Visitor Services & Education
Helping people learn about and experience Cuyahoga Valley National Park safely and sustainably. Learners of all ages connect with the park through year-round public programs.
Youth in CVNP
Engaging with almost 10,000 students per year through our virtual and in-person programs. From scientific exploration of the Cuyahoga River, to singing around a campfire, the Conservancy is committed to providing every child, regardless of resources, the chance to experience the natural wonders, rich history, and stunning beauty of Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Preserving and improving habitat for native plants and animals, as well as keeping the national park’s trails in top condition. The Volunteer-in-Park (VIP) program is co-managed by the National Park Service and the Conservancy. Every year, over 5,000 volunteers of all ages help preserve CVNP for future generations, averaging over 105,000 hours. We also work hand-in-hand to provide unique opportunities for corporate, school, scout, and youth groups.Learn More
Creating meaningful, immersive cultural programs, such as the Rhythm on the River concert series, that reflect the interests of those who live, work, and play in our region. From workshops and lectures to live concerts and public art, there’s something for everyone.View Upcoming Events
Providing an idyllic backdrop at historic venues to share your small and big moments – from work meetings to saying, “I do.” Surrounded by rolling meadows and woodland vistas, the Conservancy’s beautiful and historic buildings provide cozy rusticity and modern amenities, perfect for weddings, family reunions, group retreats, company meetings, and other events.Learn More
In 2023, we celebrated exciting milestones with your support:
- Connected thousands of people in our community to the park through various cultural experiences such as workshops, lectures, concerts, and public art offerings.
- The Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center served almost 10,000 students in the 2022/2023 school year, and almost 600 during the summer of 2023.
- Completed fundraising for the new Stanford Trailhead coming in 2024, as well as supported bridle-hiking trail improvements, the replacement of pedestrian bridges, and other trail needs.
- Hosted over 250 national park leaders during the annual meeting of the National Park Friends Alliance, uniting to share best practices and advance park partnerships.
- Our friends from local companies, schools, and community groups and members planted a remarkable 3,000 trees, making a substantial impact on our conservation efforts.
Photo by Jack McCormick
Brandywine Golf Course Acquisition and Next Steps
On September 27, 2021, the Conservancy announced it purchased the 213-acre former Brandywine Golf Course to protect habitat and create a space for all to enjoy the land and Cuyahoga River. The National Park Service completed the purchase of 198 acres from the Conservancy in December 2022 with the remaining 15 acres held by the Conservancy for visitor enhancements and park-like experiences.
The purchase of the former Brandywine Golf Course for conversion to parkland was a first of its kind for the Conservancy. This legacy was made possible through the generosity of individual donors and recoverable grants from the Northeast Ohio community and national foundations. This includes Akron Community Foundation, Cleveland Foundation, Connor Foundation, GAR Foundation, and National Park Foundation.
The Conservancy engaged PROS Consulting from Indianapolis, Indiana, in the fall of 2021 to complete a conceptual plan for the acreage on the west side of Akron-Peninsula Road. Input from Conservancy board leadership, Conservancy staff, National Park Service staff, community stakeholders, and partners was used to help create a vision for this area. That vision includes: increasing opportunities for river access, supporting creative programming, and welcoming new, diverse audiences to the national park. It suggested possible amenities such as accessible trails, access to the river, beautiful river vistas from pavilions and nature play spaces, space for public programming, and a bridge connecting to the Towpath Trail.
The next layer of planning is to look more closely at the site and establish a site plan built off the visions identified during the PROS Consulting sessions with community members and other stakeholders. This next step will prioritize projects and lead to concrete planning upon which the Conservancy will raise funds to activate the site.
Both the park property and the Conservancy property are currently closed to the public for safety and liability reasons. The properties are slated for remediation work starting in May 2023.Learn More On Remediation Efforts
For more information about the project, please contact Director of Leadership Giving Sheryl Hoffman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330.657.2909 ext. 143.
Trails Now: Responding to Visitor and Park Needs
In parallel with our Trails Forever Endowment Fund, the Conservancy established the Trails Now Fund, which provides support for immediate trail maintenance and the development of new trails and visitor amenities. The Trails Now Fund assists the National Park Service in improving and maintaining trails on an ongoing basis.Learn More & Donate
Trails Now: Bridle-Hiking Trails Fund
With nearly 30 miles of combined bridle-hiking trails, one of the Conservancy’s first Trails Now Projects was to ensure the safety and well-being for horses, riders and hikers on these popular trails. In 2021, Ray and Jan Dalton made a $100,000 gift to the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park to address the much-needed maintenance and repairs to the CVNP bridle-hiking trails. The Dalton’s generous gift, paired with individual gifts, and volunteers from the Medina Chapter Ohio Horsemen’s Council resulted in successful repairs to the Valley Bridle Trail, Langes Run Trail, and Wetmore Trail. In 2022, Dalton’s and the Conservancy raised an additional $175,000+ toward Perkins, Riding Run, and Valley Trails. Work completed included repairing bridle trail surfaces, installing armored crossings, repairing and cleaning trail bridges, cleaning and installing trail drainage features, trimming of trail corridors, removing trees, and improving trail signs.
The Conservancy is continuing to support bridle-hiking trail improvements this year with your support. Please join us in the opportunity to raise an additional $50,000 for bridle-hiking trail improvements on Butler Trail and Tabletop Trail, benefiting the riders, hikers, runners, joggers and walkers of Northeast Ohio who enjoy them.
Make your tax-deductible gift to the Conservancy for CVNP today and make an impact now!Donate
Trails Now Fund: Pedestrian Footbridges
The Conservancy began raising funds to help CVNP replace pedestrian bridges within the park in 2020. 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.
This year the Conservancy has a goal of raising $50,000 for the Salt Run Trail Footbridge. Salt Run Trail is located in the highly visited Kendall Lake / Kendall Hills area in Peninsula, OH. The trail runs west of Kendall Lake and is routed through the rugged and forested hills that follow Salt Run. The trail is 3.25 miles and offers one of the more challenging hikes in the area. The new footbridge will be located approximately ½ mile from the trailhead. Temporary repairs have been made to the existing bridge for stabilization, but a permanent replacement is crucial for this popular trail.Learn More & Donate
Trails Now: Stanford Trailhead Project
The Conservancy is pleased to join Cuyahoga Valley National Park in this exciting project to bring a new hub for hiking, running, biking and horseback riding in the Boston to Station Road area. The funding goal was achieved this year for CVNP’s $500,000 matching grant award from the NPS Centennial Challenge to build a new Stanford Trailhead on Stanford Road, just north of the Stanford House.Learn More
The Conservancy’s life-changing programs and activities, as well as Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s 100+ miles of trails, would not exist without help from the individuals, foundations, and corporations who provide their financial support. You too can invest in your park – opportunities include attending fundraising events, sponsoring an acre, donating to the Trails Now Fund, giving memorial gifts, joining the Legacy Society, and more. Visit forcvnp.org/donate to find out how you can give back.