The Countryside Initiative

A farmer in a pale blue shirt rides behind two tall, brown horses through rows of green crops.
Farming at Trapp Family Farm is powered by draft horses.

Courtesy Countryside

Cuyahoga Valley National Park serves as a largely undeveloped refuge in a metropolitan area. In addition to natural and cultural resources, the park preserves the rural heritage of the Cuyahoga Valley. For about 25 years, the National Park Service's Countryside Initiative established living, working farms to sustain that rural heritage, while also protecting the park's resources. A testament to the success of that initiative, today the park's farming program sustains landscapes associated with American farm life.

In 1999 the Countryside Conservancy (later called Countryside Food and Farms) was established as a non-profit partner of the National Park Service. During its early years, Countryside focused primarily on farm rehabilitation. The organization developed numerous educational programs to support new farmers, as well as to engage and educate the general public. After years of hard work, now there are nine operational farms and over a dozen restored farm properties in the park. Learn more about the early days of the program by listening to the oral history clips below.


Last updated: May 22, 2024

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15610 Vaughn Road
Brecksville, OH 44141


440 717-3890

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