sure you state this as well. Then all you need to say is, "I oppose the development of the Paul Knoop Prairie." You can offer further opinions for up to the maximum 3 minutes allowed. Attendance at these meetings is crucial to show decision makers the sustained public interest and continuing resolve to preserve Knoop Prairie in perpetuity. 

As always, please continue to direct people to www.saveknoop.org for more information, share the petition at https://www.change.org/p/preserve-knoop-prairie to expand the circle of those engaged in the effort, and use social media and other means to spread the word. You can also donate to the Save Knoop Prairie Fund via The Dayton Foundation at https://aullwood.audubon.org/SaveKnoopFund now. Your ongoing efforts and support are crucial and greatly appreciated!

** UPDATE 27 JUNE 2019 **
Next Dayton City Commission Meetings on July 10 and July 17

Please help keep the preservation of Paul E. Knoop Jr. Prairie, Wiles Creek and the local watershed before the City of Dayton Commission by attending the next two City of Dayton Commission Meetings on Wednesday July 10th at 8:30 AM and Wednesday July 17th at 6:00 PM. (NOTE: The meeting scheduled for July 3rd has been cancelled.)

We need as many people as possible to attend each and every meeting in order to keep this issue active and alive. These meetings take place at 101 W Third St, Second Floor, Dayton, OH 45402. If you go, please arrive as early as possible and sign up to speak prior to entering the Chambers! When called, you will need to state your name and address for the record. If you are a registered voter in Dayton, make sure you state this for the Commissioners. Then all you need to say is, "I oppose the development of the Paul Knoop Prairie." You can comment further for up to 3 minutes, the maximum time allowed per speaker. Your attendance at these meetings is crucial to demonstrate sustained public interest and our continuing resolve to preserve Knoop Prairie in perpetuity. Further meeting details and future meeting dates are available at https://www.daytonohio.gov/159/City-Commission-Office Thank you for your ongoing support!

** UPDATE 25 JUNE 2019 **
Wednesday June 26 Dayton City Commission Meeting

We are asking all those available to attend the City of Dayton Commission Meeting tomorrow, Wednesday June 26th at 8:30 AM. We need as many people as possible to attend each and every meeting to keep this issue before the City Commission, remind them of the sustained public interest and emphasize that we remain serious about saving Paul Knoop Prairie, Wiles Creek and the local watershed. These meetings take place at 101 W Third St, Second Floor, Dayton, OH 45402. If you go, please arrive as early as possible and sign up to speak prior to entering the Chambers! When called, you will need to state your name and address for the record. If you are a registered voter in Dayton, make sure you state this for the Commissioners. Then all you need to say is, "I oppose the development of the Paul Knoop Prairie." You can comment further for up to 3 minutes, the maximum time allowed per speaker. This is a crucial demonstration of our incredible continuing community support. Further meeting details and future meeting dates are available at https://www.daytonohio.gov/159/City-Commission-Office Thank you for your dedication!

** UPDATE 21 JUNE 2019 **
Dayton City Commission Meeting June 19th, 2019 and Fact Checks

Our thanks to all who attended the most recent City of Dayton Commission Meeting on Wednesday, June 19th. More than 50 people spoke out to permanently preserve Knoop Prairie and as always, we greatly appreciate your support, dedication and eloquence! You can read more about this meeting in the Dayton Daily News article "Dayton plans for prairie development draw more protests". 

However, a number of inaccurate and misleading statements were made at this City of Dayton Commission Meeting.  Here are the facts:

“Airport staff regularly shares the airport layout plan. This map clearly shows the development parcels controlled by the airport.”
FACT CHECK: The map received by Aullwood Audubon from Airport staff on February 28, 2019 did not show the Paul E. Knoop, Jr. Prairie as a site for “future development”.  The map shows “future development” as coded yellow.  Note that the Paul E. Knoop, Jr. parcel (#313) on the attached map is coded white. (See Attachment A)

“The lease agreement for this property [Paul E. Knoop, Jr. Prairie] expired in 2007 and was not renewed.”
FACT CHECK: Aullwood Audubon attempted to renew the lease of the Paul E. Knoop, Jr. Prairie parcel but the Dayton International Airport refused to renew the lease. (See Attachment B) Then Executive Director, Charity Krueger, responded to this letter in February, 2008. (See Attachment C)

“In the almost 12 years since the lease has expired, Aullwood has never approached the City with an offer to purchase the property in order to maintain it in its current undeveloped site.” 
FACT CHECK: Aullwood Audubon was repeatedly told that the Paul E. Knoop, Jr. Prairie parcel could not be purchased under FAA regulations. In addition, Aullwood Audubon was repeatedly assured by Airport staff that there were no development plans for the Paul E. Knoop, Jr. Prairie parcel because it was in the Airport Protection Zone.  In fact, for the past 4 years, Aullwood Audubon was contracted by the City of Dayton to conduct airport research on bird populations on land parcels that included the Paul E. Knoop, Jr. Prairie (Parcel #313 on the airport master plan) and never once during this close partnership was it made known to Aullwood that the parcel could be sold in the future.

“On February 20th a notice was sent to many nearby landlord-owners, nearby land owners, including Aullwood Audubon, to make them aware of the potential rezoning and the public hearing that would be held on March 12th.“
FACT CHECK: After receipt of the zoning notice from the City of Dayton regarding the Paul E. Knoop, Jr. parcel (#313), Aullwood Audubon reached out to Airport staff for clarification and were assured that there were no development plans for that parcel and that the rezoning was only an FAA requirement.

“On May 1st, the airport again met with Aullwood to explain that there may be an end user to the site.”
FACT CHECK: Only after the City of Dayton had agreed to sell Knoop Prairie for industrial development did Airport staff arrive at Aullwood Audubon on May 1, 2019 with an Airport Master Plan map and a Plat of the Paul E. Knoop, Jr. Prairie parcel, indicating that there was a definitive plan to develop this parcel. This was the first notification that Aullwood Audubon received regarding the proposed development.
FACT CHECK: On May 6, at a regularly scheduled Friends of Aullwood Executive Board Meeting, the Airport’s plans to develop parcel #313 were shared with members by Executive Director Alexis R. Faust. 

“During Aullwood board meetings on May 13th and May 22nd, a City of Dayton staff member, who is a member of the Aullwood board, was dismissed from meetings regarding the subject.  This was a missed opportunity to have an open dialogue among board members about this project.”
FACT CHECK: At a regularly scheduled Friends of Aullwood Board Meeting on May 13, 2019, the Airport staff person referenced here was asked by the Chair of the Friends of Aullwood Board to recuse himself from discussions between Aullwood Audubon and the Dayton International Airport because such actions would put him in violation of the Friends of Aullwood Board Conflict of Interest Policy, signed by said employee, which clearly states in part that “Board members have a fiduciary duty to conduct themselves without conflict to the interests of the Friends of Aullwood, Inc. In their capacity as Board members, they must subordinate personal, individual business, third-party, and other interests to the welfare and best interests of the Friends of Aullwood, Inc.” (See Attachment D for the full policy)
FACT CHECK
: There was no Board meeting held at Aullwood Audubon on May 22, 2019.
 

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