The Nature Conservancy’s
Kitty Todd Nature Preserve

Credit: Randall Schieber


10420 Old State Line Road
Swanton, OH 43558

Website  |  Get directions to this location

Site Overview

The Nature Conservancy’sKitty Todd Nature Preserve encompasses nearly 1,000 acres located within the 130-square-mile Oak Openings region. The preserve’s oak savanna prairie and forest developed on a combination of sand with an underlying clay layer deposited by glacial lakes, which resulted in an unusual geology featuring sand barrens, sedge meadows, wet prairie communities, oak savannas and a number of small sand dunes. Toledo conservationist and former Nature Conservancy board member Kitty Todd worked tirelessly to preserve this region, which abounds with a wide variety of rare plants and animals. It was named in her honor on her death in 1980.

Why It Matters

Home to the globally endangered black oak savanna community, the preserve has one of the highest concentrations of rare species of any nature preserve in the state. Notable species include the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly and the state-endangered lark sparrow. The preserve also has one of Ohio’s largest swaths of wild lupine, and more than 100 state-listed rare plants such as the prickly-pear cactus, yellow-fringed orchid, cross-leaved milkwort, grass-pink orchid and Skinner's foxglove.

Located in a rural suburban area, the Oak Openings region of Northwest Ohio, which Kitty Todd Preserve is a part of, is protected by a consortium of entities under the umbrella of the Green Ribbon Initiative.  The grass-roots effort strives to protect the unique landscape by creating a biological and recreational corridor of preserved land—a "green ribbon" of natural beauty, rare plant and animal species, and quality recreation opportunities that support not just wildlife, but also human communities.

Natural Treasures Landmark

Join hundreds of others who have chronicled their adventures! Take a picture of yourself at the Oak Savanna Trail Entrance welcome sign at Kitty Todd Nature Preserve and upload it to our site.

Fun Things to Do and See

While on the hunt for the landmark, enjoy the abundant adventures this Ohio treasure has to offer. The thrill of nature can be experienced at any level!

Patio Dweller

  • Bring your binoculars and see how many different birds and butterflies you can spot. While exploring the preserve, look for red-headed woodpeckers in the open woodlands.
  • Pack your lunch and settle down at the preserve picnic table to dine to the acoustics of the eastern bluebirds.

Backyard Camper

  • Lace up your hiking boots and embark on a one-mile journey along the Oak Savanna Trail and the Cactus Loop Trail. Be on the lookout for the beautiful orange flowers of the butterfly milkweed that dot the foliage along the way.

Frontier Explorer

  • Inspired by the beauty?  Sign up to volunteer at Kitty Todd Preserve and help to protect this unique ecosystem for future generations. 

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