Plain Township trustees voted July 22 to pursue federal reimbursement for returning 34 acres at 5770 Walnut Street to a natural state.

Plain Township trustees voted July 22 to pursue federal reimbursement for returning 34 acres at 5770 Walnut Street to a natural state.

Over the past four years, the township has tried to restore the property to a more natural habitat by planting grasses and trees, said Plain Township administrator Ben Collins.

He said applying to the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program, a program offered through the Natural Resources Conservation Service, would allow the township to recoup $5,000 of the money spent on the plantings.

"Through this program, the township can be reimbursed for some of those costs," Collins said.

According to the program's website, the township would be eligible for up to 75 percent "cost-share assistance to establish and improve fish and wildlife habitats."

The program encourages the voluntary development of wildlife habitats on "agricultural land, nonindustrial private forest land, and Indian land." Funding for the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program was approved in the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008.

Collins said the township wants to apply for the reimbursement before selling the property to Metro Parks.

Plain Township trustees agreed July 7 to sell the 34 acres to Metro Parks, which plans to establish a 1,200-acre park in northern Plain Township. Metro Parks already owns 378 acres on the east and west sides of Harlem Road, north of Walnut Street.