154-Acre Mature Forest in Stark County to Remain Wild

July 22, 2020

Western Reserve Land Conservancy is pleased to announce the permanent conservation of 154 acres of mature forest and wetlands in Stark County. The Land Conservancy – Ohio’s largest local land trust – finalized the project in May with a local landowner, Carl Dorn.

The property includes freshwater ponds, vernal pools, buttonbush swamp and more. It provides habitat for many native Ohio plant and animal species including Jefferson salamander, Virginia rail and the federally endangered Indiana bat.

Protecting our water quality starts with protecting the land. This property will be a vital part of a broader effort to protect land in order to protect water quality.

-Andy McDowell, Western Reserve Land Conservancy

Carl Dorn inherited the property from his deceased aunt and uncle, Freida and Harry Fravel. Just days after Freida’s passing, Carl was approached by numerous developers and interested parties with offers upwards of $1 million to purchase his property. But Carl’s love and respect for the land he was bestowed instead drove him to reach out to the Land Conservancy about placing permanent protections on the land, keeping it wild now and for future generations.

“Once land is developed, it’s gone forever,” Carl said. “I want to make sure I leave behind a legacy for myself and my aunt and uncle. This land is special, and I am confident that Western Reserve Land Conservancy understands how important to me it is to keep this property beautiful and wild.”

The Land Conservancy used funds from the Clean Ohio Fund’s Green Space Conservation program and from the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District through the Partners in Watershed Management grant program. The forested property also contains approximately 1,750 linear feet of streams, 3.5 acres of freshwater ponds, 2 acres of Buttonbush swamp, 7.5 acres of moist to wet shrub swamp, and over 2 acres of emergent marsh, ravines and vernal pools.

“Protecting our water quality starts with protecting the land,” said Andy McDowell, vice president of western field operations at Western Reserve Land Conservancy. “This property will be a vital part of a broader effort to protect land in order to protect water quality. It is one of the largest contiguous tracts of undisturbed forestland in an area surrounded by agricultural, residential and commercial lands.”

To date, Western Reserve Land Conservancy has conserved more than 62,000 acres of land across 26 counties in northern Ohio. The Dorn-Fravel Forest Preserve joins seven other Stark County properties that have been conserved for a total of more than 687 acres throughout the county.