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.

To apply for Clean Ohio funding, you must comply with the NRAC's instructions and the application information below. Every NRAC has their own scoring methodology and deadlines for application submission. Once project applications are submitted, they are reviewed, scored and ranked by the NRAC, and then the OPWC reviews the application for release of the project agreement if all requirements are met.

Download the Clean Ohio Application and Instructions below:

Clean Ohio Application Instructions

Clean Ohio Application Applicants are required to submit applications via our WorksWise portal. To access the portal, you must sign up for a username and password. Visit for details on how to request access, as well as training videos on how to use the system. Paper applications can still be used, but the applications must still be put into the WorksWise portal to be eligible for scoring. Contact your Program Representative or NRAC Liaison for questions.

View our Clean Ohio Advisories page for more information regarding program specific policies and eligibility. An Appraisal Report or Restricted Appraisal Report is required with the application in order to substantiate value but the required report type varies from NRAC to NRAC so it is advisable to check with the appropriate NRAC for their requirements. In addition, contact the appropriate NRAC or visit their page on this website to determine if there are any other NRAC specific requirements or supplements to the Application.

Click here to view Clean Ohio Deed Restrictions and Conservation Easement Language as required in the application

Click here to review Clean Ohio Appraisal Standards

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 improvement 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 improvement 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 in fee 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. Improvements are meant to provide access with minimal impact to conservation values.  Improvements may be applied for at the time of application for acquisition, or as a separate application on a previously acquired Clean Ohio property. The following list serves as guidance 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. Per ORC Section 164.25, project applications must meet the Clean Ohio requirements as specified in statute. 

Eligible Improvements with Clean Ohio funds (fee simple acquisition only):

  • Parking
  • Boat ramps
  • Fencing (property perimeter only)
  • Trash cans
  • Benches/Picnic Tables
  • Bike racks
  • Kiosks/Signs
  • Portable Restroom Enclosures
  • Observation decks
  • Hiking/Biking trails
  • Pedestrian bridges
  • Vehicular bridge (access only onto the property if needed)
  • Restoration
  • Naturalization including entrance enhancement landscaping
  • Boardwalks
  • Archaeological Surveys
  • Invasive species removal (one-time)
  • Lighting (environmentally-sensitive)

Eligible Improvements without Clean Ohio funds (must specify in Deed Restrictions):

  • Restrooms
  • Pavilions/Picnic Shelters/Shelter Houses
  • Dog parks (small footprint, fencing and waste disposal)
  • Playground and work out stations (small footprint)
  • Disc golf (activity must be approved by NRAC)
  • 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
  • Water degradation projects
  • Solar fields
  • Administrative and monitoring costs (including stewardship costs; stewardship plan is eligible)
  • Maintenance items
  • Seller paid items/seller settlements costs
  • Taxes
  • Non-native plants
  • Rail Banking
  • RV Parks
  • Improvements for Well Fields
  • Aesthetic landscaping/decorative items except as identified above for entrance enhancements
  • Access Improvements on easements

Eligible Activities/Improvements at NRAC’s discretion:

  • Mountain Biking
  • Equestrian Trails
  • Dam Removal
  • Demolition of structures
  • Disc Golf (activity only; improvements at Recipient's expense)

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. No new buildings are permitted. 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 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 are subject to the imposition of liquidated damages.

  • Post acquisition activities must be concluded within two years from date of acquisition unless a formal extension has been approved by OPWC.
  • No improvements to easements are permitted except for one-time invasives removal.

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