Conservation Fund

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.

Funding Criteria

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.

LEAP Fund Committee January 2014

Organization Term of Service-Expiration Representative
Chagrin River Watershed Partners January 2017 Keely Davidson-Bennett
Cleveland Metroparks January 2017 Constance Hausman
Cleveland Museum of Natural History January 2017 Jim Bissell
Cuya Board of Health January 2017 Meiring Borcherds
Cuyahoga Valley National Park January 2017 Lisa Petit
Foundation for Sustainable Forests January 2017 John Bartlett
Lake Metroparks January 2017 Vince Urbanski
Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District January 2017 Jeff Jowett
Presque Isle January 2017 Holly Best
The Holden Arboretum January 2017 Chad Knisely
The Nature Conservancy January 2017 Karen Adair
The Trust for Public Land January 2017 Pam Carson
Western Reserve Land Conservancy January 2017 Joy Mulinex, Chair

Work to be Done

Committee members are working to promote the benefits of the Conservation Fund to local attorneys, law enforcement officials, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the Ohio Attorney General and the US Attorney’s Office.

History

Beginnings

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.

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.