Stories in Ohio

United By Nature

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A wooden boardwalk leads to a lake through fall-colored vegetation under a blue sky with wispy clouds.

Thanks to supporters like you, we're defining a new path for conservation in Ohio.

Snow Lake Located in the Lucia S. Nash Preserve, Snow Lake is an ancient kettle lake, created when glaciers once covered northern Ohio. © Randall Schieber

Imagine a world where people are not separate from nature, but intertwined with it. A world where our lands and waters are protected and restored, where people, wildlife and nature can thrive.

The Nature Conservancy’s vision for Ohio and the world is built on the understanding that people are a part of nature. We know that communities and local economies can thrive alongside Ohio’s irreplaceable forests, streams, wetlands and grasslands. 

You are helping us bring this vision to life.

Together, our efforts will yield positive impacts for every Ohioan—all 11.7 million of us and counting—and the billions more who benefit from the shared systems that connect Ohio and the Midwest to the rest of our planet.

Bill Stanley headshot.
Bill Stanley State Director, Ohio © David Ike

Thank You

As I reflect on the remarkable strides we've made together in conservation, I am filled with gratitude for supporters like you who share our passion for protecting and preserving the environment. Your support has been the bedrock of our success.

I invite you to consider a gift that echoes your continued commitment to preserving the beauty and diversity of nature in Ohio. Your contribution to our United By Nature campaign plays a pivotal role in advancing conservation efforts aimed at ensuring the availability of clean water and fresh air, as well as preserving the awe-inspiring beauty of nature. Together, we can make a lasting impact and leave a legacy of conservation for future generations. Thank you for being a steadfast ally in our mission to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.

-Bill Stanley, Director, TNC Ohio

Trees in a forest highlighted by a sunbeam.
Protecting Ohio's Nature Ohio exhibits a stunning collection of rare plant and animal diversity—and you are a key partner in helping us to protect our vital natural areas. © Rebecca Nieminen

United By Nature

In 2020, The Nature Conservancy in Ohio launched a six-year campaign for conservation. The campaign directly supports our work to protect Ohio’s lands and waters, transition to sustainable use of resources and inspire more people to act for nature.

The challenges we face are enormous—from a changing climate to the loss of biodiversity and a growing population. United By Nature is part of our vision to tackle these issues as we strive to create a world where people and nature thrive together.

But this work will take all of us. Every person and every dollar will make a difference. If you’ve made a gift to our United By Nature campaign, thank you! If not, we invite you to join us on the path ahead with your gift.

Our United By Nature Goals

Ohio is home to diverse natural areas, plants and wildlife. But they face an uncertain future. We’ve chosen the following areas where, together, we can make the greatest impact—click each tile to learn more.

Your Impact in Ohio

Through contributions to The Nature Conservancy in Ohio’s United By Nature campaign, supporters like you have made an impact in all of our work for nature and people. Here are just a few of the milestones we have achieved together.

Your Contributions in Action

  • Land icon.

    1,700

    Acres of land protected.

  • Heron and marsh plants icon.

    18,000

    Acres of wetlands restored by both TNC and partners.

  • Icon of three deciduous trees.

    12,000

    Acres of natural areas managed with partners.

  • Cloud icon with CO2 written on it.

    770,000

    Metric tons of CO2 removed from the atmosphere.

A field of wild lupine at sunrise.
Wild Blue Lupines Blooming in late spring and early summer, wild blue lupines thrive in the sandy soils of the oak savannas at the Kitty Todd Preserve. © Andy Morrison

Restoring Ohio's Waters

From the shores of Lake Erie to the banks of the Ohio River, water sustains us. We rely on it for drinking water, industry, recreation and so much more. Lake Erie alone supplies drinking water to 11 million people.

In 2023, TNC worked to restore and protect our waters and the lands that cradle them to ensure that we protect our health and wellbeing today and into the future. 

Aerial image of stream at Big Darby Headwaters.
Big Darby Headwaters TNC staff improved Big Darby Headwaters Creek. © David Ike

A Win for Clean Water

Thanks to partners and support from people like you, we have restored 7.2 miles of streams and more than 155 acres of wetlands over the past two years through 13 projects led by the Ohio Mitigation Program, with 23 additional projects in various stages of implementation or evaluation.

Explore Our Work in Water

Throughout Ohio, TNC is working to protect and restore Ohio's water, from wetlands to rivers and beyond. Follow the links below to learn more about our efforts to secure clean water for every person in Ohio.

  • A sunset in a pink-orange sky over the waters of Lake Erie.

    Securing Clean Water for Ohio

    The health and wellbeing of 11 million people in Ohio is directly tied to the health of our water. Discover how we're protecting clean water for all. Learn More

  • An aerial view of green ground between small bodies of water that make up the coastal wetlands along the shoreline of Sandusky Bay.

    Restoring Sandusky Bay

    Working with partners throughout Ohio, TNC is helping to revitalize the waters and wetlands that flow into Sandusky Bay. Learn More

Protecting Ohio's Lands

Climate change and loss of biodiversity threaten the future of people and nature worldwide. The Nature Conservancy is addressing these interconnected issues by conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. 

Here in Ohio, we’re doing our part by conserving valuable habitats that will help us achieve our climate and biodiversity goals. By protecting and restoring habitats like wetlands, streams, rivers, lakes and forests, TNC is helping to reconnect fragmented habitats for plants and wildlife while ensuring the resiliency of these systems to support people and nature in a changing climate. 

A stream running over rocks in a forest.
Freshwater Tributary Protection of the Frame tract at Edge of Appalachia Preserve helps protect 1/3 of a mile of Middle Branch Run, a tributary of Scioto Brush Creek. © Terry Seidel/TNC

A Win for Land Protection

In 2023, we acquired and protected three parcels of land, adding 287 acres to our Edge of Appalachia preserve. The Frame tract, Portman tract, and Wayne Moore tract protect some of Ohio's most resilient watersheds, rare prairie habitats, forested hills and uncommon and state-listed species.

Explore Our Land Protection Work

From the wet prairies near Toledo to the forests buffering Cincinnati and all the greenspace between them—TNC is working to protect, restore and reconnect Ohio's most climate-resilient lands.

  • An aerial view of the forested hills of the Edge of Appalachia Preserve System.

    Conserving Ohio's Climate-Resilient Lands

    Ohio's natural areas support a thriving recreation industry and an array of plants and wildlife. Discover how we're protecting climate-resilient lands for all. Learn More

  • A small waterfall flowing over a rock outcrop in a forested stream.

    Protecting Places Crucial for Nature in Ohio

    Ohio’s natural areas are as bountiful as they are beautiful. Discover how we're safeguarding biodiversity through land protection across the state. Learn More

Driving Climate Action in Ohio

Climate change is no longer a crisis of the distant future. It's here, now. We see it happening in extreme wildfires, droughts, floods, hotter temperatures and rising sea levels. To survive, we need to adapt our thinking and our actions to account for the severe changes we already see happening. 

But to thrive in the coming years, we need to lean on and into nature and the cost-effective solutions that already exist. While there is no one, true solution to the myriad of issues we face from climate disruptions, we have hope. From practical solutions such as solar panels to poltical advocacy and growing partnerships, TNC is working on diverse and innovative solutions to tackle the growing climate challenges. 

Solar panels installed on the roof of a picnic shelter.
Renewable Energy Solar panels were installed at the Grand River Conservation Campus in 2022. © Anthony F Belfast

A Win for Climate Action

We installed solar panels at the Grand River Conservation Campus to help power pavilion lights, nature center and electric vehicle charging stations, all while saving the amount of CO2 emitted by 111 tons of coal over the next 30 years.

Explore Our Climate Action Work

We are all connected by the water we drink, the air we breathe and the lands that feed us. Yet the world’s rapidly changing climate is straining the systems we rely on to live. TNC in Ohio is turning to nature for science-based solutions to tackle climate change in the state.

  • A wooden boardwalk path through a green forest.

    Creating Solutions for Climate Change in Ohio

    limate change threatens the health of people and the planet, but nature can help. Learn how TNC is creating a climate-resilient future for Ohio. Learn More

  • A row of solar panels in a field under a blue sky dotted with white clouds.

    Creating a Clean Energy Future in Ohio

    TNC is helping to create a renewable energy future in Ohio that benefits the economy and reduces impacts to nature. Discover how we're doing it.

Our 2030 Goals

Explore The Nature Conservancy's bold goals for 2030.

Learn More

Our Impact Beyond Ohio

Ohio was the first TNC chapter to support conservation outside the state. Since then, The Nature Conservancy has emerged as a global problem solver and a respected voice for nature in some of Earth’s most remote places. 

Now more than ever, we have a unique opportunity to positively impact the health of the natural world, and the communities that depend on them. We understand the imperative need to halt climate change and biodiversity loss, and believe achieving global change starts at home.

With 2030 organizational goals as our North Star, Ohio is developing and leading tangible projects and programs that benefit people and nature beyond our state. At the same time, we are drawing from scientific research, Indigenous wisdom and diverse partnerships locally and globally to create a healthier, more resilient planet for all.

And you are a vital part of our work. Because of your generosity and support, we're not only able to set ambitious goals for a thriving future—we're strongly positioned to meet those goals. 

Two women examine crops in a field.
Lesley and Logan Riker Farm Lesley and Logan Riker farm 750 acres in northwest Ohio and have expanded their cover crop operation with financial support from Ohio's H2Ohio program. © David Ike
A male summer tanager on a branch.
Summer Tanager Long distance migrants, summer tanagers depend on protected natural areas where they can hunt bees and wasps as they fly between South America to southern Ohio each year. © Mr_Jamsey/Getty Images Signature
Solar panels among green plants.
Agrivoltaics TNC is working to create wildlife-friendly solar sites. © Joanna Kulesza
A black bear and her cub sitting in a forest.
Black Bear Protecting forests provides habitat for wildlife.i © Dave Shaffer/TNC Photo Contest 2022
Two women examine crops in a field.
Lesley and Logan Riker Farm Lesley and Logan Riker farm 750 acres in northwest Ohio and have expanded their cover crop operation with financial support from Ohio's H2Ohio program. © David Ike

Agriculture

4R Nutrient Stewardship

Initially developed and launched in Ohio, the 4R Nutrient Stewardship program is now a multi-state effort that has led to 4R practices—applying the right fertilizer to crops at the right rate, time and in the right places—on more than 10 million acres across the United States and the province of Ontario. 4.5 million of these acres were influenced by TNC’s work in Ohio.

A male summer tanager on a branch.
Summer Tanager Long distance migrants, summer tanagers depend on protected natural areas where they can hunt bees and wasps as they fly between South America to southern Ohio each year. © Mr_Jamsey/Getty Images Signature

Global Connections

Focal Places Pilot

The Nature Conservancy launched our global Focal Places pilot, which was designed to provide internal resources and expertise to the regions with the greatest potential to advance our ambitious 2030 goals. All four of the Focal Places—Kalimantan, the Amazon, Kenya, and the Appalachians Mountains—were selected because of their high importance for biodiversity and carbon sequestration.

Solar panels among green plants.
Agrivoltaics TNC is working to create wildlife-friendly solar sites. © Joanna Kulesza

Clean Energy

Advancing Renewable Energy

TNC is helping to bridge the gap between conservation of natural areas and the demands of a clean energy economy while also advocating for legislative action that will support both. We are using the power of nature and the strength of policy and markets to reduce emissions, support renewable energy and store carbon to reach our global goal of avoiding or sequestering 3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year by 2030.

A black bear and her cub sitting in a forest.
Black Bear Protecting forests provides habitat for wildlife.i © Dave Shaffer/TNC Photo Contest 2022

Connecting Lands

Protecting Wildlife

In addition to storing 20% of the eastern U.S.’s forest carbon and supplying freshwater to millions of people, the Appalachian Mountains provide an important pathway for wildlife to move and adapt in a changing climate. In southern Ohio, we’re striving to bridge the gap between the Shawnee State Forest and the Richard and Lucile Durrell Edge of Appalachia Preserve System to connect vital plant and animal habitats and build a forest more resilient to climate change.

Ways to Give

There are many ways to give to The Nature Conservancy that aren’t a cash gift or pledge. Many of TNC’s supporters give in other ways that better suit their individual situations. Four of the most common are listed below. Like other charitable gifts, they can provide significant tax advantages. If you are interested in having a conversation with a member of our Development Team about these or other options for giving to TNC, please reach out to Meg Sekas, Development Operations Manager, at meg.sekas@tnc.org or by phone at 380-206-2172.

  • A child crouches on a boardwalk in a forest.

    Gifts for Today

    The threats to our natural world have never been greater and the need for bold solutions has never been more urgent. Your gift today puts the best conservation science into action right now. Make your United by Nature gift today.

  • A bald eagle in flight.

    The Legacy Club

    Legacy Club members—those who include TNC in their estate plans—are critical to long-term conservation success and stability. More than 20 percent of the funds TNC raises globally for conservation come from Legacy Club gifts. Learn more about the Legacy Club.

  • A male Karner blue butterfly on orange flowers.

    Donor Advised Fund

    A cost-effective and efficient alternative to establishing a private foundation, this flexible fund represents a commitment to TNC that also preserves the donor’s ability to choose how and when distributions are made, at their own pace. Learn more about Donor Advised Funds.

  • Sunlight shining through trees onto a trail.

    Charitable IRA Rollover

    Some donors are surprised to find that they can put their IRAs to work for nature! Direct distributions from one’s IRA to TNC can be made without incurring income tax on the withdrawal, while also protecting Wisconsin’s lands and waters. Learn about Charitable IRA donations.