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 more than 18,000 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 our protected properties that feature public access.

 
LAND WE OWN

1. Forrest Woods Nature Preserve / Forder Bridge River Access Site

 (located in Paulding County, near Cecil)

At 393 acres, Forrest Woods Nature Preserve is The Conservancy’s largest owned nature preserve. One of the finest remnants of the historic Great Black Swamp, this site is home to 39 rare, threatened and endangered species of plants and animals.

Our team has completed several stream and wetland restoration projects at Forrest Woods since 2016, re-creating 145 acres of natural habitat and returning nearly a mile of agricultural ditches back to functioning streams.

Forder’s Bridge is an official public access point for the Maumee River Water Trail. More information on the trail can be found here. The remainder of this property is open to the public by permit only. Contact Melanie Coulter for permission to visit Forrest Woods.

Property information: Species Inventory

2. Water's Edge Preserve (located in Sandusky County, south of Fremont)

Water’s Edge is one of the Conservancy's projects aimed at improving water quality and expanding wildlife habitat.

More than 16,000 trees were planted on this riverside preserve in 2013, with a goal of re-foresting this section of the Sandusky River’s riparian corridor. 

The preserve is open to limited public access for hiking, wildlife observation and fishing. Contact Melanie Coulter for permission to visit Water’s Edge. 

3. Redhorse Bend (located in Sandusky County, north of Fremont)

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 has secured an H2Ohio grant to restore this property back to natural habitat and functioning floodplain. We are working closely on this project with our partners at Sandusky County Park District and plan to open the property as a public park in 2021. 

4. Little Auglaize Wildlife Reserve (located in Paulding County, near Cloverdale)

The 226-acre Little Auglaize Wildlife Reserve in Paulding County features a diverse variety of natural habitats and has been designated a sensitive species area.

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, established in 2019, contains more than one half mile of the Little Auglaize River and is located along 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.

The preserve is open to limited public access for hiking and wildlife observation. Contact Melanie Coulter for permission to visit the Little Auglaize Wildlife Reserve.

Click here for more information on the Buckeye Trail

5. Dr. Robert L. Nehls Memorial Nature Preserve (located in Ottawa County on Catawba Island)

This waterfront property is positioned along the West Bay area of Catawba Island.

The Conservancy purchased the site in 2019 and is now working in partnership with Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge to restore natural habitats on the property and open it to public access.

 

6. Pat and Clint Mauk's Prairie (located in Wood County, near Pemberville)

Pat and Clint Mauk’s Prairie is located next to the Conservancy’s headquarters at 4825 Sugar Ridge Road, Pemberville.

The property features thirty acres of native prairie habitat and contains several prairie pothole wetlands.

A one-mile public trail runs through the prairie and is open to the public from dawn until dusk. Visitors can park in the lot behind our office.

7. St. Joseph's River Confluence Preserve (located in Williams County, near Pioneer)

The east and west branches of the St. Joseph’s River converge on this preserve, which was purchased by the Conservancy in 2019.

The 140-acre property contains more than a mile of the St. Joseph River and features an extensive complex of high-quality wetlands, believed to support a population of the federally Threatened Copper Belly Water Snake.

The Conservancy has secured an H2Ohio grant to restore portions of this property that have historically been in agricultural use back to natural habitat and functioning floodplain in 2020-2021. 


LAND WE PROTECT

 

8. River Cliff Park (1329 Tiffin Street, Fremont)

The Conservancy purchased River Cliff Golf Course in 2017 and donated it to our partners at Sandusky County Park District to be used as a public park. We maintain a conservation agreement on the land ensuring it is protected forever.

The Parks are currently working to restore the former greens and fairways to natural habitat and to open the property’s river access to the public.

Learn more about the park here.

9. 577 Foundation (577 E. Front St., Perrysburg)

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.

10. South Shore Park Wetlands (Bayshore Rd., Oregon)

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 two miles of stream channel and more than 2.2 acres of wetlands at the outflow of Lake Erie.

Learn more about South Shore Park Wetlands.

11. Pearson Metropark Wetlands (Seaman Rd., Oregon)

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.

For more information, visit Metroparks Toledo and the Ohio Wetlands Foundation

12. Port Clinton Lakefront Preserve (E. Perry St., Port Clinton)

The Lakefront Preserve is a 14.7-acre property owned and managed by the City of Port Clinton.

The site is a popular fishing and resting area for bald eagles.

Black Swamp Conservancy helped 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. 

13. Cedar Meadow Preserve (4822 E. Cemetery Rd., Catawba Island)

Cedar Meadow Preserve is a 63-acre property owned and managed by the Catawba Island Township.

Black Swamp Conservancy helped 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.

14. Middle Bass Island East Point Preserve (Middle Bass Island)

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 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.

Click here for more information.

15. Meadowbrook Marsh Preserve (8577 E. Bayshore Road, Marblehead)

The Conservancy purchased the core of Meadowbrook Marsh in 2013 and donated it to Danbury Township to be used as an expansion of its existing public park. We now hold a conservation agreement permanently protecting the entire 190-acre preserve.

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 including a nesting population of Black Crowned Night Herons.

Learn more about Meadowbrook Marsh here.

16. Blanchard River Nature Preserve (22006 County Road 17, Forrest)

The Conservancy purchased the Blanchard River Nature Preserve in 2013 and donated it to the Hancock County Park District for use as a public park.

Home to six rare species, two of which are federally endangered, the property contains a mile and a half of natural river corridor and is the beginning point of the Blanchard River Water Trail.

Learn more about the Preserve at the Hancock County Park District.

More information on the Blanchard River Water Trail can be found here.

17. Carter Historic Farm (18331 Carter Road, Bowling Green)

In 2000, Lyle and Sally Loomis donated their family farm to the Wood County Park District. At the same time, they granted a conservation agreement to The Conservancy ensuring the property’s permanent protection.

The 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 farmland, there is also a 10-acre woodlot on the property. The Conservancy completed installation of a 20-acre restored wetland in 2019, which expands wildlife habitat on the property and enhances the Park District's opportunities for interpretive programming.

For more information about the farm, visit the Park District website.

18. Sawyer Quarry Nature Preserve (26940 Lime City Rd., Perrysburg)

Black Swamp Conservancy facilitated the donation of this property to the Wood County Park District in 2013 and holds a permanent conservation agreement protecting the property.

Sawyer Quarry Nature Preserve features 60 acres of woods along with a former limestone quarry and homestead. The Preserve is known for its diverse spring wildflower blooms and popular rappelling programs.

Learn more about the preserve here.

18. Christy Farm Nature Preserve (1900 Old Oak Harbor Rd., Fremont)

The Conservancy partnered with Christy Farm Nature Preserve in 2014 to permanently protect the property with a conservation agreement.

In 2019, the nonprofit organization that owned the preserve donated the land to Sandusky County Park District for use as a public park.

Situated along Muskellunge Creek, this property contains a variety of natural habitats including forests, grasslands and wetlands.

The Parks are now working to establish the improvements necessary for providing public access to the site.