"There is no other wetland complex in Ohio that is like the Cuyahoga Wetlands and Snow Lake is the crown jewel of those wetlands," says Terry Seidel, Director of Protection for The Nature Conservancy in Ohio.
The Nature Conservancy's 272-acre Snow Lake Preserve, located in Geauga County, features an ancient kettle lake.
The kettle lake is surrounded by emergent marsh, sedge meadow and shrub swamp. The low hills around the lake support upland forest with scattered swamp forests and vernal pools - like the one pictured here.
The preserve is part of a 20,000-acre wetland complex of boggy bottomland known as the Cuyahoga Wetlands - an area that hasn't been drastically altered since the the last glacial sheet receded about 10,000 years ago.
The property is adjacent to a patchwork of 18,000 acres the City of Akron owns and manages in the Cuyahoga Wetlands to protect the city's drinking water reservoirs downstream. The 300,000 customers who rely on Akron's municipal water system benefit from the protection of Snow Lake and surrounding natural areas.
Snow Lake was part of the Western Reserve granted to Oliver Snow, a Revolutionary War veteran. It was developed in the early 1900s as a hunting and fishing club and was privately owned by a founding family for more than six decades.
Animals like beaver, mink, fox, and otter make their home here.
The preserve supports a variety of birds including migratory and nesting ducks, geese, trumpeter swans and wading birds like sandhill cranes, which nest on the property.
The Conservancy is developing a plan to open the property to the public, likely sometime in 2018. Learn more at nature.org/snowlake