5 Ohio Organizations That Bring People Closer To Nature

Spending time in nature is great for kids and adults alike. Organizations that conserve plants and wildlife ensure that generations to come will continue to gain the physical, psychological, and educational benefits of going outside, breathing fresh air, and observing different species in their natural habitat. The groups listed here preserve the natural beauty of Ohio and share it with visitors. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Nature-Based Organizations In Ohio

Organization Location Mission
Cincinnati Nature Center Milford Inspire passion for nature and promote environmentally responsible choices through experience, education, and stewardship to ensure a sustainable future
Holden Arboretum Kirtland Advance and inspire a deeper understanding of plants to enhance life
Western Reserve Land Conservancy Moreland Hills Provide people in the region with essential natural assets through land conservation and restoration
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens Akron Preserve and share a historic estate and serve as a resource for educational, cultural, and recreational enrichment
Hocking Hills Canopy Tours Rockbridge Encourage and inspire participants to step away from everyday life and discover a unique and exhilarating experience

Benefits Of Spending Time Outdoors

  • Sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D
  • In the winter, leaving the house can lessen the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Hiking is a great way to stay physically active
  • Walking in the fresh air can help with mental health
  • It's a great opportunity to learn about local plant and animal species
  • Going outside may be good for children's vision

Wild Mammals In Ohio

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Type Species
Marsupials Virginia Opossum
Mice Eastern Harvest Mouse, House Mouse, Meadow Jumping Mouse, North American Deermouse, White-Footed Deermouse, Woodland Jumping Mouse
Squirrels Eastern Fox Squirrel, Eastern Gray Squirrel, Red Squirrel, Southern Flying Squirrel, Thirteen-Lined Ground Squirrel
Other Rodents Allegheny Woodrat, American Beaver, Brown Rat, Common Muskrat, Eastern Chipmunk, Meadow Vole, Prairie Vole, Southern Bog Lemming, Woodchuck
Leporids Eastern Cottontail Rabbit, Snowshoe Hare
Insectivores American Pygmy Shrew, Eastern Mole, Hairy-tailed Mole, North American Least Shrew, Northern Short-tailed Shrew, Smoky Shrew, Star-nosed Mole
Carnivores American Badger, American Mink, Black Bear, Bobcat, Coyote, Ermine, Gray Fox, Least Weasel, Long-Tailed Weasel, Raccoon, Red Fox, River Otter, Striped Skunk
Cervids White-Tailed Deer
Bats Big Brown Bat, Eastern Red Bat, Eastern Small-Footed Bat, Evening Bat, Hoary Bat, Indiana Bat, Little Brown Bat, Northern Long-Eared Bat, Silver-Haired Bat, Tri-Colored Bat

Getting Hooked On Nature

In Depth

In the modern age, it can be too easy for people to spend all of their time surrounded by constructed environments and technology. Taking a break and enjoying natural beauty can be a good way to unwind, get some fresh air, and learn new things. Luckily for Ohioans, there are plenty of gardens, forests, and parks in the Buckeye State. Here, in no particular order, are five places in Ohio where you can experience nature up close.

First up, at #1, we have Cincinnati Nature Center. With 1,800 acres of forests, fields, streams, and ponds, there's plenty for visitors to explore all year long. The center offers a variety of events that change with the seasons, from spooky night hikes during autumn to s'mores around a campfire in the summer. There are also school programs that include classes for kids of all ages and training courses where teachers and parents can learn how to expose their children to nature on a regular basis.

At the Marge and Charles Schott Nature PlayScape, kids can engage in unstructured outdoor play, something that many believe is crucial to healthy child development. Partnering with The Boys and Girls Club of Clermont County, the center is also able to offer day camp for underserved kids in New Richmond, Amelia, and Goshen. If you'd like to get involved, you can volunteer to teach guests, preserve the land, and assist with events and office duties.

If you'd like to get involved, you can volunteer to teach guests, preserve the land, and assist with events and office duties.

#2 on the list is Holden Arboretum, a living museum that promotes the beauty and importance of trees and other woody plants. The grounds feature both cultivated gardens and native forests, as well as the Murch CanopyWalk, an elevated path that lets guests experience the view from sixty-five feet above the ground. Since different plants flower at different times of the year, visitors can check the website beforehand to see what's in bloom.

In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, the arboretum is scientifically interesting as well, and research is often conducted on the grounds. Those who are interested in learning more about the subject can visit the Warren H. Corning Library, which overlooks the butterfly garden and contains books about ecology, woodlot management, sustainability, and more. Those who wish to give back can donate to the organization's annual fund.

At #3, we have Western Reserve Land Conservancy. By conserving and restoring land, the organization works to provide residents with vibrant public parks, working farms, and healthy cities. In addition to maintaining dedicated natural areas, the group also works to reforest urban and suburban environments, strategically planting trees in order to help the city save energy and make neighborhoods more attractive.

By conserving and restoring land, the organization works to provide residents with vibrant public parks, working farms, and healthy cities.

The conservancy helps park systems acquire land, which gives people new trails where they can go for walks, preserves where they can encounter wildlife, and more. They also preserve farms, working closely with landowners to find a balance between profitability and environmental protection. If you want to keep these efforts going for future generations, you can join the White Oak Legacy Society by making a planned gift.

In the #4 spot is Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens. Akron's first and largest National Historic Landmark, the site is surrounded by trees and features artfully landscaped gardens and grounds. Usually these areas are only open to humans, but on most Sundays, guests can bring along their dogs. Kids are always welcome, and can get their energy out by climbing in and around the Homes of Nature, large-scale recreations of beehives, nests, and other structures.

Those who are interested in history can explore buildings that date back to 1912. An example of Tudor Revival architecture, the Manor House is opulent and expansive, with an exterior designed to complement the environment around it. The Gate Lodge and Carriage House originally housed servants who cared for the property, and now contain exhibits, administrative offices, and a cafe. To help maintain this piece of history, you can make a one-time donation on the nonprofit's website or become a member.

Those who are interested in history can explore buildings that date back to 1912.

Finally, at #5, we have Hocking Hills Canopy Tours. Catering to thrillseekers and nature lovers alike, this organization encourages participants to step away from everyday life and try a unique, exciting experience. Several ziplines offer a bird's eye view with varying levels of intensity, from the kid-friendly DragonFly to the thrilling SuperZip. Those who are afraid of heights can opt for a guided off-road segway tour that showcases the natural features and wildlife of the area.

One unique phenomenon is Rockbridge, a 100-foot-long natural geological bridge formed by time, sand, and water. Guides bring adults and kids out to it regularly via a scenic nature drive. Night owls can sign up for a moonlit zip line tour, where they can experience the woods at night and keep their ears open for nocturnal creatures. If you're in the area, consider booking a tour, or surprise an adventurous loved one with a gift certificate.