Clean Ohio Program

The Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation 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.

Visit here for information about Clean Ohio Project Administration.

Visit here for more information about all the funding programs that OPWC offers.

In order to apply for Clean Ohio funding, you must fill out the application and attachments below and submit to the Natural Resource Assistance Council (NRAC) in which the project is located. You can find your NRAC by visiting our District Homepage. Every NRAC has their own scoring methodology and deadlines for application submission. Once projects are submitted to the NRAC, reviewed/scored/ranked, they are then sent to OPWC for review and project agreement release.

Download the Clean Ohio Application and Instructions below:

Clean Ohio Application Instructions

Clean Ohio Application

**View our Clean Ohio Advisories page for more information regarding program specific policies and eligibility

NOTE: Contact the appropriate NRAC or visit their page on this website to determine if there are any NRAC specific requirements or supplements to the Application.

Helpful Links for Supporting Documentation:

Beneficial use designations (for streams)

Ohio Primary Headwater Habitat Streams (for headwater streams)

Ohio Rapid Assessment Method for Wetlands  (ORAM Documents (for wetlands))

Ohio Natural Heritage Database (rare plants and animals)

Ohio Credible Data Program

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, and 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, and fee simple acquisition or acquisition of easements for providing access, or 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 following list 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.

Eligible Improvements with Clean Ohio funds:

  • Non-manufactured rock climbing walls
  • Parking
  • Boat ramps
  • Fencing
  • Dog parks (small footprint) fencing and waste disposal
  • Trash cans
  • Benches
  • Kiosks/Signs
  • Portable Restroom Enclosures
  • Observation decks
  • Hiking/Biking trails
  • Pedestrian bridges
  • Vehicular bridges (access only)
  • Mitigation (for conservation purposes)
  • Restoration
  • Naturalization
  • Boardwalks
  • Archeology Surveys
  • Invasive species removal (one time only)
  • Lighting

Eligible Improvements without Clean Ohio funds:

  • Restrooms
  • Pavilions/Picnic Shelters/Shelter Houses
  • Playground and work out stations (small footprint)
  • Rental spaces (if already in existence, no new structures – funds must go back to preserving the site)
  • Council circle/natural amphitheater
  • Fountains
  • Statues
  • Solar panels (on buildings/for lights)

Always Ineligible:

  • Camping - primitive or otherwise. Including cabins
  • Wind turbines
  • Manicured flower beds
  • Sports fields
  • Storm Water/Drainage infrastructure
  • Hydromodification
  • Solar fields
  • Administrative and monitoring costs
  • Maintenance items
  • Seller paid items/seller settlements costs
  • Taxes
  • Non-native plants
  • Rail Banking
  • RV Parks
  • Buildings for Well Fields
  • Aesthetic landscaping/decorative items
  • Access Improvements on easements

Eligible Improvements at NRAC’s discretion:

  • Mountain Biking
  • Equestrian Trails
  • Disc Golf
  • Dam Removal
  • Demolition of structures

Improvements to existing buildings or reasonable additions to buildings are allowed for nature centers, maintenance buildings and the like, contingent upon identification and approval by the appropriate district NRAC, but cannot be included as part of the Clean Ohio funding or match. The property must be predominantly open space to qualify.

The acquisition and/or demolition of buildings as part of a Clean Ohio project is at the discretion of each NRAC.

Other items to note:

  • No new oil and gas leases are permitted once the NRAC has approved the application.
  • Any future modification or breach of the recorded deed restrictions or conservation easement that occur once the Project Agreement has been signed and without the advanced written approval of the OPWC Director shall result in the imposition of liquidated damages on the entity responsible for the breach equal to twice the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund monies disbursed for the project, plus compounded interest at 6% per annum.

  • Wetland restoration is permitted. Wetland creation including vernal pools and any other forms of hydro-modification are prohibited.
  • No agricultural use except as described in the on-line OPWC Clean Ohio Advisory Document. All post acquisition activities must be concluded within a two-year period from the date of acquisition unless a formal extension has been approved by OPWC.

See a full list of all of our previously funded Clean Ohio projects HERE.