Preserving Our Natural Treasures for Future Generations

The Little Miami RiverThe Greater Miami Valley region is blessed with many exceptional and celebrated amenities, including a rich and diverse landscape. Abundant waterways, including a critical aquifer, lush native vegetation, varied wildlife, and extensive farmlands make the region an attractive place to live, grow sensibly and enjoy a robust outdoor lifestyle.

“The Greater Dayton area has tremendous natural assets,’ said Bob Jurick, an original member of the advisory committee of The Greater Dayton Conservation Fund of The Dayton Foundation. “For example, the Greater Miami River aquifer is one of the largest underground sources of fresh water east of the Mississippi and serves as the sole or principal source of drinking water for 1.6 million people in Southwest Ohio.”

As you can imagine, any threat to such a life-sustaining natural resource could have long-term devastating effects. Whether it is water, land, the air we breathe or the food we eat, our responsibility as a region is to assure that these systems are appreciated, protected and improved through well-thought-out resource management planning and practices that benefit all residents.

And that’s exactly what Mr. Jurick and several other community leaders and environmentalists are doing. Through the support of The Dayton Foundation, they established The Greater Dayton Conservation Fund to help support conservation initiatives and programs.

The GDCF awards grants to support programs and initiatives within the region that help protect the natural environment through education, acquisition, restoration and scientific research; encourage collaborations and regional land conservation; and leverage cooperation and support of various efforts of like-minded organizations. The GDCF is also committed to staying relevant by maintaining the ability to adapt to changing priorities and practices in the environment and conservation fields locally, nationally and worldwide.

Since 2006, the fund has awarded a total of $150,000 in grants to 37 projects in the region. One of the founding grants led to the creation of the University of Dayton Rivers Institute. Through this ongoing student-led program, university students have explored the wonders of the region’s waterways and developed an interest in natural resource related careers and fields of study. The Rivers Institute experience is something these students will take with them for the rest of their lives.

GDCF is still active today, supporting strategic and vital initiatives to sustain our natural landscapes for generations to come. “The precedent that GDCF has created is not only vital to the sustained growth of our region, but for future generations to learn and grow in their appreciation for the natural world,” said Meg Maloney, current GDCF co-chair. “I am proud to see what this board has supported and accomplished, and I am excited to see how we can help grow sustainability within our community in the future.”

The Advisory Committee of The Greater Dayton Conservation Fund accepts applications for its revolving grant funding cycle. For more information, contact

Help The Greater Dayton Conservation Fund continue to preserve and improve environmental health throughout the Dayton Region. Donate now to the Greater Dayton Conservation Fund.

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File date: 02.24.23


Bob Jurick

“The Greater Dayton Conservation Fund was formed by The Dayton Foundation to assure that conservation-minded donors have options to support our natural environment - and to provide a source of funding for the many local charitable organizations focused on conservation and environmental stewardship.” – Bob Jurick, Dayton Foundation donor since 2000

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