Places We Protect

Evans R. Beck Memorial Nature Preserve


Beck Fen is one of only a few high-quality fens that remain of the once extensive wetland system that formed the upper watershed of Tinkers Creek.
Beck Fen Nature Preserve Beck Fen is one of only a few high-quality fens that remain of the once extensive wetland system that formed the upper watershed of Tinkers Creek. © Jim Didham

Beck Fen is one of the few remaining high-quality fens of a once extensive wetland system in northeast Ohio.



Evans R. Beck Memorial Nature Preserve, commonly known as Beck Fen, is one of the few high-quality fens that remain of a once extensive wetland system. It was part of a network of fens in the upper watershed of Tinkers Creek within the Western Allegheny Plateau Ecoregion. Today, the fens that remain are Beck Fen, the Conservancy's Herrick Fen and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Gott Fen.

Beck Fen was formed approximately 18,000 years ago when the retreat of glaciers left behind large deposits of water-saturated gravel. The cold, oxygen-deficient, alkaline water that flows to the surface provides habitat for fen species.

Native Plants

At least eight different types of sedges dominate the vegetation in Beck Fen. The fen environment contributes to the accumulation of sedge peat and the establishment of additional fen species such as shrubby cinquefoil. The growth of sphagnum mosses in Beck Fen provides an acidic environment for the shrub leather-leaf and the insectivorous round-leaved sundew.

Many rare wildflowers and sedges bloom during the spring and summer at Beck Fen. These include: Blunt mountain-mint, Marsh arrow-grass, Wand-lily, Northern bayberry and Showy lady's-slipper.

Other interesting species include: Swamp milkweed, Great angelica, Shrub leather-leaf, Round-leaved sundew, Bog bedstraw, Water avens, Northern rose azalea, Hoary willow and Autumn willow.



This nature preserve is closed to the public in order to protect sensitive habitats.


Near Streetsboro, Ohio

Map with marker: To see a similar habitat, please visit our beautiful J. Arthur Herrick Fen Preserve.

Explore our work in this region

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site

The fen, although small in size at 10 acres, is of high quality and is dedicated as a scientific nature preserve. Invasion by glossy buckthorn and cattails are ongoing threats to the wetland plant communities of northeastern Ohio. The cattails form very dense stands to the east and north of the fen. Buckthorn is present throughout the fen and along the railroad embankment. Purple loosestrife has been found in adjacent wetlands and would present a serious threat to the community if allowed to invade the fens. Woody succession may threaten the open fen communities.

The local area around the fen is undergoing tremendous development pressure. Loss of wetland and upland habitat to industrial and commercial development is commonplace. Negative impacts from this disturbance include increased surface runoff, chemical contamination and sedimentation into the fen.

What TNC has Done/is Doing

The biological goal at this site is to preserve the integrity of the fen community, and monitor the community and several of its rare species, including the population of showy lady’s-slipper. Ongoing control is needed to keep the invasive species in check at the preserve. Additional land acquisition to buffer the preserve is being pursued also.

Learn more about our work and help us protect the lands and waters in Ohio.

In Ohio, we have preserves and project sites located around the state from Lake Erie to the Ohio River; from farmlands to forests; from prairies to wetlands. Ohio has an abundance of riches to enjoy and protect.