Special Projects


An idle tractor sits in a field as sunrise turns the skies vibrant colors of red, orange, and blue

Preservation & Restoration Efforts Across Northeast Ohio

At Western Reserve Land Conservancy, some of the most rewarding work we do is taking natural areas without much in the way of protections, and transforming them into sites the public can use for recreation and education. We’re proud of our involvement in the transformation of these historic sites and greenspaces, and are always seeking further opportunities for conservation projects.

Brighton Park

Once the site of the Henninger Landfill, 25-acre Brighton Park is undergoing a comprehensive clean-up process to transform it into greenspace. Once entirely completed, the park will be home to a trail and greenway with scenic views of the Cuyahoga Industrial River Valley and Big Creek, and will help create connections in and around the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and the Old Brooklyn neighborhood.

2 kids holding signs that say

Save Grove Hill

The Grove Hill project is the result of a concerted campaign to protect a site with great natural and historic character from development. The Land Conservancy has helped to secure and preserve the site’s 1878-built mansion, the Bancroft House, as well as preserve and restore its trees. Discussions are ongoing on the process to transform the space into a public park in Chagrin Falls.

After many years of hard work and partnership, Kister Mill has been completely restored.

Kister Mill

Kister Mill is a 200 year old mill with a rich history in Northeast Ohio, known to have served a variety of different industries rather than just one, as was more typical in the era it operated. The Land Conservancy has been working with the mill’s owner to restore it and turn it into a destination for visitors to Wayne County’s Amish country.

A log on the forest floor surrounded by foliage.

Ashcroft Woods

Home to 178 acres of various wetlands, Ashcroft Woods offers nature trails filled with mature trees and vernal pools during the summer months. Outside of those months, it is also used for hunting by permit.

A person standing beside a sign in a prairie. The sign says

Oberlin Prairie

Comprising 63 acres in Lorain County, Oberlin Prairie boasts a huge assortment of native plants, including 600 types of wildflower plants, as well as a variety of different habitats that have provided homes for native species and opportunities for scientific research going back to the 19th century. It also has historical significance, as a stop on the Underground Railroad and the home of anti-slavery freedom fighter John A. Copeland, Jr.

An aerial view of a beach with sand and water

Vermilion Main Street Beach

Our work at Vermilion Beach along Lake Erie includes expansion of the beach, restoration of public greenspace, enhanced infrastructure, a public comfort area, a canoe and kayak launch, road and parking lot work, a beach access boardwalk, and demolition of a former museum space that had fallen into disrepair. The project is ongoing and in need of further support.

A fairly barren golden field with a ton of geese flying in the air

Sugar Island Preserve

Previously known as Bloomfield Swamp, Sugar Island Preserve is a nearly-completed restoration, including 300 acres of protected wetlands. In addition to wetland, the property, when complete and open to the public, will feature swamps, marshes, mature forests and wet meadows.