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Environment & Energy

Canton Plans to Move Wetlands to Make Room for the Hall of Fame Village

Arboretum Park in the Avondale Area of Canton
Tim Rudell
A current pond in Avondale Arboretum Park

As plans continue for the next phase of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Village in Canton, a key question has come up.  Citizens at a recent informational meeting asked if the required conversion of a city park to a wetland as part of the project, will cause more mosquitoes.

Benjamin Schuplin, Ecology Consultant
Credit Tim Rudell / WKSU
Benjamin Schuplin, Ecology Consultant

Ecology consultant Benjamin Schuplin, hired by the parks department to help with responses to Hall of Fame construction, said no.

He says mosquito numbers are limited in a true wetland by the fullness of vegetation and lots of mosquito predators.

Yeah, they eat ‘em.  They get eaten.  They can’t quite compete. They can live in the area, absolutely.  But their population can’t boom the way that it is a problem in the area.  Usually you see mosquito populations in areas with a lot of tire ruts, or that have just been graded poorly, and there’s not a lot of vegetation  and water is just sitting.”

Arboretum Park in Canton’s Avondale area will be partially flooded to create a new wetland, replacing a current one near McKinley High School that will be lost to Hall of Fame Village.