On April 8, 2023, Western Reserve Land Conservancy (WRLC) cleaned up the Blue Heron Reserve nature preserve in Akron, Ohio, which will open as a public park in June. Ten staff members and two children participated in the cleanup, removing litter and construction debris from the area. Budget Dumpster donated a 15 yard dumpster to support the organization’s efforts, our second donation in partnership with this project.

About Western Reserve Land Conservancy

Established in 2006, WRLC was created by the largest merger of land trusts in the United States. Its reach spans 28 Ohio counties, extending from Lake Erie to Columbiana, Jefferson and Carroll. As of 2022, the nonprofit conservation organization has protected over 67,000 acres of land and helped convert over 15,500 acres into public parks.

Staff Members Pose in Front of Blue Heron Preserve Before Their Cleanup

WRLC’s Cleanup and Conservation Efforts in Partnership with Budget Dumpster

Before taking on a cleanup or conservation project, WRLC considers four guiding principles: recreation or education, habitat protection, open space protection and historic preservation. Once it takes on a project, the nonprofit works closely with landowners to make sure their efforts and visions align.

For example, many landowners want to keep their land in the family and protect it from development. That’s where WRLC can help — keeping the property under private ownership while ensuring it stays healthy and conserved. The organization’s cleanup efforts at the Blue Heron Preserve are a perfect example.

Staff Member Makes a Pile of Construction Debris and Litter

What Is Blue Heron Preserve?

Blue Heron Preserve is a 116-acre park located between Newbury and Burton Townships in Geauga County. It sits along the Cuyahoga River Watershed and was a sand and gravel mine for 26 years. WRLC acquired the property in 2015 and has tried turning it into a public park ever since.

“It took quite a few years to complete the restoration of the property from a mine to a nature preserve and from nature preserve to public park!”

Ellen Matlock, Operations Officer at Western Reserve Land Conservancy

Budget Dumpster first partnered with WRLC to clean up the property in August 2022. We donated a 10 yard dumpster to the cleanup, hauling construction debris and litter away from the area.

Staff Members Load Lumber and Construction Debris Into a Dumpster

Preparing for the Grand Opening

In April of 2023, we donated a 15 yard dumpster to support their efforts. WRLC staff completed trail maintenance, weeded, and removed invasive species so they can further renovate the property. After the grand opening in June 2023, residents will enjoy scenic hiking trails, a shelter area, a conservation deck and fishing opportunities.

“Many thanks to Budget Dumpster for continuously helping our nonprofit,” Matlock says. “April is such an important time for outdoor cleanups, and Blue Heron Preserve wouldn’t be in as good of a spot without your help.”

Want to Give Back to Your Community?

If you’re looking for ways to give back to your community, try planning an event of your own. Use the following guides to plan your next cleanup, whether you’re beautifying a public park or pulling litter from a local river.