The Museum protects more than 6,400 acres through its Natural Areas program. Since 1956, this program has worked to preserve unique natural communities before they are lost to development or invasive species. Together, the Museum’s nature preserves represent the remarkable biological diversity that was once widespread throughout the region. These areas serve as outstanding educational and scientific resources—scientific field laboratories where curators, scientists, students and Museum members can observe nature firsthand and free from most human interference.
Did you know you can see river otters, bald eagles, turkey vultures, white-tailed deer and a peregrine falcon…all without leaving the Museum campus? The Ralph Perkins II Wildlife Center & Woods Garden and the Thelma and Kent H. Smith Environmental Courtyard are the Museum’s backyard, a piece of wild Ohio that’s just outside our door. Our wild residents, many of which could not thrive in their natural habitats, can teach us about our relationship with the natural world around us. Join us for a live animal program or just stroll through the grounds. You’ll be amazed at what you can learn!
The practice of sustainability means considering society, economy and the environment as they pertain to our health and wellbeing now and in the future. The Museum’s GreenCityBlueLake Institute is dedicated to making Northeast Ohio a leader in creating a metropolitan area that demonstrates how urban revitalization can work with nature.