The wetlands research facility sits on ~52 acres of land owned by The Ohio State University and managed by the School of Environment and Natural Resources within the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. There are several wetlands on site, including two experimental wetlands, the bottomland hardwood forest, and the oxbow. The two experimental wetlands were the first wetlands created on site. Construction began in 1993 and concluded in 1994. Water was initially pumped into the two experimental wetlands in March 1994. The majority of the hydrologic input for these experimental wetlands comes from the Olentangy River. Pumps are run almost constantly to bring water to these experimental wetlands. To maintain a more natural flow, the pumps are adjusted so that when the river level is low, less water is pumped into the wetlands.
The bottomland hardwood forest and the oxbow wetlands also receive the majority of their water from the Olentangy River, but instead of a pump system, water flows into these wetlands via gravity. As water travels through the two experimental wetlands and the oxbow, a good portion of it leaves as surface flow into the swale. The swale then takes the water back into the Olentangy River.