Shelter Hill Forest

Project Profile

Project Location

Hunting Valley, OH

Project Operator

Western Reserve Land Conservancy

Project Type


Project Credits


Credit Availability


Project Contact

Sarah Blakely, Grants Manager,

Western Reserve Land Conservancy protected the 35-acre Shelter Hill Forest in Hunting Valley, OH. Shelter Hill is an old-growth forest dominated by several species of oak, maple, and hickory, as well as American beech, bitternut, and basswood. Protecting this mature forest helps improve water quality and reduce flooding in the Chagrin River Valley and the Lake Erie Watershed, while also providing air quality and cooling benefits for adjacent communities. In addition, the Land Conservancy will operate the property as one of its Signature Preserves, expanding trail access and promoting active recreation.

With continued urban sprawl leading to development in the Chagrin River Valley, it is critical to conserve what is left of the mature forests that once dominated the region. The two properties on which Shelter Hill sits are both zoned for residential development. For the larger of the two properties, the Land Conservancy successfully negotiated with the landowner and local community to acquire and preserve the old-growth forest in the face of pressures to approve development plans for the property. Protecting Shelter Hill from development will preserve habitat and secure health and social benefits for generations of community members to come.

Western Reserve Land Conservancy, nationally-accredited by the Land Trust Alliance, is Ohio’s largest land trust with more than 70,000 acres conserved across nearly 900 unique properties. The Land Conservancy preserves natural resources which provide multiple environmental benefits and improve the quality of life for residents throughout 29 counties in northern and eastern Ohio. Carbon credits are an excellent extension of the Land Conservancy’s mission, furthering conservation goals that will benefit communities, increase valuable open space acreage, and preserve critical wildlife habitat.

Please visit the Bainbridge Forest, Sandy Cross, Whittlesey Beach, and Black Fork Forest pages for information on other Western Reserve Land Conservancy projects.


Forest preservation projects not only reduce carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but provide ecosystem services or co-benefits that can be quantified. The co-benefits from this project represent a savings (avoided costs) of $74,580 per year, and $2,983,201 over 40 years.

  • Rain interception (stormwater management) – 16,745.5 m3/year, $35,393 per year
  • Air quality – 1.1613 t/yr, $2,865 per year
  • Energy – cooling (electricity) – 50,587 kWh/year, $7,087 per year
  • Energy – heating (natural gas) – 2,090,187 kBtu/year, $29,234 per year

Social Impacts

The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an urgent call for action and global partnership among all countries, representing key benchmarks for creating a better world and environment for everyone. Well-designed and managed urban forests make significant contributions to the environmental sustainability, economic viability and livability of cities.

The main SDGs for this project are described below, with more detailed information in the Project Design Document.

This forest will positively impact air quality, contribute to urban sound absorption, and the open space will contribute to the social and recreational quality of life for residents.


The forest will improve water quality and reduce flooding in the Chagrin River Valley and the Lake Erie Watershed. By protecting the trees, surface runoff containing sediment and nutrients will be intercepted, enhancing stream health, and also preventing erosion.


This project protects a mature forest that promotes biodiversity and wildlife habitat and increases ecosystem function.




Total Credits Issued: 3,114

  • 2024: 3,114 credits issued

Total Credits Sold: 0

Total Credits Retired: 0

Total Credits Cancelled: 0

Total Credits Available for Purchase: 3,114

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