One of Western Reserve Land Conservancy’s most important roles is helping local park systems and communities preserve these essential natural and historic assets for the public to enjoy.
You may not always hear about our work behind the scenes, but Western Reserve Land Conservancy is instrumental in creating public parks and preserves. We collaborate with many partners and leverage our expertise in real estate transactions, conservation easements, legal work, and fundraising to do this important work.
To date, Western Reserve Land Conservancy has helped create more than 170 parks and publicly-owned preserves around the region. Many of these are open to the public, while others will open to the public at a later date. Below is a map of our work!
Find a public park or preserve near you:
How we create public parks & preserves
We rely on a number of sophisticated legal tools, funding sources, and real estate principles to guide our work. Before we take on a project, we are bound to assess the conservation value of the land. This means the project must have at least one of the following values:
- Recreation or education
- Habitat protection
- Open space protection that yields significant public benefit
- Historic preservation
Once a project is identified and deemed feasible, the Land Conservancy often coordinates complex fundraising efforts – from preparing public funding grants to raising private philanthropic funds – to make the project a reality. The Land Conservancy can move quickly, sometimes taking on significant risk, to acquire properties.
Once acquired, the Land Conservancy transfers these properties to our local partners to manage. After the creation of a park, the Land Conservancy maintains a close working relationship with park districts and municipalities to provide long-term stewardship.
What our partners say
“We are grateful for our partnership with Western Reserve Land Conservancy. This partnership allows Metroparks to leverage state and federal dollars to expand our park system without taking our focus away from opening parks and constructing trails.” – Larry Frimerman, Executive Director of Ashtabula County Metroparks, on the creation of Upper Grand River Metropark
“We’re a tiny district without a levy, so the partnership has been invaluable. The Land Conservancy has a full professional staff with the expertise that we just didn’t have in-house. This is by far the biggest property we have acquired, and we couldn’t have done it without them.” – Christine Craycroft, Executive Director of Portage County Park District on the Upper Cuyahoga Bog Preserve
“We are honored and privileged to work with Western Reserve Land Conservancy and Lorain County Metro Parks to find ways to enrich the community and future generations.” – Linda Styer, Senior Program Officer at Lorain County Community Foundation