12. The 577 Foundation
| 577 East Front Street | This is one of the stops on the tour where someone always approaches me and says, "I've been driving by this place for years - I am so glad I have finally had a chance to visit."
In 1935, Duane and Virginia Stranahan purchased a 12 acre river-front property at 577 East Front Street in Perrysburg where they built a home and raised a family of six children. Since Virginia always had an interest in gardening & agriculture, their home was a small farm with pigs, chickens, cattle, horses & victory gardens for each of the 6 children.
By the late 1960's, many of the riverfront estates began to sub-divide for development and Virginia Stranahan wanted nothing to do with it. She decided to return her property to the community in a way that would preserve the land she loved, teach stewardship and make it useful to as many people as possible. At the age of 80, she decided to practice her belief as a preservationist and protect her estate from development. She described her vision for what would become the 577 Foundation this way, "Whatever we do here, let's be educational, environmental, experimental, and let's have fun."
Today the 577 Foundation receives operating funds through a gift endowed by Virginia Stranahan. As well, in 1996, The Nature Conservancy executed a conservation easement to protect the property from future development. In 1998, the easement was transferred to a local organization, Black Swamp Conservancy, for continual monitoring.