THE CLEAN OHIO FUND

The Clean Ohio Fund restores, protects, and connects Ohio's important natural and urban places by preserving green space and farmland, improving outdoor recreation, and by cleaning up brownfields to encourage redevelopment and revitalize communities.


The Clean Ohio Fund consists of four competitive statewide programs: the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund, the Clean Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase Program, the Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Program, and the Clean Ohio Trails Fund.


The citizens of Ohio originally voted in 2000 to approve the Clean Ohio Fund with a $400 million bond program. In 2008, the Clean Ohio Fund is a critical component of the Ohio Bipartisan Job Stimulus Plan that aims to create new jobs while laying the foundation for future economic prosperity. Placed before Ohio's voters as Issue 2, the ballot initiative was overwhelmingly approved in all 88 counties which extended the Fund with another $400 million bond program.


Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Program 


The Clean Ohio Greenspace Conservation Program, administered by the Ohio Public Works Commission, is focused on environmental conservation. This means that projects and project components are for the preservation, protection, or restoration of the natural environment, natural ecosystems, vegetation and wildlife. Grant recipients agree to maintain the properties in perpetuity so that they can be enjoyed and cherished for generations to come. 


Specifically, the program provides grants for up to 75 percent of the estimated costs for projects that do either of the following: 


Open Space – Open space acquisition and related development of those open spaces, including the acquisition of easements. This includes acquisition of land or rights in land for parks, forests, wetlands, natural areas that protect an endangered plant or animal population, other natural areas, and connecting corridors for natural areas. Related development projects include projects for the construction or enhancement of facilities that are necessary to make the acquired open space area accessible and useable by the general public. 


Riparian Corridor – Protection and enhancement of riparian corridors or watersheds, including the protection of streams, rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water. Projects may include reforestation of land or planting of vegetation for filtration, and fee simple acquisition or acquisition of easements for providing access, or for protection and enhancement. Special emphasis is given to projects that: 



  Protect habitat for rare, threatened or endangered species. 

  Preserve high quality wetlands and other scarce natural resources. 

  Preserve streamside forests, natural stream channels, functioning floodplains, and other natural features of Ohio’s 

     waterways. 

  Support comprehensive open space planning. 

  Secure easements to protect stream corridors, which may be planted with trees or vegetation to help     

     reduce erosion and 

fertilizer/pesticide runoff. 

  Enhance eco-tourism and economic development related to outdoor recreation in economically challenged areas. 

  Provide pedestrian or bicycle passageways between natural areas and preserves. 

  Reduce or eliminate nonnative, invasive plant and animal species.

Projects are selected and funded through the state’s 19 Natural Resource Assistance Councils (NRACs). 




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