The 130-square-mile Oak Openings Region in Northwest Ohio is a complex of oak savanna and wet prairie that developed on sand and clay deposited by glacial Lake Warren—the ancient predecessor of Lake Erie.
A centerpiece of this region is The Nature Conservancy’s 1,000-acre Kitty Todd Preserve, a model for land management practices and a popular place to explore.
Kitty Todd Preserve is composed of low-lying wetlands and windblown sand dunes populated by prairie, oak savanna, woodland and forest—all set in a rural suburban area.
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 Karner blue butterfly and wild lupine (both pictured).
Another notable species found at Kitty Todd Preserve is the endangered lark sparrow (eggs pictured here). All told, Kitty Todd is home to roughly 140 native bird species, earning it a spot along the new Lake Erie Birding Trail.
In addition to birding, the preserve is a popular place for families to hike, wildlife-watch and volunteer.
Because preserve species are dependent on frequent disturbances like fire, visitors to the preserve may see evidence of recent prescribed burns (as seen here).
The Nature Conservancy invites you to enjoy Kitty Todd Preserve and learn more about how this remarkable system supports both wildlife and people. Plan your visit today!