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The King of Dinosaurs

Natural Areas

Preserving unique natural areas for science, education and enjoyment

The Center for Conservation & Biodiversity unites the Museum's conservation-related activities to further the protection and stewardship of the region's native biodiversity.

In the mid-1950s, then-Museum director William Scheele envisioned the Museum obtaining the best remaining natural lands before urban sprawl fragmented or degraded them. In 1956, he convinced board president Harold T. Clark to fund the purchase of the Museum's first natural area, Fern Lake Bog. Today, the Museum’s Natural Areas program continues to make Scheele's ideas reality. The Museum has evolved into a conservation leader in the region by continuing to find and acquire natural areas, caring for existing properties with an active stewardship program, and assisting other nonprofit conservation organizations with scientific assessments of projects.

Our preserves are model scientific field laboratories in which curators and other scientists can conduct long-term studies in locations relatively free from human interference. They also are spectacular places to take Museum members on field trips. Three of the Museum's natural areas are open to the public: Mentor Marsh, Scheele Preserve on Kelleys Island and North Kingsville Sand Barrens. To see a list of Museum preserves, click here.

The Museum's Conservation Outreach Program enables private landowners, state agencies, park managers or conservation organizations to request field inventories of natural lands. Once a request has been made to the program, a Conservation Outreach Specialist arranges a visit to the property. During that visit, and additional visits if needed, that staff member conducts an environmental assessment of the site. If you are interesting in having your property evaluated, contact the Center for Conservation & Biodiversity at 216-231-4600 x3505, or

If you would like to become involved with the stewardship and conservation work of the Center for Conservation and Biodiversity, please contact:

Natural Areas Division
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History
1 Wade Oval Drive
Cleveland, OH 44106-1767
216-231-4600 x3505

The Museum has published several books related to the region's native flora and fauna. Visit our store on to see our selection of available publications!