A Brief History of the Ohio Chapter

1950  In September, the Ecologist Union meets in Columbus, Ohio, and votes to change its name to The Nature Conservancy. Articles of incorporation are filed the following year in Washington, D.C.

1958  The Ohio Chapter of The Nature Conservancy is formed by "a small group of nature lovers, several being professional biologists." (J. Arthur Herrick) At the time, the national membership numbers 3,000.

1959 Cincinnati garden clubs donate most of the money to help the Ohio Chapter make its first purchase - Lynx Prairie in Adams County.

1963  Ohio Chapter has 500 members. Annual dues are $5.

1966  At its annual meeting, the Ohio Chapter unanimously supports creation of a system of state nature preserves.

1968  For the first time, the Ohio Chapter purchases land with the express intent of transferring it to a government agency - 100 acres of Cedar Bog near Urbana. It was later repurchased by the Ohio Historical Society.

1971  The Ohio Chapter hires its first full time and paid staff - Roy Douglas Roach. The chapter moves its headquarters to the Columbus area (Reynoldsburg) after many years in Dayton.

1976  The Ohio Chapter establishes Ohio's Natural Heritage Database and provides the original staff for the program. The program is later turned over to the ODNR's Division of Natural Areas and Preserves.

1981  Ohio Chapter launches "Ohio Lands Forever" campaign, to raise $1 million to protect 11 of Ohio's finest natural areas. Barbara Lipscomb is the campaign chair.

1983  Celebrating its 25th Anniversary, the Ohio Chapter is credited with protecting more than 11,000 acres. The first full-time land steward is hired - Don Hirsh.

1988  The chapter announces the public phase of its $7.5 million capital campaign, "Ohio, let's save the best to last." Lucia Nash is the campaign chair. This fundraising effort includes a goal to raise $200,000 for conservation priorities in Latin America.

1991  Big Darby Creek watershed is one of the first of 12 large-scale conservation projects nationwide to be named a 'Last Great Place' by The Nature Conservancy.

1997  "Wings of the Americas" program links conservation efforts at the Edge of Appalachia Preserve system to the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area in Belize. A year later, the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation pledges $400,000 to support the program, specifically to protect winter habitat in Belize for migratory birds that nest in Ohio.

2001  U.S.-Belize debt-for-nature swap includes a $1.3 million assist from The Nature Conservancy, including $500,000 from the Ohio Chapter.

2004  The chapter raised more than $21 million over the past five years as part of the organization's worldwide "Campaign for Conservation." Bill Ginn was the chair.



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