About the Farm

The University Farm is comprised of several historic properties known as Squire Valleevue Farm and Valley Ridge Farm. This campus is a beautiful 400-acre property that features forests, ravines, waterfalls, meadows, ponds, and a self-contained natural watershed and is also a Biology Research Field Station, .

Owned by CWRU, the Farm is the site of several buildings designed for educational, research, and recreational purposes.

It is open to all CWRU students, faculty, staff, and alumni from dawn to dusk, seven days a week, for hiking, and by reservation for special event rentals, Mondays - Saturdays. Farm Guidelines & Rules for Use are in the process of being updated and will be posted shortly.

Our Annual Reports provide additional information on usage figures and farm operations.

Mission & Guiding Principles

A 2023 Stakeholder Committee was charged with updating the Farm’s guiding principles & direction. This Committee met during the Summer of 2023 to recommend the following updates to the Farm’s aims and operations. Committee members included:

  1. Dr. Jim Bader, Leonard Gelfand Stem Center
  2. Betsy Banks, Center for Civic Engagement & Learning
  3. Dr. Mike Benard, Biology
  4. Joanne Brown, Planning & Design
  5. Dr. Jean Burns, Biology
  6. Nick Christie, Construction
  7. Stephanie Corbett, Energy, Sustainability & Farm
  8. Kate Klownowski, Local Government & Community Relations
  9. Kathy Lanese, Cross Country
  10. Lorraine Nelson, Siegal Lifelong Learning Center
  11. Dr. Kurt Rhoads, Civil Engineering
  12. Dr. Andrew Rollins, Biomedical Engineering
  13. Victoria Wright, Office of the Provost

Andrew Squire, primary property and endowment donor wrote in his will:
“Valleevue Farm should be held in perpetuity for the use and benefit of the teachers and students of the women's college of the Western Reserve University. I desire it preserved as a farm for educational purposes, and to be a place where the practical duties of life may be taught; where the teachers and students can come in close contact with Mother Earth.” In keeping with Andrew Squire’s gift, Case Western Reserve University is committed to preserving the Farm as a facility for all the University community to experience, enjoy, learn and benefit from, whether as recreational visitors, faculty researchers, or students seeking educational opportunities.

The goal of the University Farm is to take advantage of the property’s rich and unique potential to enhance and complement the University’s mission of education, research and community benefit through the lens of nature. In moving towards this goal, the Farm’s historic role in CWRU’s education, research, and recreation strive to be maintained, and its natural environment and rural character preserved.

The University Farm’s 2023 Updated Guiding Principles Are:

  1. The Farm programs and operations support CWRUs strategic initiatives, academics, research, consistent with the terms of the endowment. The Farm programs focus on support for CWRU core values including diversity, equity, and inclusion, and contribute to a just and thriving community.
  2. As a Biology Field Station, CWRU research and teaching efforts should be afforded priority use of the Farm's grounds.
  3. The Farm property should be operated in a manner that protects its nature based assets, the historic use of the property for farming, architecturally and historically significant buildings, and research potential of these assets, with a conservation philosophy.
  4. The Farm property should provide the CWRU Community with recreational opportunities that allow the property’s natural assets to be protected and showcased for education and athletics.
  5. As many CWRU students as possible should be provided an opportunity to visit the farm at least once during their career at CWRU either for a co-curricular programming, a credit class, a club retreat, or a service experience.
  6. The Farm staff should provide several place-based or nature-based programs and opportunities for the CWRU community annually.
    1. Eg. led hikes, research showcases, food program volunteer days, food program classes, stargazing nights, etc. 
  7. The Farm should strive to be of community benefit to the Greater-Cleveland community. This can occur in several ways: Farm food program collaboration with urban partners, Biology Field Station community collaborations, affording non-profit or school groups access to the property, and potentially others. These opportunities should be revisited by a Farm staff and Stakeholder committee annually.

Here is a short informational video done by a local high school student.