Ashcroft Woods Conservation Area contains approximately 1,000 acres of contiguous natural areas owned and managed by Western Reserve Land Conservancy. Ashcroft Woods Conservation Area is a 379-acre protected property located in Rome Township in Southern Ashtabula County. The Grand River – an Ohio designated Scenic River – flows along the approximately 1.2-mile western property boundary. The property is dominated by approximately 178 acres of high quality wetlands, including 52 acres of open water submergent wetlands, 45 acres of scrub-shrub wetlands, swamp forest and isolated vernal pools. The majority of these wetlands are located on the eastern portion of the property and drain into the headwaters of Plum Creek, a direct tributary of the Grand River. The upland sections of this forest is largely composed of mature red oak, white oak, sugar maple, American beech, black cherry, and hickory while the floodplain areas adjacent to the river display black walnut, sycamore, black maple and silver maple. The property contains approximately 2 miles of public access trails that meander across all the beauty of this property.
Grand River Partners, Inc. (GRPI) originally purchased the property in December of 2008 with funding support from Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife (ODNR DOW) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) through the State Wildlife Grant Program (SWG) and the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund (COCF) for $950,000.00 and is protected by a conservation easement held by Ashtabula Soil and Water Conservation District.
On December 22, 2004, during the project phase of the land protection process, the Executive Director of Grand River Partners, Inc., Charles J. “Chuck” Ashcroft, died unexpectedly of complications during an operation at the Cleveland Clinic. GRPI continued forward with the project and after completion, a plaque dedicating the preservation of the property in loving memory of Chuck Ashcroft was placed in a secluded spot adjacent to the heron rookery in the northeastern corner of the property.
Sportsmen and women can also now hunt in Ashcroft Woods through the Ohio Landowner/Hunter Access Partnership (OLHAP) program funded in part by the 2018 federal Farm Bill, and administered statewide by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. It allows landowners such as the Land Conservancy to permit public hunting on privately held lands. The Land Conservancy is given preference to participate since the organization is enrolled in the state’s Wetlands Reserve Program. For more information, please click here.
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