A bog is not always a fen, but a fen is a type of bog.
A bog has soil that is acidic.
A fen has soil that is alkaline. A fen is an alkaline marl bog.
Although bogs and fens share a few of the same kinds of plants, different types of plants grow in bogs and fens because of the water that flows through them.
Both bogs and fens resulted from glaciers, which thousands of years ago traveled very, very slowly across the land that became Ohio. When they passed through, the glaciers deposited all sorts of debris (soil and rocks and other materials). The most recent glacier, the Wisconsinian, bulldozed its way south from eastern Canada and lumbered across much of North America about 25,000 years ago.
Jackson Bog is a 58-acre preserve located in South Park on Fulton Rd. NW. It is owned by the Jackson Township Local Board of Education and the Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves. The area was dedicated in1980 as an interpretive preserve to be protected for education and enjoyment.
Jackson Bog (the type of bog called a fen) has many rare plants including pitcher-plant, fringed gentian and round-leaved sundew. Many of the wet areas do not freeze in the winter because the temperature is fairly constant (above 32 degrees) and there is water seeping continuously up from below the ground.
The book Jackson Bog by local author Michael Witt was published about 14 years ago.
Jackson Bog lies at the foot of a dry, sandy kame (a glacially deposited sandy hill or ridge). The belts of kames in this area of Stark County provide an extensive aquifer. These highly permeable gravel deposits readily absorb surface water and then hold it in staggering quantities as groundwater. Whenever this groundwater reaches the surface, as it does here in Jackson Bog, artesian springs and seeps result. Springs emerge from beneath the elongated kame that borders the northern edge of the preserve.*
(Jackson Township has long been known for its underground springs, high water table, and clay soil, elements that may explain why so many backyards are soggy at this time of year.)
The bog has a boardwalk so you won’t get your feet wet and it is a fairly easy walk. The bog is a wonderful location for bird watching, especially in the spring and fall as migratory birds pass through the area.
Other bogs in northeast Ohio:
Triangle Lake Bog
Triangle Lake Bog is one of the finest and least disturbed sphagnum kettle-hole bogs in Ohio. * It contains carnivorous plants, tamarack and a floating sphagnum mat. A floating sphagnum mat with swamp loosestrife, leatherleaf and tamaracks surrounds the dark acidic waters of the bog lake. Located 1 1/2 miles northwest of the intersection of State Route 44 and I-76 on the south side of Sandy Lake Road. The bog has a boardwalk trail.
Tom S. Cooperrider – Kent Bog State Nature Preserve
*Tom S. Cooperrider-Kent Bog is a living relic from the Ice Age. In glacial times, the boreal forest, including tamarack, dominated the landscape far south of northern Ohio. Today, however, Kent Bog supports the largest, southernmost stand of tamarack in the continental United States. Beautiful tamarack bog forest, one of the most intact bogs in Ohio with the largest stand of Tamarack trees. There are over 3,500 tamaracks in the population with many robust seedlings growing among the larger trees. Gray Birch, also located here, and tamarack are both potentially threatened species in Ohio.
With the passing of the Ice Age the last glacier began to melt, leaving a huge block of ice which was gradually buried by silt, sands and gravel continued to wash out of the retreating glacier. Eventually the ice block melted and the resulting depression filled with water. Thus, a deep kettle-hole lake about 50 acres in size was formed. What has become of the glacial lake? The natural process of filling with peat has finally been realized. No longer a lake, the kettle-hole has been transformed into a lovely bog meadow. Fortunately, unusual environmental conditions have enabled most of the boreal vegetation to survive.
Location: From I-76 east take the Kent exit (SR 43) north to Meloy Road, head west to the parking lot.
*NOTE: The information about Jackson Bog and other bogs in Ohio is printed from various websites of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources: http://naturepreserves.ohiodnr.gov/jacksonbog).
Some areas of water in the bog do not freeze in the winter.
The Pitcher Plant, which is carnivorous.
Jackson Township Historical Society