From its early years the Society has been interested in holding land as wildlife habitat and for educational purposes.

In 1941 the Cleveland Bird Club purchased the 165-acre Aurora Sanctuary, believed to be the oldest privately held nature preserve in Ohio. Between 1944 and 1947 two contiguous properties in Willoughby Hills were donated to the Cleveland Bird Club, forming the 81-acre Hach-Otis Sanctuary.

In 1991 William Novak of Aurora donated the 152-acre Blanche Katherine Novak Sanctuary in memory of his wife.

Most recently, in 2000, the 113 acre Michael and Lenore Molnar Sanctuary was donated, raising the Society’s acreage in Aurora to 430 and its total owned acreage to 511.

Three of the four Audubon sanctuaries are also protected as dedicated State Nature Preserves by the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Audubon retains ownership and full responsibility for their maintenance and management. The Hach-Otis Sanctuary was dedicated by the Division in 1977, and the Novak and Aurora Sanctuaries were dedicated in 1999. All sanctuaries are open to responsible visitors and hours are restricted.

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