Start receiving our award-winning magazine today!

Subscribe

Ohio

Kitty Todd Nature Preserve


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

Current Conservation 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. 

  • In 2007 the Conservancy restored 100 acres of wet prairie at Kitty Todd Preserve. 
     
  • Published in 2004, "Living in the Oak Openings; A Homeowner's Guide to one of the World's Last Great Places" helps landowners restore unique habitats.
     
  • In 2003, the Kitty Todd Preserve began taking part in a statewide butterfly monitoring program to identify the abundance of Ohio’s rare and common butterflies.
     
  • In 1998 the preserve was selected as the first location for the reintroduction of the Karner blue butterfly, an endangered species whose caterpillar will feed only on wild blue lupine, which thrives at Kitty Todd.
  • Because most Oak Openings species are dependent on frequent disturbance, especially fire, the Conservancy routinely employees specific management techniques such as prescribed burning and mowing to control woody succession.
  • The Conservancy is educating the public and landowners through Blue Weekend, an annual spring event that offers hikes, lectures, and family events.


What You’ll See

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. 

Directions

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.

Discussion

Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

Add Your Comments

Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

comments powered by Disqus



Read our guidelines on posting comments




We’re Accountable

The Nature Conservancy makes careful use of your support.

More Ratings

x animal

Sign up for Nature eNews!

Sign Up for Nature e-News

Get our e-newsletter filled with eco-tips and info on the places you care about most.

Thank you for joining our online community!

We’ll be in touch soon with more Nature Conservancy news, updates and exciting stories.

Please leave this field empty

We respect your privacy. The Nature Conservancy will not sell, rent or exchange your e-mail address. Read our full privacy policy for more information. By submitting this form, you agree to the Nature.org terms of use.