COLUMBUS, Ohio – This tax season, Ohioans can contribute to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) conservation efforts by donating a portion of their state income tax refund to support Ohio’s wildlife and state nature preserves.
“These tax-deductible donations help ODNR to continue its mission of making the state’s natural resources available to all Ohioans,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. “Donations from past years go a long way toward conserving Ohio’s wild species and habitats in perpetuity. The funds directly benefit efforts to enhance our natural areas and protect vulnerable wildlife and plant species.”
Ohio is made up of a beautiful mosaic of forest, prairie, wetland, and water habitats that support thousands of species of plants and animals. The tax donation program is a meaningful way for wildlife enthusiasts to help restore and manage endangered and threatened species, and their habitats.
Making a donation on this year’s tax return to the Wildlife Diversity Fund or State Nature Preserves and Scenic Rivers helps to secure the future for Ohio’s wildlife and wild places, including improvements to native habitats and landscapes and support for endangered plant and wildlife species. Individuals may donate all or part of their state income tax refund by entering a dollar amount for “State Nature Preserves and Scenic Rivers” on line 26a or “Wildlife Species” on line 26d of the 2021 IT 1040 tax form. Contributions made on the 2021 tax return and filed in 2022 are considered deductible donations made in 2022.
In the past, donations to the Wildlife Diversity Fund have supported the reintroduction of native species, including lake sturgeon, freshwater mussels, Ohio’s largest salamander the hellbender, and Ohio’s largest waterfowl, the trumpeter swan. Donations also fund free informational field guides and posters.
The Division of Natural Areas and Preserves oversees a statewide system of 140 unique state nature preserves open to visitors for exploration and research and 15 scenic rivers. The tax refund donations help the division to construct trails and boardwalks, improve parking and signage, and allow for greater public access to a treasure trove of nature’s wonders available in Ohio. These structures allow visitors to experience up close the natural beauty found in state nature preserves without negatively impacting the ecological integrity of these protected sites. Donations also support critical ecological management activities, including efforts to remove non-native and invasive species that pose a serious and ever-growing threat to sensitive habitats.
For more information on the Division of Wildlife and the Wildlife Diversity Fund, click here. For more information on the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves or how to donate, visit ohiodnr.gov.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.