Kiss the Cow Rally in Support of Medina (OH) Farmland Preservation Measure
MEDINA, OH — A “kiss the cow” public rally will be held on Thursday, February 24th at Buckeye High School in Medina County in support of Medina County’s proposed farmland preservation measure, which will appear on the ballot this March 7th. Doors will open at 5:00 p.m. and the rally will begin at 5:30 p.m.
The rally will feature a two-year-old, black-and-white Holstein cow named “Unity.” Rally supporters will be asked to “kiss the cow” to show their support for the farmland preservation measure.
Accommodations will be made for media who want to report live from the event.
“Medina County is losing 40 acres per week to residential development,” explains Medina County Auditor Michael Kovack. “We need to act today to preserve our rural heritage for tomorrow.”
Located south of Cleveland and west of Akron, Medina County is the most rapidly developing county in Ohio. Since 1970, Medina County’s population has nearly doubled to 155,000. At the current rate of development, Medina County will lose more than 20,000 acres of rural land over the next ten years.
“The program would be strictly voluntary,” explains Christopher Knopf, Director of the Ohio Office of the Trust for Public Land, which is assisting in the campaign in support of the measure. “The county would purchase easements only from willing sellers. The land would stay in private ownership, but could never be developed with homes or commercial buildings.”
The farmland preservation measure would be funded by a 1/4 cent sales tax on goods sold in the county, which amounts to 25 cents for every $100 in goods sold. Food and prescription drugs would be exempt from the tax. An annual public audit would be performed to ensure that funds were spent properly.
“The sales tax will actually keep property taxes lower in Medina County because the cost of services for the new homes that are coming into the county exceeds the tax revenue that they generate,” says Christopher Knopf of the Trust for Public Land.
The Trust for Public Land is a national, nonprofit land conservation organization that gained widespread public attention last year by demolishing the Richfield Coliseum and transferring the property to the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area. Nationwide, the Trust for Public Land has helped conserve more than a million acres valued at nearly $2 billion.
To get to Buckeye High School from Cleveland, take I-71 south to the Route 303 exit. Go west on Route 303 through the City of Brunswick until you reach Route 252 (Columbia Road). Go left onto Route 252 and head south for approximately five miles. Buckeye High School is on the right-hand side just past the railroad tracks and Wolff Road. The rally will be in the cafeteria.