The Lake Erie Allegheny Partnership for Conservation Fund has been established to finance projects that promote and protect our region’s biodiversity.
The goal of the Conservation Fund is to attract funds for conservation projects from sources not previously available to our individual members and to distribute these funds through a collaborative, community driven process. The Fund is positioned to capture environmental settlement monies that might otherwise leave the region, corporate, philanthropic and personal donations.
Projects seeking support from the Conservation Fund are evaluated based on the extent to which the project:
Preserves extant populations of globally, state, or federally imperiled or rare species or communities as determined by the appropriate agency or other priority species as determined by LEAP;
Preserves habitat important for the viability of populations of globally, state, or federally imperiled or rare species as determined by the appropriate agency or other priority species as determined by LEAP. Important habitat may be on the project site or on a contiguous site with a verifiably high likelihood that these species would then inhabit the project site;
Preserves high quality examples of representative communities of the LEAP region;
Restores rare species or communities known to have historically existed in the LEAP region; and,
Connects currently protected natural areas.
Non-profit organizations and government entities are invited to apply. For-profit entities and individuals are not eligible to apply. Applicants may request up to $1,000 per project. Grant funds are dispersed via cost reimbursement. Invoices or receipts for project costs must be submitted for reimbursement. The Conservation Fund plans to award 5-8 proposals depending on applicant pool and total funds requested. Priority will be given to current LEAP members and member organizations. An organization may submit more than one application. The project period is 6/1/2023 through 5/31/2024. Funds may not to be used for overhead or administrative expenses. Travel expenses are not eligible. Food and promotional items for events are not eligible.
Projects may be for on-the-ground restoration, research, or public programs. Projects should focus on rare or threatened species and/or protection and restoration of area biodiversity. Projects must demonstrate meaningful impacts and show tangible results at the close of funding cycle. If the project is part of larger effort, please explain how your project contributes to this larger effort. For example projects scroll to the bottom of this page.
|Chagrin River Watershed Partners||Josh Myers|
|Cleveland Metroparks||Kristen Trolio*|
|Holden Forests & Gardens||Mary Lineberger|
|Lake Metroparks||Justine Wylie|
|Medina County Park District||Jim Spetz|
|Nature Center at Shaker Lakes||Julia Mitchell|
|Portage Park District||Bob Lange|
|Presque Isle State Park||Holly Best|
|The Wilderness Center||Gary Popotnik|
|Western Reserve Land Conservancy||Renee Boronka|
In 2004, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) approached several conservation organizations in NE Ohio about ways to increase grant making in northeast Ohio. They were interested in providing a vehicle for capturing new (or previously unattainable) sources of funding to preserve and restore natural areas within the northeast Ohio region. As a result, a subcommittee of the Lake Erie Allegheny Partnership (LEAP) for Biodiversity was formed.
LEAP Fund Committee
From 2005 through 2009, the Conservation Fund Committee, an informal group, met periodically to develop an agreement between the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History on behalf of LEAP, reach out to the US Attorney’s Office, and prepare grant requests. In 2020, due to a lack of activity, the NFWF account was dissolved. The LEAP Conservation Fund is now at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and controlled by the LEAP Conservation Fund.
First Grant Awarded
In April 2008, LEAP received a $100,000 grant award from the Arcelor Mittal Great Lakes Restoration Program to open the LEAP Fund at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and to open the Fund and provide seed money for projects.
Fund Created at National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
In September 2009, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, on behalf of the LEAP consortium, entered into an agreement with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to establish the Conservation Fund account. This NFWF Account was dissolved in 2020 and the Conservation Fund is now administered by Western Reserve Land Conservancy with direction from the LEAP Conservation Fund Committee.
2022: Medina County Park District was awarded $1,000 for their project titled A utilization of the AHDriFT to assess critical habitat components for rare herpetofauna and small mammal populations in Medina County. Lead: Jim Spetz
2022: Holden Forests & Gardens was awarded $1,000 for their project Using autonomous recording units to capture migrating bird response to forestry treatments. Lead: Mike Watson
2021: Holden Forests & Gardens was awarded $991.87 for their project titled A Survey of Native Azaleas in Northeast Ohio. Lead: Connor Ryan
2021: Cleveland State University was awarded $1,000 for their project titled CSU Native Plant Initiative. Leads: Erin Avram and Emily Rauschert
2021: Holden Forests & Gardens was awarded $954.87 for their project titled *Invasive Plant Management in High Quality and Rare Habitats and Rare Plant Populations . Lead: Rebecah Troutman
2012: Portage Park District was awarded $44,000 towards purchase and protection of the 45-acre Franklin Bog in Portage County, OH.
2010: Pennsylvania Sea Grant was awarded $6,000 for their project titled Rare, Threatened and Endangered Plant Propagation at Presque Isle State Park.