In 2015, the Conservancy small farmhouse in rural Wood County and established a permanent office space. That moved our daily operations closer to our work. The office abuts Bell Woods, one of the finest remnants of the Historic Great Black Swamp, which is protected by a permanent conservation agreement.
The property also features thirty acres of prairie habitat. Though the prairie was not yet protected, the owners were very supportive of outdoor education and have allowed us to use it for programming and public use. Over the years, we have hosted thousands of community members for nature walks, photography workshops, hayrides and other activities. Last year the owners decided to sell the prairie. Located across the street from Eastwood Schools and next to protected natural habitat, the property was prime for residential development and offers were quickly made.
The right of first refusal gave us a narrow thirty-day window to complete the purchase, which was not enough time to secure needed grant funding. We are incredibly grateful for supporters Chuck and Carol Stocking, who very generously agreed to purchase the property and hold it for us while we sought funding. With matching funds provided by the Stockings, the Conservancy was able to secure a grant from the Clean Ohio Conservation
fund and complete the purchase earlier this year.
In honor of the late Clint Mauk, a Conservancy founder, and his wife Pat, the property is being dedicated as Pat & Clint Mauk’s Prairie. A small ceremony is being planned for later this summer with the Mauk family.