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We are locally grown and nationally known.
Western Reserve Land Conservancy, the largest land trust in Ohio, has preserved more than 380 properties and nearly 24,000 acres in our region. That’s approximately the same number of total acres in the Cleveland Metroparks system. At our current pace, we will preserve the acreage equivalent of a new Emerald Necklace – the nickname for the Metroparks system – every seven years.
We work with private landowners, governments, park systems and others to strategically preserve land in our region. Our goal is to create, along with our conservation partners, an interconnected 400,000-acre network of protected property throughout northern Ohio. Imagine a preserved natural corridor that will allow your great great granddaughter to walk from the shores of Sandusky Bay to the farms of Stark County to the banks of Conneaut Creek without stepping foot on unprotected land. In addition, our Thriving Communities Institute is helping revitalize the region's urban neighborhoods.
We have protected land in 15 counties, preserving everything from sprawling farms to urban greenways.
The Land Conservancy was one of 30 semifinalists for The Collaboration Prize, a national award for which more than 650 nonprofit organizations were nominated.
A Snapshot of Our Results. Fiscal Year 2011
Results as reported in our November 2011 Donor Report
Our fiscal year 2011 was July 1, 2010 - June 30, 2011
Fiscal year 2011 was another productive year for land conservation in northern Ohio.
The Land Conservancy completed 24 projects and permanently preserved another 1,745 acres in FY2011. As of June 30, 2011, we had preserved a total of 347 properties and 21,639 acres. In the last five years, the Land Conservancy has protected 12,290 acres, or an average of 2,458 acres per year.
In FY2011, Huron County has the largest amount of preserved land with 696 acres, followed by Ashtabula County (537 acres), Geauga County (152) and Cuyahoga County (110).
The largest individual projects were Fullercrest Farms (175 acres) in Ashtabula County, Brian Smith’s 137-acre easement in Huron County and the Lampson Lake project (94 acres) in Ashtabula County.
When eight local land trusts joined forces to form Western Reserve Land Conservancy in 2006, they had together preserved about 8,000 acres over two decades. At the close of FY2011 – just four and a half years later – the Land Conservancy had preserved an additional 13,639 acres – a 170-percent increase over a 20-year total.
Faced with a lack of available funding from Clean Ohio, which has typically been one of the largest sources of funds for conservation, as well as tightening federal budgets, the Land Conservancy diversified its public funding portfolio during fiscal year 2011, securing more than $8.8 million from 14 different sources.
The amount rivaled the record $9.6 million from FY2010, when federal and state funding was more available.
The Land Conservancy uses the term public funding to describe dollars from state and federal grant programs and appropriations, local funding from park districts and communities and funding from private entities required to fund conservation projects as part of government permitting processes, such as mitigation. It does not include private donations from individuals or foundations.
In FY2011, local sources accounted for 49 percent of all public funding raised, or about $4.3 million, up from just 4 percent the year before. State funding accounted for 36 percent (about $3.2 million) of all public funding, while the share from federal sources dropped from 24 percent in FY2010 to 4 percent ($336,821) in FY2011.
Corporate/mitigation revenue did not account for any public funding in FY2010. In FY2011, it accounted for 11 percent ($989,000).
Considering the changes that occurred in the funding landscape over the past year, particularly the availability of state and federal funding, the Land Conservancy’s total public funding results for FY2011 showcase the Land Protection Team’s ability to adapt to changing realities and pursue new or alternative funding sources.