A Year of Impact: Reflecting on the Conservancy’s Achievements in 2022

With a touch of nostalgia, the Conservancy would like to take a moment to look back on the remarkable achievements during the eventful 2022 fiscal year. As we begin the final quarter of fiscal year 2023, we recognize the impact our wonderful members, donors and supporters have had. From trail stewardship to environmental education, captivating summer concerts to ecological restoration, your dedication to preserving the park shines through. As we recount our accomplishments, we are reminded of the beauty that unfolds when our community comes together. 

Continuing the Legacy: Trails Now Fund and the Stanford Trailhead

Trails have always been the lifeblood of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. In 2022, we took a significant step forward in preserving and enhancing these trails by channeling our efforts into the newly created Trails Now Fund. Through the unwavering support of our community, we achieved an incredible 10 miles of trail repair and maintenance, ensuring that visitors can explore and connect with the park’s wonders safely. 

Additionally, we successfully met our fundraising goal for the Stanford Trailhead project, matching the $500,000 NPS Centennial matching grant. This accomplishment marks a milestone in our commitment to improving visitor amenities and expanding access to the park’s natural treasures. 

Finally, through the support of individual donors and the Trails Forever Fund, we raised over $60,000 to assist the park in replacing Old Carriage Trail, Plateau Trail, and Stanford Trail footbridges. Wooden bridges were replaced with fiberglass truss bridges and new wood decking. These new bridges ensure safer and more secure footing across a number of creeks that intersect the trails.

Preserving Our Future: Riverfront Project 

Bird's eye view of Brandywine golf course in fall
Photo by Jack McCormick

In 2021, the Conservancy embarked on an ambitious endeavor by acquiring a golf course with the aim of preserving and restoring the land to its natural state. In fiscal year 2022, our efforts received a significant boost when we were awarded a $4.5 million Brownfield Grant from the Ohio Department of Development that will be used toward remediation. The grant ensures the land will be restored to its natural beauty, allowing us to transform the space into a vibrant habitat for wildlife and a place of natural beauty for all to enjoy.

To read more about the Riverfront Project, click here.

Inspiring Young Minds at the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center

Education is the key to cultivating a love for nature and inspiring future conservationists. The Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center continued to be a beacon of knowledge and exploration, welcoming back thousands of students for overnight and day programs. A standout achievement was the inclusion of every second grader from Akron Public Schools, providing them with hands-on experiences, environmental learning, and a chance to forge a deep connection with the natural world.

Rhythm on the River: Where Music and Nature Harmonize

What better way to celebrate the park’s beauty than through the universal language of music? The Conservancy’s Rhythm on the River summer concert series set the stage for unforgettable evenings filled with melodic tunes and breathtaking surroundings. Over 7,000 people came together for 4 different concerts filled with music, dancing, and local food.

Protecting a Flourishing Habitat

Amidst the awe-inspiring landscapes of CVNP lie the unsung heroes who have played an integral role in preserving the park. In 2022, more than 1,700 passionate park and Conservancy volunteers contributed an astounding 6,915 hours of work. Together, they planted over 1,000 trees, native grasses, and wildflowers. 

As we look back on the 2022 fiscal year, we are filled with gratitude for the support and dedication of our members, donors, and supporters. The accomplishments we celebrate today are a testament to the power of collaboration and shared love for CVNP. Together, we have nurtured the spirit of adventure, ignited young minds, celebrated the arts, and restored the wonders of nature.