Support State Nature Preserves on Your Ohio Income Tax Return
What is the Natural Areas Tax Checkoff Program?
The Natural Areas checkoff program on the Ohio personal income tax return provides a convenient and efficient way to support conservation in Ohio. Since its inception in 1983, over two million donations have been made to the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, providing nearly $16 million for natural land conservation and management.
The Division of Natural Areas and Preserves currently oversees a system of 136 State Nature Preserves, totaling 30,000 acres, across the state. Visitors are invited to explore many of these preserves, which are open daily from dawn to dusk, and activities such as bird watching, hiking, nature study and wildlife photography are highly encouraged.
State Nature Preserves are sanctuaries for rare plants and animals - 40% of Ohio’s endangered species, and 58% of Ohio’s threatened species, are represented and protected within them.
Why should I contribute to the Natural Areas Tax Checkoff?
Unfortunately, many native plants and animals are threatened with elimination from Ohio. Invasive species and development pressures are threatening Ohio’s high quality natural areas, and funding reductions over the past five years have significantly reduced land management capacity.
With your help, the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves will continue to implement rigorous ecological management strategies to protect and preserve the rare plants and animals that make up the natural beauty and heritage of our state.
How have previous donations been used?
Land protection – acquiring new nature preserves and adding critical additions to existing preserves
Public Use Facility Development – providing public access for visitors
Endangered Species and Natural Community Research – to ensure scientifically sound ecological land management plans
Special Projects – Activities that benefit good preserve management and identification of new areas.
How do I make a donation?
Ohioans can donate all or part of their state income tax refund by checking “Natural areas” on line 27b of the 1040 Individual Income Tax Return (line 20b of the 1040EZ form). Contributions made on the 2013 tax return, filed in 2014, are considered deductible charitable donations made in 2014.
Those who wish to help, but are not eligible to receive a state income tax refund, may make a direct contribution to the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves at 2045 Morse Road, Bldg. C-3, Columbus, OH 43229.