Greenspace Gems recognizes and celebrates natural areas in the Green Umbrella region with outstanding scenic value, biological diversity, scientific importance, or historic interest. By telling the stories of these protected places, we hope to grow public support for greenspace conservation and the organizations who are leading this work in our region.

Greenspace Gems were selected by a team of conservation experts to reflect unique natural sites in our region. The team strives to highlight places that represent the geographic spread of Green Umbrella's 10-county region while showcasing a diversity of interesting features: from geology to biodiversity to plant communities to history. Each site tells a story of people taking action to protect a natural resource.

Click on the links below to learn more about each Gem and scroll down for a Story Map that will allow you to explore our most recently featured Gems! 

Having featuring 40 gems, this Green Umbrella series on outstanding protected natural areas in our region has come to a conclusion. These forty "Greenspace Gems" presented are examples of places that merit preservation because of their outstanding scenic value, biological diversity, scientific importance or historic interest.

The places selected are just examples of our "Gems." This region has numerous irreplaceable natural treasures not included here - and alarmingly, many of them lack protection.

A wide range of protectors defend these "Gems," through ownership and conservation easements - nonprofit local and national conservancies, land trusts, nature centers and foundations; state, county, city and township park organizations; state departments of natural resources; county conservation districts; and even a federal government agency, a cemetery, a university, a historical society, and a neighborhood association. Thousands of volunteers help maintain and restore these places.

The "Gems" obtained protection by gifts of land by generous donors; contributions to nonprofit organizations; purchase by government entities at all levels; grants by state conservation funds; and donations by businesses. In some cases, thousands of school children and university students collected money to make purchases possible.

Importantly, the continuing protection of our natural treasures is only possible with the support of our residents. Your contributions, volunteer efforts and votes matter.


Many of the protecting organizations work together as members of Green Umbrella, Greater Cincinnati's regional sustainability alliance. This series is a project of Green Umbrella's Greenspace Impact Team. Special thanks go to Bob Temple, Stan Hedeen (Emeritus Professor of Ecology, Xavier University), Margaret Mintzner (Environmental Senior Planner, Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments), and Green Umbrella staff.

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