First Step for Lake Erie Preserve (OH)

Sandusky, OH 12/17/02 – The Trust for Public Land, the Sandusky/Erie County Community Foundation, and Erie MetroParks announced that they are taking the first steps to create a 1200-acre East Sandusky Bay Nature Preserve along the Lake Erie shoreline. Located between Cleveland and Toledo, East Sandusky Bay is an extraordinary naturally functioning freshwater marsh near Cedar Point Amusement Park.

Today, the Trust for Public Land is committing to buy a 73-acre property that will become the first in a series of acquisitions to create the new preserve. Erie MetroParks will manage the property, which will be known as the Community Foundation Preserve at Eagle Point, in recognition of the foundation’s generous support and leadership. “East Sandusky Bay is an irreplaceable resource for the State of Ohio,” said Wolfe Tone, who is spearheading the project for the Trust for Public Land.

“East Sandusky Bay is the largest unprotected marsh along Lake Erie. Our actions today will provide the community with access to a natural treasure and protect nesting American bald eagles.” The area is a mecca for birdwatchers from across the country and around the world.

The Trust for Public Land is acting now to prevent the property from being sold to developers. This has been made possible in part through funding from the Sandusky/Erie County Community Foundation and partnering private foundations. Final funding for the preserve is expected to come from Federal, State, and private sources. U.S. Senator Mike DeWine and U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur are leading the drive to secure federal funds for the new preserve.

“The Community Foundation Preserve at Eagle Point is a good example of a Community Foundation initiative that will have a significant impact on the Sandusky area community and residents,” said John Bacon, chairman of the Sandusky/Erie County Community Foundation. “By protecting land along East Sandusky Bay and making it available to the public we are creating a community asset that everyone can enjoy.”

Erie MetroParks Commissioner Kevin Zeiher commented, “As a life-long resident of this area, I am proud that we will protect the bay and shoreline.” Under the management of Erie MetroParks, the area will be available for scheduled recreational, educational, and interpretive programming opportunities. Activities at the preserve will feature hiking/walking, canoeing, fishing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Interpretive programs will feature bird watching and observation of the American bald eagle; waterfowl, wildlife, and wildflower identification; and wetland, forest, and meadow ecology. Programs will be available to people of all ages and interests.

The Trust for Public Land is a nonprofit organization that conserves land for people to improve the quality of life in our communities and to protect our natural and historic resources for future generations. Founded in 1972, the Trust for Public Land has helped protect more than 1.4 million acres across the nation. In 2001, The Trust for Public Land helped protect the nearby 1,300-acre Edison Woods Preserve, which is the largest single conservation project in northern Ohio in decades. Three years ago, the Trust for Public Land gained widespread attention by demolishing the Richfield Coliseum and transferring the property to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The Sandusky/Erie County Community Foundation was founded in 1995 as a public charity that serves as a catalyst for change by bringing partners together to fund projects that will benefit the community as a whole. Please visit the Sandusky/Erie County Community Foundation website at

Posted 12/17/02