Green Space Conservation Program

State of Ohio Public Works Commission

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Grant amount: US $10,000 - US $4,100,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Ohio

Location of residency: Ohio

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This program is dedicated to environmental conservation including acquisition of green space and the protection and enhancement of river and stream corridors. Grant recipients agree to maintain the properties in perpetuity so that they can be enjoyed and cherished for generations to come.

Eligible Projects

The Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation 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/or 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. An application can be made for acquisition only, acquisition and related improvements, or for improvements only on properties previously acquired through Clean Ohio.

Eligible improvements include:

  • trails
  • pedestrian bridges
  • observation decks
  • kiosks/signs
  • benches
  • trash receptacles
  • invasive species removal (one time)
  • parking lots
  • restoration
  • fencing

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
  • fee simple acquisition or acquisition of easements for providing access
  • for protection and enhancement


The Clean Ohio Greenspace Conservation Program 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. Therefore, items that do not lend themselves to conservation are generally not allowable under this program. The list here serves as clarification but is not meant to be exhaustive as the very nature of the program makes it difficult to conceive all possible scenarios. If you have an eligibility question, please contact your OPWC program representative.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Eligible applicants are limited to local political subdivisions and nonprofit organizations (501(c)(3).
    • Projects involving multiple entities must select only one to serve as the lead.
  • Local Match:
    • The local match must be at least 25% of the estimated cost of the project. 
  • Eligible Items:
    • Grant funds are available for open space acquisition, including easements (on unprotected property), and/or related development necessary to make the open space accessible and useable by the general public.
    • Eligible related development/access improvements include trails, pedestrian bridges, observation decks, kiosks/signs, benches, trash receptacles, invasive species removal (one time only), parking lots, portable restroom enclosures, restoration, and fencing;
      • However, public access is not mandated
    • Eligible costs include planning, design, engineering, appraisals, environmental assessments, and archaeological surveys.
      • Related development may either be included in the application for acquisition or as a subsequent application on a previous Clean Ohio property acquisition.
      • Improvements are eligible under a subsequent application as long as not included in a previous project.


  • Special emphasis was 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;
    • Provide safe areas for fishing, hunting and trapping in a manner that
    • provides a balanced eco-system.


  • Aesthetic landscaping and decorative items are not permitted to be part of the Clean Ohio funding or match. 
  • Costs which are not permitted for Clean Ohio funding or match include administrative costs, monitoring costs, maintenance items, seller paid items, taxes, etc. 
  • No new oil and gas leases are permitted once the NRAC has approved the application. 
  • Generally, project components that do not lend themselves to conservation are not allowable. 
    • Structures:
      • Structures that are not conducive to the nature of a conservation site for passive recreation, such as buildings for well fields, RV parks, ball diamonds, and the like are prohibited. 
      • Wind turbines are prohibited.