Steve and Jerry Panzner
Panzner Wetland Wildlife Reserve
Akron, Ohio

Ohio landowners, brothers Steve and Jerry Panzner, have transformed their restored wetlands into a living laboratory for elementary, undergraduate, and graduate students. In 1999, the brothers decided to restore over 100 acres of their family farm to wetland habitats similar to those that existed on the land in the 1920s. They designed and implemented each step of the restoration process, adapting agricultural know-how to establish one of the top wetland mitigation sites in Ohio. In 2009, Steve and Jerry entered into an innovative partnership with the University of Akron and the Akron Public Schools to establish a yearlong program to teach hundreds of elementary students about the importance of wetlands. They actively participated in the program, not only providing their land as an outdoor classroom, but also sharing their knowledge and experience with the students. Steve and Jerry have also provided graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to use their restored wetlands for scientific research. In 2012, the Panzner brothers donated their land to the University of Akron to be used for wetlands education, research, and outreach.