Black Swamp Conservancy’s So Wild A Place Fundraiser

Black Swamp Conservancy is excited to celebrate conservation in Northwest Ohio with its fundraising event, So Wild a Place, on Saturday, June 15, at 5:30 pm. The event will be held outdoors at West Side Montessori’s Toledo campus. 

This year’s celebration will be a casual “backyard” gathering featuring musical artist Joshua Davis, a Michigan-based performing songwriter, teaching artist and 2015 finalist on NBC’s The Voice; Jimmy G’s BBQ dinner, including vegan and gluten free options; an open bar; and a live auction with unique regional experiences and outdoor adventures available. 

Who they are, what’s the impact

Established in 1993, Black Swamp Conservancy preserves and enhances natural habitats and family farms in northwest Ohio for the benefit of current and future generations. 

Currently, Black Swamp protects 180 properties spanning more than 22,900 acres across the region. 

The organization works to restore strategically-sited land back to historic wetlands, functioning floodplains and associated upland habitats. These projects serve multiple ecological and community benefits, including improved water quality, biodiversity, carbon sequestration and public access for recreation and education. 


RELATED: So Wild A Place Ticket Giveaway


To date, Black Swamp’s major habitat restoration projects have converted over 880 acres of land and revitalized more than 2.5 miles of streams. Since 2021 the Conservancy has planted more than 75,000 trees. 

Black Swamp is one of the forty land trusts in Ohio, belonging to the Coalition of Ohio Land Trusts and the Land Trust Alliance. Since its inception Black Swamp has protected over 175 properties covering 21,000 acres around the area that was once called the Great Black Swamp.

Why it’s important

Northwest Ohio is quickly losing what is left of its unique landscape. Ohio loses over 40,000 acres of rural land to development projects each year. Almost one-fifth of Ohio was once covered with wetlands. Currently, we have lost over 90% of our original wetlands. 

Wetlands are a crucial part of our landscape, as a wide variety of plants and animals rely on the wetland environment for food, shelter and reproduction. Many of these plants and animals that are associated with wetlands are now listed on the federal threatened or endangered species list, including one fourth of the plant species, one half of the fish species, two thirds of the bird species and three fourths of the amphibian species. Black Swamp takes direct action to protect and restore these natural environments, which not only protects but enhances wildlife.

Land conservation efforts not only help to revitalize Ohio’s natural environment. Farmland preservation helps ensure the longevity of Ohio’s $100 billion agriculture and food industry, natural habitat conservation supports Ohio’s growing tourism industry, bringing in eco-tourists for bird watching, hunting and fishing and wetlands conservation helps protect our water supply, as wetlands serve as natural water filters. 

Putting the fun in fundraiser

Black Swamp’s So Wild a Place fundraiser will be unlike the typical fundraiser, with a casual “backyard” barbeque party featuring music from NBC’s The Voice finalist, Joshua Davis.

“We very intentionally make sure that it’s a fun laid back event. It’s not your typical black tie fundraiser; we do ours as a backyard barbecue,” Rob Krain, director of Black Swamp, said.

Michigan artist, Joshua Davis, the musical guest for the fundraising event describes his music as “rooted in the folk tradition.” 

“Terms like Americana, roots rock and heartland rock come up, but there’s so much more to it than that. I’m not a purist: I play with that American folk lineage, I play with those metaphors,” Davis said.

Davis explained he is excited for Black Swamp’s So Wild a Place fundraising event not only to perform, but also because the mission aligns with his personal values.

“A long time ago, my dad had an organization called the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve that was about preserving some ecosystems in northern Michigan and I’ve done a lot of work with a ton of organizations like that, and so I’m excited on two fronts,” Davis said. “I’m excited to play for some really wonderful people, and have a really good time. But also, just any chance I can get to kind of do this kind of work is really fulfilling for me.”

Attendees can expect an evening full of good music, good food and lots of fun, while learning about and supporting Black Swamp Conversays mission of restoring Ohio wetlands. Tickets for the event can be purchased for $85. Early bird discounted tickets can be purchased until June 8 for $75. Purchase tickets for the fundraiser on events.humanitix.com/so-wild-a-place-2024/tickets.

“Our primary goal is to expose more people to the conservancy, and the work that we’re doing to, to protect and enhance natural habitats throughout Northwest Ohio, which benefits everybody here. I’m hoping that we see new faces, and people come and learn more about the organization and everybody has a good time,” Krain said. “We’re doing a lot for this community in terms of public access, and protecting wildlife habitat, restoring wetlands that support cleaner water in our region, and we just want people to know about it, and hopefully support us at the event and throughout the year and years to come.”

Tickets and more information are available at blackswamp.org/event/so-wild-a-place-2024.

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