KITTY TODD PRESERVE
Ohio’s earliest European settlers found the sandy soils of the Oak Openings Region to be unfit for growing crops, but it didn’t take botanists long to figure out that this ‘sand country’ was unparalleled in the state for the propagation of rare and wild plants.
The 130-square-mile Oak Openings Region is a complex of oak savanna and wet prairie that developed on sand and clay deposited by glacial Lake Warren, the ancient predecessor of present day Lake Erie. The combination of porous sandy soils of the former beach ridges and an impervious clay layer beneath those soils creates an unforgiving environment that fluctuates from flooding in the spring to arid in midsummer.
The Nature Conservancy’s 1,000-acre Kitty Todd Preserve is a centerpiece of the Oak Openings Region and is a model of land management practices for the region.
You play a critical role in restoring this magnificent landscape when you support our work.
Residential and industrial development in the area is accelerating, resulting in habitat loss and fragmentation. The region also has suffered from cessation of natural disturbances such as fire and changes in hydrology caused by drainage ditches and filled wetlands. The Conservancy has been working to combat these threats through land acquisition, education, and restoration efforts.
Kitty Todd Preserve is composed of low-lying wetlands and windblown sand dunes populated by prairie, oak savanna, woodland and forest 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 lark sparrow, Karner blue butterfly and wild lupine.
Hiking, Wildlife-watching, volunteering (view all available Kitty Todd volunteer positions)
Kitty Todd Preserve is open to the public Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the first weekend of the month from May through October. During open weekends, guided hikes are offered on Saturdays at 2:00.
Kitty Todd is a stop along the new Lake Erie Birding Trail. See what other sites are on the route.
From Interstate 475 on the west side of Toledo:
- Exit at Airport Highway (State Route 2), traveling west toward the Toledo Express Airport
- Turn right (north) on Eber Road
- Eber Road dead ends into Old State Line Road
- Turn left onto Old State Line Road
- Follow the signs to the preserve office and parking lot at 10420 Old State Line Road.