Effort to Protect Toledo Farm Closer to Completion (OH)

Toledo, OH 2/11/08 – Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo), The Trust for Public Land (TPL), and Metroparks of the Toledo Area today announced another key success in the effort to protect Keil Farm, one of the last working farms within the Toledo city limits.

In this second phase of the three-phase project, TPL purchased 51 acres of Keil Farm and immediately transferred the property to Metroparks, adding to the farm’s 40 acres conserved last year. The total acquisition to date has been made possible through $3.6 million in federal funds. Plans call for the purchase of the 154-acre farm’s remaining 63 acres in early 2009, if an additional $2.6 million can be secured. That land also will be transferred to the Metroparks.

Keil Farm provides a link to the rich agricultural heritage of Lucas County, which contains one of the largest concentrations of greenhouses in the nation. The land also is an important green oasis within the city of Toledo and helps protect a tributary to the Ottawa River. TPL has worked with Rep. Kaptur for the last several years to ensure the farm would be conserved for the benefit of future generations.

The vision for Keil Farm includes the possibility of establishing the farm as the centerpiece of the flourishing greenhouse industry in Toledo. TPL is partnering with the Keil family and Rep. Kaptur along with Toledo City Council and Metroparks to coordinate this project.

“Being an urban community does not mean we should abdicate our greenspace,” said Congresswoman Kaptur. “We must showcase our hidden assets such as Keil Farm, continue to enhance them and market our quality of life. I see Toledo as a ‘city in a garden.’ Creating a green hub in our urban environment will help raise an awareness about the importance of productive land and its adjacent water resources.”

“Rep. Kaptur’s vision for making Keil Farm a hub of green activity in Toledo is inspiring to those of us who work to ensure people are able to stay connected to the lands that are so important to their heritage,” said Bill Carroll, Ohio Director of The Trust for Public Land. “We are proud of this project and look forward to seeing it through to completion.”

Jim Spengler, Metroparks of the Toledo Area’s Director, praised the collaboration that has resulted in the project’s success.

“Keil Farm offers Metroparks a rare opportunity to preserve open space in the city for future generations to enjoy,” Director Spengler said. “The ongoing partnership between the park district, Congresswoman Kaptur and the Trust for Public Land is a model for conservation and a win for the community.”