lRemember the 2003 Mentor Marsh fire set by kids?  Photo credit Thomas Ondrey, The Plain Dealer

The Mentor Marsh Naturalist, Becky Donaldson, recently found evidence of vandalism in and around the deer exclosure erected by the Cleveland Museum of Natural History 12 years ago.

The vandals tore open the exclosure, trampled on fragile plants protected inside the exclosure, and set at least 3 fires inside the exclosure.

Becky confiscated machetes and knives, some duct-taped to poles to serve as lances, from the area.

The Marsh Board assumes it’s kids doing the vandalism, but fire on the Marsh grounds doesn’t kid around.  It’s serious.

Parents, please ask your children if they know anything about who might be engaged in the vandalism.

The Marsh Board asks anyone who’s heard anything about the identity of the vandals to call the Mentor Police Department at 255-1234.  You may leave your tip anonymously, if you choose. 



Mentor Marsh Nature Center programs are family friendly and all are invited. Activities will be held rain/snow or shine. Trails may be muddy this time of year, so please prepare and dress for the conditions. Reservations are requested. For questions or to make a reservation, please contact the Mentor Marsh Nature Center at 440-257-0777 or


The Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve’s mission promotes stewardship of Mentor Marsh for its environmental and aesthetic value and provides educational, scientific and recreational opportunities for visitors to the unique ecosystem and interactive nature preserve. Visit the Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve web site at, search for Mentor Marsh.

Becky Donaldson

Mentor Marsh Naturalist Mentor Marsh Carol H. Sweet Nature Center 5185 Corduroy Road Mentor, Ohio 44060 (440) 257-0777 Direct

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History

1 Wade Oval Drive, University Circle Cleveland, Ohio 44106-1767 216-231-4600 x3505 Lv. mssg. 800-317-9155 x3505 Lv. mssg.



  1. My Parents live not far from that. I hope this does not ever happen again w/ Vandals. I believe sometime in the past when this did happen. 2 Vandals were caught coming out from a Cola Sack. I believe that this has happened sometime before in the past. I hope that this will never ever happen again.

  2. There were at least 5 different Fire Depts. that were there that day when this all happened. I think it may have took days if not hours before that was all over w/. I felt sorry for the Wildlife Even the Poor Deere that took off running. I just hope this would never happen again. In Fact I do remember once it did happen by Lighting struck a old Tree in the swamp. That took quiet a while before that fire was over & Done w/.

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