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For every $1 donated, the Land Conservancy is able to protect $16 worth of land. We are so grateful for the generosity and support of people throughout our region. Together we are making a difference!
We are always looking for volunteers to help with our fundraising events like EverGreen EverBlue and our social events like Triple Tap. If you enjoy socializing, pitching in, and helping others we need you.
Land. People. Communities. Help spread the word about the Land Conservancy’s vision for our region and learn about ways to get involved. Visit our profile on these social media sites.
events & calendar
Friday, June 7, 2013
Horse Country Road Tour
June 30, 2013
August 17, 2013
and publications from the Land Conservancy
May 2, 2013
Cochran will speak
in Columbiana Co.
Rich Cochran, the Land Conservancy's president and CEO, will talk about the organization's recent merger with Little Beaver Creek Land Foundation, conservation in Columbiana County and a land protection plan for the Utica Point Pleasant shale region at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, May 8 at the Columbiana County Jobs and Family Services Center, 7989 Dickey Drive, Lisbon, Ohio 44432. The event is free and open to the public. Click here for additional information.
April 29, 2013
Crain's Cleveland Business has named Sarah Ryzner, director of projects for Thriving Communities Institute, to its Who to Watch list for nonprofits. Ryzner joined Western Reserve Land Conservancy and Thriving Communities after working as a real estate lawyer and as a site-acquisition consultant for commercial interests. Sarah, who also holds a master's degree in urban planning from Cleveland State University, is responsible for identifying and managing key real-estate transactions in urban areas and, in conjunction with our partners, promoting healthy land in urban neighborhoods. She also builds relationships and promotes Land Conservancy programs. She lives in Cleveland.
February 20, 2013
Land Conservancy praises
of bill to fund home demolition
Western Reserve Land Conservancy, which launched its Thriving Communities Institute program to address the foreclosure crisis, is applauding a bill introduced by area congressional representatives to establish a bond program to fund demolition of vacant, abandoned and tax-foreclosed homes. Land Conservancy President and CEO Rich Cochran and Thriving Communities Institute Director Jim Rokakis, a national expert on the foreclosure crisis, praised U.S. Reps. David Joyce, Marcy Kaptur and Marcia Fudge for introducing the Restore Our Neighborhoods Act, which would authorize up to $4 billion in new bond allocation for states to help fund demolition.
February 11, 2013
Land Conservancy applauds
renewal of enhanced
Congress has renewed the enhanced income tax deduction for conservation easements through 2013, and retroactive to the beginning of 2012. This incentive will help the Land Conservancy work with farmers, ranchers and other landowners to increase the pace of conservation. Landowners who act quickly to conserve their land can now enjoy these benefits, but they’re currently set to expire December 31, 2013.
Lapses in the enhanced incentive hamper our strategic conservation efforts and are frustrating for landowners. That’s why the Land Conservancy is working so hard to enact legislation to make the enhanced incentive permanent.
February 5, 2013
Land Conservancy president
unveils conservation initiative
for Utica shale region
Land Conservancy President and CEO Rich Cochran today announced the launch of an ambitious and collaborative land conservation plan to help the people and communities of eastern Ohio being impacted by oil and gas exploration. Cochran announced the plan in his afternoon keynote address at the Crain’s Shale Summit 2013 at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven. You can view the presentation here.The initiative will preserve working farms, forests, wildlife areas and waters in the face of the largest external force we have ever encountered. After two years of study, the Land Conservancy has determined that a plan based on collaboration among forward-thinking conservation, economic, political, oil and gas and other representatives has the best chance of succeeding. Cochran urged all those interested in the region and its natural resources to join in the conservation planning efforts.
January 25, 2013
The first comprehensive examination of land conservation in northern Ohio has determined that about 7 percent of the area, or 295,322 acres, in a 14-county region has been preserved – significantly less than the 10- to 15-percent level recommended by local experts. In addition, Common Ground: The regional land protection report for northern Ohio found that 5 percent of the region’s farmland is now protected, meaning that 95 percent of the existing agricultural land – property containing some of the world’s richest soils – could be lost to development.
The report was a collaborative effort by local land conservancies, park systems, community leaders, outdoor groups, soil and water conservation districts, property owners and nonprofit organizations. It was coordinated and funded by Western Reserve Land Conservancy, a Moreland Hills-based nonprofit, with additional support from the Alton F. and Carrie S. Davis Fund and the Sandra L. and Dennis B. Haslinger Family Foundation.
January 3, 2013
Kathy Obert Hill joins
our leadership team
Kathy Obert Hill, who headed one of the region’s top public relations agencies for 10 years, has been appointed Chief Strategy and Engagement Officer for the nonprofit Land Conservancy. Obert Hill, who was board chair and chief executive officer of Edward Howard & Co. before negotiating the 2010 sale of the firm to Fahlgren Inc., will serve on the Land Conservancy’s executive team and oversee stakeholder engagement, including development, communications and marketing, government relations, education and events.
December 3, 2012
Streetsboro wetlands are
A 116-acre parcel containing high-quality wetlands and three rare species has been permanently preserved, thanks to a partnership between the city of Streetsboro, the Land Conservancy, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. The action means the property, located on state Route 303, can never be developed. The city owns the parcel, which was formerly owned by the Verna Beck Trust, and will manage it as a nature preserve.
October 12, 2012
has a new home
A generous, unsolicited gift from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous has enabled the Land Conservancy to build a new campus and conservation center in Moreland Hills. The facility, which relocates the Land Conservancy’s headquarters from Chesterland, officially opens this week. About two-thirds of the Land Conservancy’s 35-member staff will be based in Moreland Hills, with the rest working from field offices in Cleveland, Akron, Oberlin, Medina, Painesville, Orwell and Orrville.
Located at 3850 Chagrin River Road, the project that created the Land Conservancy’s new home was part of a six-year, multi-phase land protection project that permanently preserved about 135 acres in Moreland Hills, creating beautiful, publicly accessible hiking trails and further extending Forest Ridge Preserve. A painstakingly restored (and recycled) 5,000-square-foot historic century home and newly constructed, environmentally-responsible 11,000-square-foot addition will now house the Land Conservancy’s main office.
October 2, 2012
Portage Co. landowners
can conmment on plan
Landowners with more than one acre of woods in northwest Portage County are invited to take a short survey toward the development of an area forestry strategy, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry. The public is also invited to review the draft plan and provide comments.
The broad-scale forest management plan will be designed to benefit landowners in several communities and townships in northwest Portage County, including Freedom, Hiram, Mantua and Shalersville townships and the communities of Aurora and Streetsboro. The Land Conservancy has been involved in a number of land-protection projects in this region.
Comments and the survey will be accepted through Oct. 31. The draft plan and survey are available online at http://ohiodnr.com/Default.aspx?tabid=24131 or by contacting Jason Van Houten at email@example.com or (614) 265-6703.
Sept. 8, 2012
New video debuts
at EverGreen EverBlue
The Land Conservancy unveiled its new video to guests at Saturday's annual EverGreen EverBlue benefit at Sandy and Claire McMillan's Mountain Glen Farm in Concord Township. The event raises funding and awareness for the organization. If you missed the debut of the video, you can watch it here.
June 7, 2012
Demolition grant info
is now available
Communities seeking demolition funding from the Ohio Attorney General's Moving Ohio Forward Grant Program can find information here on our Thriving Communities Institute website. Thriving Communities, which helps counties form land banks, hosted the first of two strategic planning workshops June 7 at Walsh University's Barrette Center in North Canton.
May 2, 2012
opens Orrville office
The Land Conservancy has opened a Wayne County office at 140 East Market St., Suite 150, in Orrville. Other Land Conservancy offices are located in Chesterland, Medina, Oberlin, Orwell, Painesville and Akron. Western Field Director Andy McDowell will work from the office on a part-time basis until a full-time staff member is assigned to Orrville. McDowell can be contacted at (440) 773-6227.
May 1, 2012
Scene Magazine is
media sponsor for
Scene Magazine has been named the official media sponsor for the Land Conservancy's third annual Conservation Rocks! concert on Friday, June 8 at at the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern in Cleveland. The concert features performers who also work locally in the field of conservation. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased through the Beachland's box office or the Land Conservancy.
March 28, 2012
viewed as a plus
for Stark County
The Canton Repository has published an in-depth story on how the fledgling Stark County Land Bank could help neighborhoods in Massillon, Canton and elsewhere by safely securing abandoned homes and vacant lots. Thriving Communities Institute has been working with Stark County officials to establish the land bank. You can read the story here.
March 22, 2012Demolition bonds
aim to prevent
'tsunami of blight'
Reporter Jennifer DePaul of The Bond Buyer has written a timely piece on a bill introduced by U.S. Reps. Steve LaTourette and Marcia Fudge that would provide $4 billion for states and land banks to issue demolition bonds to raze demolish vacant, foreclosed and abandoned homes across the country to prevent “a tsunami of blight.” Jim Rokakis, director of the Land Conservancy’s Thriving Communities Institute, helped craft the bill and is quoted in the story.
March 9, 2012
Fifth--generation farms preserved in Erie County
Nearly 600 acres of Erie County farmland have been permanently preserved by conservation easements granted by the Wallrabenstein family to the Land Conservancy.
The easements permanently restrict development of the land.
John and Shirley Wallrabenstein preserved their 415-acre farm in Oxford Township, while John’s mother, Marge, preserved her 150-acre farm in Milan Township. The fourth-generation farms have been in the family since the 1880s and are some of the most productive in the region, according to Andy McDowell, the Land Conservancy’s western field director.Read more..
February 24, 2012
Conservation loses a
The passing of Dick Grimm, who died at his home on Wednesday night, is a huge loss for conservation community and our region. Mr. Grimm, a member of our Board of Trustees, was a friend and true leader. The entire Land Conservancy family is deeply saddened by his passing and extends its sympathy to his wife Sue and their family. President and CEO Rich Cochran described Mr. Grimm as “a transforming leader of the Land Conservancy. He was also an amazing husband, father, grandfather and friend. He was one of the best friends I have ever had.”
February 23, 2012
Trumbull County couple
preserves a record 3,100 acres
A Trumbull County couple has permanently preserved nearly 3,100 acres of farmland and natural areas in what is believed to be the state’s largest-ever land conservation transaction. Richard and Rhonda Thompson of Kinsman donated 23 conservation easements totaling 3,095 acres to the nonprofit Land Conservancy. A conservation easement is a legal document in which the donor voluntarily restricts future development on his or her land while retaining ownership.
More than two-thirds of the property preserved by the Thompsons – about 2,157 acres – is farmland, and the conservation easements protect more than 11 miles of stream frontage. Read more..
February 10, 2012
New hope for
January 19, 2012
farm is preserved
A 285-acre working dairy farm with one of the most scenic views in Geauga County has been permanently protected by an agricultural easement barring future development. The Weedon Reservation Farm located at the corner of Route 528 and Hosmer Road in Parkman Township, is now permanently preserved for agricultural use under an easement held by the Geauga County Commissioners and the Land Conservancy. This working dairy farm was preserved under the state’s Agricultural Easement Purchase Program, a statewide, farmland-protection initiative administered by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.Read more..
January 19, 2012
Land Conservancy helps expand field station
Hiram College has added 152 acres of protected woodlands and wetlands property as part of its James T. Barrow Field Station east of the college’s main campus. The Land Conservancy partnered with the college to acquire the property, which was formerly owned by Isaac Yomtovian and is adjacent to the Field Station.
The land was acquired as part of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Resource Restoration Sponsorship Program. The transfer expands the Field Station property to nearly 550 acres.Read more...
December 19, 2011
Missed '60 Minutes'?
You can watch here
If you were unable to catch Jim Rokakis, director of the Land Conservancy’s Thriving Communities Institute, on "60 Minutes" on Sunday, you can view the full segment here. For additional video footage and interviews, click on "What's next for Cleveland?" "Foreclosures spread to suburbs" or "Foreclosure scavengers go high tech." For more information on Thriving Communities Institute, vist our new website at www.thrivingcommunitiesinstitute.org.