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Our Treasured Glen

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by | May 22, 2020

The Glen Helen is not being shopped for sale.

While governments have long been the principal force behind the establishment of protected areas worldwide, there are also thousands of private nature reserves around the world. Antioch College’s Glen Helen is one such example.

Since 1929, the College has stewarded, grown, and honored the Glen Helen Preserve: a gift from alumnus Hugh Taylor Birch, which was made specifically to enlarge our campus. Antioch College proved its full commitment to the Glen when it completed a conservation easement in 2015 to ensure it would be preserved in perpetuity against development.

For over a year, Antioch College has been quietly exploring with the board of the Glen Helen Association (GHA) a new structure under which to operate this treasured regional resource. The GHA is a separate nonprofit organization with which the College shares the common goal of supporting and protecting Glen Helen and access to it, in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way.

That exploration continues, although the COVID-19 epidemic has radically altered the financial landscape and heightened our sense of urgency. Antioch College remains completely committed to finding a best path forward to preserve the ecological integrity of the Glen and access for its students and the broader community.

However, Antioch College’s primary purpose is its historic educational mission: delivering an affordable and exceptional model of experiential education to its students. In this uncertain time, the College is focused on managing its expenses to address changes in the higher education landscape and securing its long-term future. The College can no longer shoulder the burden of the programs and management of a quasi-public park at the expense of its core educational mission.

Antioch College has consistently acted with integrity and high purpose with regard to the Glen Helen, which is a beloved College and community resource. Our efforts remain aligned to finding a good, responsible result for the Glen, the College, and the community.