Major Glen Helen Conservation Effort Completed

In the first of two phases, more than half of Glen Helen, a popular recreational destination and environmental education facility owned by Antioch College, has been permanently protected, The Trust for Public Land, Antioch College, and Tecumseh Land Trust announced today. A conservation easement will ensure the wooded glen near Yellow Springs, Ohio will forever be preserved and open to the public.

“Antioch College has made good on its commitment to safeguard this irreplaceable asset,” said Nick Boutis, director of the Glen Helen Ecology Institute. “Everyone who loves the Glen can now rest assured that it is secured as an ecological resource.”

Glen Helen was established in 1929 when Antioch alumnus Hugh Taylor Birch donated the land to the College in memory of his daughter, Helen Birch Bartlett. The preserve’s 20-mile network of footpaths connects visitors with wildflowers, 400 year-old trees, limestone cliffs with waterfalls and overhangs, and the beautiful yellow spring for which the nearby village is named. In 2011, The Trust for Public Land reached an agreement to help Antioch College to permanently protect the nearly-thousand-acre glen, which includes a section of the Little Miami River and two of its major tributaries.

“Glen Helen is a rare Ohio gem and The Trust for Public Land is proud to have partnered to help permanently protect it and the natural classroom it offers to the public,” said Pam Carson, The Trust for Public Land’s Ohio state director.

“For decades, Glen Helen has shaped the lives of Antioch students, Miami Valley schoolchildren, and Ohioans far and wide,” Antioch College President Mark Roosevelt said. “This conservation easement assures that future generations will also have that opportunity.”

The first conservation easement, covering 536 acres, has now been completed. Antioch University was a co-grantor on the easement. Funding for this $1.63 million easement included $1.2 million from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program, $200,000 from the Dayton Foundation’s Little Miami Upper River Fund, and $237,162 from the Clean Ohio Fund. A second easement, covering the remaining acreage, is expected to be completed in 2013. The sales of the two easements will help support the land stewardship and environmental learning programs of the Glen Helen Ecology Institute. The Tecumseh Land Trust will have responsibility for monitoring these easements. “There is no greater treasure here than Glen Helen,” said Land Trust Executive Director Krista Magaw. “It is the center of our ecology and our quality of life. It’s an honor to do our part to protect it.”

About Antioch College
Antioch College is a small liberal arts institution located on a historical campus in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The College has an inspiring mission and a proud history of educating leaders and contributors to our society, including Nobel Laureates, Fulbright Scholars, MacArthur Fellows, notables in arts and culture, the sciences, the public sector, and business. Its innovative baccalaureate program integrates rigorous classroom learning with full-time work and community engagement. Commitments to social justice, sustainability, and global issues are important components of the Antioch College experience. A low student-faculty ratio provides Antioch College students with personal attention from professors who have a strong commitment to teaching. Originally founded in 1850, Antioch College is authorized by the Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents to grant the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees.

About Tecumseh Land Trust
The Tecumseh Land Trust works to preserve agricultural land, natural areas, water resources, and historic sites, in voluntary cooperation with landowners, and to educate the public about permanent land preservation. One of two accredited local land trusts in Ohio, the Tecumseh Land Trust serves Greene and Clark Counties, and surrounding areas. Tecumseh Land Trust has preserved over 20,000 acres within ten miles of Glen Helen, comprising 31 miles of creeks and rivers.

About The Trust for Public Land
Founded in 1972, The Trust for Public Land is the leading nonprofit working to conserve land for people. Operating from more than 30 offices nationwide, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than three million acres from the inner city to the wilderness and helped generate more than 34 billion in public funds for conservation. Nearly ten million people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year.