45 Acres In Geauga County Protected (OH)

Geauga County, OH, 5/11/2005 – The Trust for Public Land and the City of Akron announced today the acquisition of a conservation easement on 45 acres of prime farmland in Geauga County. The conservation easement is the most recent example of a long-term effort by the City and the Trust for Public Land to protect the Upper Cuyahoga River and its watershed. The conservation easement on the 45-acre property, referred to as Burton Gardens, will help preserve the water quality of the Upper Cuyahoga River, as well as the rural landscape of Burton Township.

“The Trust for Public Land is providing valuable support for our efforts in protecting the Upper Cuyahoga watershed,” noted Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic. “Land conservation is a wise investment in the future water quality of our city and in the long run will save money. This benefits everyone within the Upper Cuyahoga River watershed and all those downstream to Lake Erie.” Akron previously worked with the Trust for Public Land and Burton Township to acquire and protect a 98-acre parcel in Burton Township known as The Burton Headwaters.

In partnership with the Trust for Public Land, the City of Akron will hold the conservation easement restricting use of the property to those compatible with water quality protection. The Cuyahoga River, which supplies the City of Akron with drinking water, is fed by water draining through this property and into a clear, natural stream flowing through forests nestled behind the hayfields of the farm. Conservation of this property, combined with past and future efforts, will lead to continued long-term protection of Akron’s water supply.

“Akron continues to demonstrate a forward-thinking approach to drinking water protection,” said Eddie Dengg, Project Manager for the Trust for Public Land. “Land that has traditionally been used for agriculture is being developed rapidly in this watershed. This development threatens the rural atmosphere and quality of life in Burton Township, and directly affects Akron’s drinking water. Through the efforts of Burton Township Trustee Lou Mucci, Burton has been pro-active in addressing these concerns, and his efforts are another key factor in this success.”

Under the agreement, this property will continue to be operated as a private farm by its owner, Tim and Sharen Schaefer of Chelsea Flower Gardens. The forested waterway and other watershed protection attributes of the property will remain intact and will continue to protect the quality of drinking water for the City of Akron. Many of the privileges of ownership remain with the farm. However, use of the property is restricted in perpetuity to agricultural and farming purposes, therefore ensuring long-term water quality.

The Trust for Public Land conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Founded in 1972, the Trust for Public Land has helped protect more than 1.9 million acres across the nation. Critical past accomplishments in Ohio include reclaiming the former Richfield Coliseum site as an addition to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and protecting Edison Woods and the East Sandusky Bay Preserve in Erie County. The Ohio Office of the Trust for Public Land is supported in part by grants from The Cleveland Foundation, The George Gund Foundation, and The Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation. For more information, visit the Trust for Public Land on the web at www.tpl.org/ohio.