Regional Land Protection in Northeast Ohio
The Western Reserve Land Conservancy (www.wrlandconservancy.org) has recently completed Common Ground, a regional land protection report for northern Ohio. The Western Reserve Land Conservancy is a nonprofit conservation organization in Moreland Hills, dedicated to preserving the natural resources of northern Ohio. Common Ground is the first-ever collaborative look at conservation in Northeast Ohio. The report is the result of the efforts of the region’s conservation community over the past year. It will soon be released to additional conservation partners and to the public.
Regional land conservation provides many benefits for Northeast Ohio. The ultimate objective of land conservation is to preserve the natural resources of the region that optimize quality of life for its inhabitants, including animals and plants as well as humans. Conservation protects existing open spaces, productive agricultural lands, ecologically-sensitive areas, and encourages more efficient land use within the existing development footprint. The ultimate vision of Western Reserve Land Conservancy is to ensure Northeast Ohio will be an authentic place where development is concentrated in historic urban areas such as Akron, Elyria, and Youngstown, in historic Western Reserve villages such as Chagrin Falls, Medina, Wooster, and Hudson, and, as needed, in new areas that promote lasting, community-oriented development. Working farms and urban gardens will flourish, supported by local markets that provide healthy and fresh produce that connects citizens to the land in a tangible, enduring way. Parks and preserves will connect people to the land, provide a safe place where children can play, and support a quality of life that attracts and retains diverse residents.
However, the Western Reserve Land Conservancy is not alone. Other land conservancies, both small and large, have operated successfully to protect many acres of farms, forests, and fields from spreading development. Some of these include national-level organizations like the Trust for Public Land (www.tpl.org) and The Nature Conservancy (www.nature.org). Others include local-level organizations within Northeast Ohio such as Gates Mills Land Conservancy (http://gatesmillslandconservancy.org/), the Killbuck Land Trust (www.killbucklandtrust.org) and the West Creek Preservation Committee (www.westcreek.org).
The Western Reserve Land Conservancy plans to release Common Ground over a series of events during the month of February. For more information about the report’s release, please contact the Conservancy at (440) 528-4150 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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