Land We Protect
Black Swamp Conservancy is a land trust dedicated to preserving and protecting natural habitats and family farms in northwest Ohio for the benefit of future generations. This map shows the counties in which we work and the general location of many of the properties that comprise the over 17,600 acres that have been permanently protected by the Conservancy since our founding in 1993.
VISIT A PRESERVE
While much of the land we protect is privately owned, some of our properties are open to the public.
Listed below are properties that are open to public access.
LAND WE OWN
1. Forrest Woods Nature Preserve (near Cecil, Ohio, in Paulding County)
At 346 acres, Forrest Woods Nature Preserve is Black Swamp Conservancy's largest owned nature preserve. This site, which is one of the finest remnants of the historic Great Black Swamp, is home to more than 30 rare, threatened and endangered species of plants and animals.
This property is open to the public by permit only. Contact Melanie Coulter for permission.
Information on our current restoration project can be found here.
2. Water's Edge Preserve (south of Fremont, Ohio, in Sandusky County)
Purchased in 2013, more than 16,000 trees have been planted on this riverside preserve. This is one of the Conservancy's projects aimed at improving water quality and expanding wildlife habitat. In time, the preserve will be opened to limited public access for hiking, picnicking and fishing.
3. Redhorse Bend (near Fremont, Ohio, in Sandusky County)
This 78-acre property features 16 acres of forest and wetlands, along with 66 acres of farmland and just under a mile of stream channel on the main stem of the Sandusky River. The Conservancy is currently seeking funds to restore the cropland to natural habitats with plans of creating a public park here.
4. Little Auglaize Wildlife Reserve (near Cloverdale in Paulding County, Ohio )
This property comprises natural habitat with a mile and a half of river frontage. The 226-acre Little Auglaize Wildlife Reserve in Paulding County has been designated a sensitive species area, where preliminary surveys have identified pheasants, chorus frogs, painted turtles, river otters and the federally endangered Indiana bat, as well as 48 species of birds and more than 20 species of dragonflies and damselflies. The property also sits near the 1,444-mile Buckeye Trail.
In addition to continuing restoration of the area, plans include creating public outdoor recreation opportunities, such as hiking trails, birding, fishing, hunting and other activities.
5. Dr. Robert L. Nehls Memorial Nature Preserve (Catawba Island, Ohio)
This rare, waterfront property is positioned along the West Bay area of Catawba Island. The Conservancy purchased the site in 2019 and is working in partnership with Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge to restore habitats and open the site to public access. It is located near a water trail and not far from the Nature Conservancy's Great Egret Marsh Preserve. The Conservancy-protected Cedar Meadow Nature Preserve is also nearby.
6. Sugar Ridge Prairie (4825 Sugar Ridge Rd., Pemberville, Ohio)
A native habitat of the historic Great Black Swamp, Sugar Ridge Prairie features several prairie pothole wetlands and is ecologically connected to a private 118-acre forested wetland. The prairie serves as an environmental laboratory for regional high school and university students, and its walking trail is available for public use. The prairie also provides habitat for birds that migrate, breed or winter in the area, as well as vital ground for pollinator species that are in decline.
LAND WE PROTECT
7. River Cliff Park (near Fremont, Ohio, in Sandusky County)
With the Sandusky River as a centerpiece, this park features prairie habitat, woods, wetlands and river access near the city of Fremont. This site was acquired in 2017 by the Conservancy, and subsequently gifted to the Sandusky County Park District. The Conservancy and Park District are now working to restore natural habitats and develop visitor facilities.
Learn more about the park here.
8. 577 Foundation (577 E. Front St., Perrysburg, Ohio)
This 12.9-acre property is located in Perrysburg's historic district and owned by The 577 Foundation. The site and foundation were established by Virginia Secor Stranahan, founder of Black Swamp Conservancy. The property hosts a Maumee River walk, community gardens and many other outdoor and art activities for the community. Black Swamp Conservancy holds a land conservation agreement on the site, protecting the property in perpetuity.
Learn more about 577 Foundation.
9. South Shore Park Wetlands (Bayshore Rd., Oregon, Ohio)
The South Shore Park wetlands are part of a 17.8-acre wetland and stream restoration site owned and managed by the City of Oregon. Black Swamp Conservancy holds a land conservation agreement on the site, protecting it in perpetuity. This project involved the restoration of nearly 2 miles of stream channel and of more than 2.2 acres of wetlands at the outflow of Lake Erie.
Learn more about South Shore Park Wetlands.
10. Pearson Metropark Wetlands (Seaman and Wynn Rds., Oregon, Ohio)
Pearson Wetlands is a 248-acre wetland mitigation bank owned by Metroparks Toledo. This property, which was farmland as recently as 2006, has undergone extensive restoration work including: hydrological restoration, stream restoration and planting of more than 27,000 trees. Black Swamp Conservancy holds a land conservation agreement protecting the site in perpetuity. Ohio Wetlands Foundation is responsible for the wetland mitigation banking.
11. Port Clinton Lakefront Preserve (E. Perry St., Port Clinton, Ohio)
The Lakefront Preserve is a 14.7-acre property owned and managed by the City of Port Clinton. Black Swamp Conservancy helped to facilitate the purchase of the preserve and holds a land conservation agreement protecting the site in perpetuity. The Trust for Public Land was also an important partner, helping to secure funding for the project. The site is a popular fishing and resting area for bald eagles.
12. Cedar Meadow Preserve (4822 E. Cemetery Rd., Catawba Island, Ohio)
Cedar Meadow Preserve is a 63-acre property owned and managed by the Catawba Island Township. Black Swamp Conservancy helped to facilitate the purchase of the preserve and holds a conservation easement protecting the site in perpetuity. The preserve, which contains a mix of mature forest, wetlands, and grassland / shrubland, is an important stopover site for migratory birds.
Learn more about birds found at Cedar Meadow Preserve.
13. Middle Bass Island East Point Preserve (Middle Bass Island, Ohio)
The Middle Bass Island East Point Preserve is a 7.8-acre property owned and managed by the Put-In-Bay Township Park District. Black Swamp Conservancy helped to facilitate the purchase of the preserve and holds a land conservation agreement protecting the site in perpetuity. The Trust for Public Land was also an important partner, helping to secure funding for the project.
This property features 700 ft. of Lake Erie shoreline, mature forest and grasslands. This important migratory stopover site is Ohio's first kayak-only preserve, accessible from a dock on the shore.
Click here for more information.
14. Meadowbrook Marsh Preserve (Marblehead Peninsula, Ohio)
Owned and managed by Danbury Township in Ottawa County, Ohio, the 190-acre Meadowbrook Marsh Preserve includes trails, picnic areas and an observation platform for wildlife viewing. The property contains a diverse mixture of habitats and harbors a number of rare and threatened species.
Learn more about Meadowbrook Marsh here.
15. Blanchard River Nature Preserve (near Findlay in Hancock County, Ohio)
Owned by the Hancock County Park District and nestled in the southeast corner of Hancock County is the Blanchard River Nature Preserve. Home to six rare species (including two which are federally endangered), the property contains a mile and a half of natural river corridor.
Learn more about the Preserve at the Hancock County Park District.
16. Carter Historic Farm (north of Bowling Green, Ohio, on Carter Road)
This Wood County Park District property has been developed into a depression-era living history site. Life and farming in the 1930s are recreated through interactive programming utilizing the original homestead and barns. Along with 60 acres of farm ground, there is also a 10 acre woodlot on the property. The Conservancy has recently completed installation of a 20-acre wetland, which expands wildlife habitat on the property and will enhance the Park District's opportunities for interpretive programming.
For more information about the farm, visit the Park District website.
17. Sawyer Quarry Nature Preserve (26940 Lime City Rd., Perrysburg, Ohio)
Owned by the Wood County Park District, the Sawyer Quarry Nature Preserve is home to 60 acres of woods along with a limestone quarry and homestead. Black Swamp Conservancy facilitated the donation of this park in 2013 and holds a permanent land conservation agreement on the property. The Preserve is open for limited public use, including programs such as rope rappelling, seed cleanings, hiking and campouts.
Learn more about the preserve here.