PICKERINGTON, Ohio (WCMH)–The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) dedicated its 140th nature preserve in central Ohio.

The newly dedicated preserve, Coyote Run, is located in Pickerington and holds more than 230 acres.

“When we first moved out here, we just wanted to enjoy the quiet life, get away from the city, but we started to plant some trees,” said Tammy Miller, Coyote Run landowner.

Miller and David Hague are a couple from Fairfield County who said they wanted to restore this wetland to as close to pre-European settlement as possible.

“Ninety-five percent of wetlands of Ohio have been destroyed, and so along with that, is a lot of flora and fauna,” Hague said.

The work was difficult because several invasive plant species delayed the process by years, with the couple having to uproot them by hand.

“I pull, and he sprays,” Miller said.

“There’s a lot of species in there, and they’ve been working on that, so it’s a testament to their dedication to the property,” said Jeffrey A. Johnson, chief of the natural areas and preserves division with ODNR.

Johnson said it’s because of the couple’s hard work that his department was able to give the tract of land the nature preserve designation Monday.

“It’s really unique to have that, especially as close as we are to Columbus, you know, Pickerington, Reynoldsburg, highly developed areas,” Johnson said. “We’ve got this really phenomenal ecological area right in their backyard.”

At the dedication, both Hague and Miller thanked everyone who came out and supported them.

“A lot of those people in that room picked up a shovel and helped us plant trees, or helped us identify what was in the woods,” Miller said.