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Krejci dump site restoration complete, new reserve open after nearly 35 years closed off from the public

Former toxic waste dump turned into wildlife habitat and greenspace.

BOSTON HEIGHTS, Ohio — For decades the Krejci dump was a hazardous wasteland of toxic sludge and cancer-causing chemicals located off W. Hines Hill Road in Boston Heights. That all recently changed thanks to some devoted environmentalists. 

Today, after a long road, the site is a healthy new wildlife habitat and greenspace. 

Restoration and revegetation of the former Krejci dump included adding native grasses and wildflowers, reestablishing natural wetlands, and restoring important wildlife habitats. 

Environmental Protection Specialist on the Krejci project Veronica Dickerson says it's been a long time coming.

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“From alpha to omega, beginning to end, this project was between 26 and 27 years. It's just the process that it takes to go through when you're working on a contaminated site. You have to make sure you have everything cleaned and identified - any and all potential issues that might cause harm to humans, animals or the environment.”

The 50-acre reserve – formerly run by the Krejci family - was a municipal and industrial dump and salvage yard from the 1940s to the 1980s. 

Solid and hazardous waste was dumped at Krejci until the park service bought the site in 1985. Testing found dangerous contamination levels over a large swath of acreage and the car companies were ordered to pay $50 million dollars to clean up the site, and that cleanup has finally been completed.

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The former dump is now open to the public for the first time since it was closed to the public in 1986.

Editor's note: the video in the player below is from a story published on Jan. 2, 2021.