Cuyahoga Headwater Restoration Initiative

Project In Process

This project restored over 75 acres of former agricultural land, protecting and rehabilitating important wetlands and vernal pools at the headwaters of the Cuyahoga River in Montville Township, Geauga County, Ohio (directly across the street from a registered Dark Skies site, managed by Geauga Park District)

Project Summary

This project includes the preservation of nearly 120 acres of land within the upper headwaters of the Cuyahoga River in Montville, Geauga County, Ohio. The project area was significantly altered to allow for row cropping, grazing practices, and timber harvesting starting in the early 1800s and extending to the current day. As a result, the land has been tiled and the top soils have been greatly impacted through the agricultural process.

A generally lower population and relatively low intensity of surrounding land uses, including the presence of many remaining sizeable forested parcels, has allowed a large proportion of Geauga County wetlands to maintain high levels of ecological condition, making this property particularly desirable for preservation.

Cuyahoga Headwater Restoration Initiative

Project Partners

This project was made possible through a unique partnership with The Nature Conservancy.


Expected Outcomes and Benefits

This project directly preserves, re-establishes, and rehabilitates high-quality vernal pool wetlands and wetland buffer habitats that will result in a gain in aquatic resource functions. And it will provide a diversity of restored habitat features that will establish additional connectivity through habitat corridors.

Construction and planting within the 120-acre property is completed as of the Spring of 2023. Following such a project, it’s imperative to diligently monitor and steward the property, ensuring that not only the vegetation survives or is thriving, but that invasives are also properly managed. The Nature Conservancy and West Creek will continue to work together on this project to ensure its conservation values are protected in perpetuity.

To date, this project will have permanently protected and restored 38 acres of high-quality Category-3 wetlands, restored 9.5 acres of additional wetland, restored 42.5 acres of forested riparian buffer, and reforested an additional 29 acres of riparian buffer. All right where the Cuyahoga River begins!

Project Documents

Montville Property Boundary Map

Our Gallery

Cuyahoga Headwater Restoration Initiative
Cuyahoga Headwater Restoration Initiative