RICHLAND COUNTY, Ohio — Niss Waterfall Preserve, a major community water source for residents in Richland County surrounded by lush greenery, will be protected now after the Western Reserve Land Conservancy acquired 287 acres, making it a permanent conservation.
“Niss Waterfall Preserve is substantial both in size and community impact,” said Joe Leslie, Vice President of Real Estate, Western Reserve Land Conservancy in a news release. “Collaboration on this project was critical. We are grateful to the many partners who worked with us on the acquisition and who will continue to work with us on updates to the property and, eventually, community access.”
By conserving the property, the preserve, with its cascading, shale-based waterfall and 2.5 miles of streams will help protect the Mohican Watershed and contribute to the health and preservation of the primary water source for residents.
The project is entirely funded by the Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Program. The project received support from people like philanthropist Dan Niss and City of Mansfield Mayor Timothy Theaker.
“Some land is too special to be developed, and this property falls in that category,” said Niss. “The environmental significance and the aesthetics of this property will contribute to the greater good of our community, and I’m glad to see that happen."
Theaker said in a news release the permanent preservation of the land could change the current and private nature of the property into one that can be enjoyed by all residents.
The acquisition of the 287-acre conservation includes 277 acres of permanently conserved property and two 5-acre areas reserved for the development of recreational space. Trails and parking lots are expected to be added in the coming years.