The Foundation for Geauga Parks was founded in 1990 as an independent organization with a non-profit, public charitable mission status designated by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c) 3, 509 A 1.
A volunteer Board of Trustees provides the governance over the Foundation and serves as advocates, advisors, and community connectors. The principal mission of the Foundation is philanthropic to support community engagement with nature through education, preservation, conservation and appreciation of the unique cultural, historic and natural character of the parks in Geauga County. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised millions toward those goals.
- 1990: Geauga Park District Foundation is created.
- 1991-1993 - The Foundation conducts its first fundraising campaign to help GPD purchase The Rookery in Munson Township.
- 1994: GPD purchases land from American Society for Metals (ASM) to become the core property for The West Woods.
- 1995: The West Woods Property finalized. The Foundation launches The West Woods Preservation Campaign.
- 2000-2002: The Foundation conducts The West Woods Nature Center Campaign.
- 2003: Nature Scopes program kicks off and the Foundation commits fundraising support to sustain it. More than 11,000 students have participated since!
- 2004-2008: The Foundation raises funds to support large-scale biennial exhibits in The West Woods Nature Center.
- 2007: The Foundation launches phase I of Observatory Park campaign.
- 2008-2014: Observatory Park campaign phases II, III & IV continue.
- 2011: Observatory Park opens; $2.2 million dollars donated through the Foundation for Observatory Park and the adjacent Nassau Station.
The Chip Henry Institute for Outdoor Adventure is established in memory of Probate/Juvenile Court Judge Charles (Chip) Henry.
- 2012: The Foundation legally changes its IRS status from 501(c)(3) 509(a)(3) to an independent 501(c)(3) 509(a)(1) public charity, expanding its ability to raise funds to support any park entity in Geauga County.
- 2012-2013: The Foundation supports the restoration of the historic South Newbury Union Chapel and its artifacts. The Chapel is added to the National Register of Historic Places.
- 2015: The Foundation changes its name from Geauga Park District Foundation to Foundation for Geauga Parks (FGP) to better represent the independent structure and align the Foundation's name and logo with its mission and purpose.
- 2016: FGP donates to support Western Reserve Land Conservancy's purchase of Modroo Farm property for the Russell Township park system.
- 2017: Continues its support of Geauga Park District's Nature Scopes program by purchasing binoculars and field guides. For the first time, 100% of Geauga County Fifth grade students in public, private and parochial schools participated!
- 2019: FGP donates funds to create a new trail in Munson Township's Scenic River Retreat. Launches the Skywatchers Club in collaboration with Chagrin Valley Astronomical Society, Geauga County Library System, Burton Public Library and Geauga Park District. Hires the Foundation's first director and associate director.
- 2020: With support from the Cleveland Foundation Lake-Geauga Fund, FGP is collaborating with various partners to launch a Pollinator Garden Project.
- 2022: Launched FGP's Grantmaking Program. Held the grand opening of the Pollinator Project's first demonstration Garden and Nature Play area in Frohring Meadows.