2016: Year in Review
Each year, our members, donors, volunteers, and advocates help the Conservancy accomplish BIG things for our national park. Together with the National Park Service, we've...
- SERVED 10,392 youth & adults at the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center
- WELCOMED 1,305 park volunteers at six Days of Service
- PLANTED 900 native trees & 3,800 native wildflowers with volunteers
- CONNECTED 13,655 music-lovers with concerts in CVNP
- BUILT 2.3 miles (and counting) on the East Rim mountain biking trail
... and so much more! Thank you to all who make our work for Cuyahoga Valley National Park possible.
National Park Service Centennial
During 2016, we celebrated 100 years of the National Park Service! The Conservancy supported CVNP with marketing campaigns to boost public awareness of the national park and encourage participation at special centennial events. All told, we celebrated the centennial with 16,000 people attending six special centennial events in 2016. Find more ways to experience CVNP >
Every Kid in a Park
The national Every Kid in a Park initiative has a vision that "No matter who you are or where you live, every kid should be able to enjoy America's parks, monuments, lands and waters." In 2016, the Conservancy brought 1,300 students from Cleveland and Akron to the national park to explore the history, wildlife, geology, and natural features of the Cuyahoga Valley. During 2016-2017, we're aiming to expand the program dramatically, to 8,000 Cleveland-area youth. Learn more >
East Rim Mountain Bike Trail
With support from the Conservancy, Cuyahoga Valley National Park opened its first mountain biking trail in November 2015. The initial 2.3-mile trail section lets bikers, hikers, and runners explore a unique new area of the Cuyahoga Valley, and several more miles are in the works. Funding for the East Rim Trail comes from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the ODNR Recreational Trail program, and National Parks Centennial Challenge funding. See what's happening now >
Streamlined Volunteer Hour Tracking
In 2016, CNVP’s volunteer program (co-managed by the Conservancy) implemented a new online system for tracking volunteer service hours. Particularly for recurring volunteers who currently submit monthly timesheets on paper, this online program reduces error, simplifies the process, and allows staff to spend more time connecting with volunteers and doing more for the national park.
Expanded Summer Academy Programs at the CVEEC
In 2015, the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center expanded its summer Environmental Education Academy to schools in Lorain and Cleveland, in addition to Akron Public Schools. This program is focused on increasing success in ninth grade and teaches rising ninth-graders about the environment, the scientific method, and team building. Akron students also earn a half-credit in science for a head start in high school.
In the fall of 2014, TRAILS FOREVER donors and volunteers helped restore and reopen Tabletop Trail after 10 years of being closed due to flood damage. New features on this stretch of the Wetmore Trail system included better erosion control, drainage features, and reinforced creek banks. The final work was completed on Make A Difference Day, when nearly 100 volunteers helped put the finishing touches on the restored trail.
Trail Mix Boston
Conservancy donors helped restore a historic piece of the Village of Boston in 2014 with the rehabilitation of Trail Mix Boston, one of the Conservancy's retail shops. The project included restoring the original 19th-century façade and wooden porch, adding a new patio and accessible walkway, and rebuilding the wood-frame garage next to the building. Today, park visitors can experience this unique piece of the Cuyahoga Valley's cultural history.
TRAILS FOREVER Mobile Tool Shed
In 2013, TRAILS FOREVER Legacy Fund distributions helped fund an equipment trailer to hold trail maintenance supplies for trail crews and volunteers. This “mobile tool shed” holds all equipment necessary to tackle any volunteer project on the trails and makes it easier for crews to reach remote spots in the national park. (Photo: NPS DJ Reiser)
From 2010 to 2014, more than 1,200 volunteers helped remove invasive species from 40 acres of land and reforest 10 acres of former farmland with native species in the Hampton Hills area of CVNP. Supported by funding from the Conservancy, volunteers planted thousands of native trees and shrubs, including box elders, oaks, elderberries, and dogwoods.
In 2011, the Conservancy led a campaign to restore Stanford House, a historic home in the Village of Boston. The project funded structural rehabilitation, new furnishings and lighting, fire safety features, and a renovated kitchen. Now operated by the Conservancy, Stanford House is a cozy getaway spot for groups or individuals, in close proximity to the Towpath Trail, Boston Store Visitor Center, Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, and more.
Watershed Preservation Advocacy
In 2008, 568 acres of land adjoining Blossom Music Center were threatened with residential development. A strong partnership formed between the National Park Service, the Trust for Public Land, and the Musical Arts Association to secure federal funds to purchase the land. The Conservancy leadership and its membership mobilized to support the effort, and in 2011, all 568 acres became part of Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Since 2009, we’ve co-managed the park’s volunteer program with the National Park Service. Together, we’ve given northeast Ohioans a variety of opportunities to help the national park, from restoring trails to collecting data for citizen science projects. We also led a project to restore the four buildings of the Volunteer Center in the Village of Boston in 2009, adding to the historic character of the area. With Conservancy co-management, the park’s volunteer program has grown from 2,500 volunteers in 2008 to one of the largest in the National Park System—6,700 volunteers today!
Want to see what we're working on now? Check out some of our current projects.