Creating Thriving Communities

For over 35 years, Western Reserve Land Conservancy - Ohio's largest land trust - has been conserving land and creating healthy communities across Northeast Ohio. In 2011, the nonprofit created the Thriving Communities program, dedicated to conservation and restoration work in Cleveland. The successes are numerous: 15,000 trees planted, new public parks created, and thousands of abandoned buildings demolished and repurposed. The Land Conservancy's success is built upon strong partnerships with city agencies, local nonprofits, community development corporations, local neighbors, and more.

Western Reserve Land Conservancy’s Reforest Our City Program has planted and distributed more than 14,000 trees in Cuyahoga County. For this virtual tour, we would like to highlight our holistic approach to urban reforestation which includes tree planting, tree distribution, and long term care of trees, our community Side Yard program, our Tree Steward training program, and our leadership of the Cleveland Tree Coalition – a collaborative group of public, private, and community stakeholders partnering with the City of Cleveland to rebuild our urban forest and reclaim Cleveland’s identity as “The Forest City”.

Each year we celebrate conservation heroes by honoring them with the Grimm Family Conservation Medal. The award was established many years ago in honor of Dick and Sue Grimm and the generous gift they made to our land conservation fund.

Introducing the 2023 Grimm Family Award winners: Awnhee and Mark Hoberecht.

Introducing the 2020 Grimm Family Award winners: Phil and Joyce Balderston.

Introducing the 2020 Grimm Family Medal Winners: Earl and Corrine Rickabaugh.

Conservation Celebration

The 48 miles of Chagrin River are enjoyed year round by families swimming, fisherman catching steelhead, animals stopping for a drink. We depend on this water to sustain our people, our plants, and our wildlife. On this virtual tour we will take you on a journey through the Chagrin River, the organizations working to protect the adjacent land, and how that ultimately protects the river and the entire Chagrin River Watershed.

When Grand River Partners, Inc. merged with Western Reserve Land Conservancy in 2011, Ashcroft Woods was a 379-acre gem. Since then, the property has grown to more than 1,000 acres. The story of Ashcroft Woods is about the long haul of conservation. It’s not about conserving the 1,000-acre site in one fell swoop, it’s about being tenacious and determined, building relationships with landowners so they know we’re dedicated to conservation and preserving their land for future generations. Ashcroft Woods is a wild place, and saving wild places saves the wildlife that inhabit them.

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