Land Added to Cuyahoga Valley NP (OH)

Akron, OH, 4/1/04 – The Trust for Public Land (TPL), the city of Akron and Cuyahoga National Park (CVNP) announced today the successful conclusion of a two-year long effort to include 92-acres of undeveloped land as part of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Located at the southern edge of the park, the property includes important Cuyahoga River habitat and is a prominent entrance into the national park. It is also considered an important factor in the success of the adjacent great blue heron rookery along Bath Road. The Trust for Public Land facilitated a transaction that involved acquiring the property from the city of Akron and, in turn, selling to the National Park Service.

“This property is the Cuyahoga River’s entrance into the park,” added Christopher Knopf, Director of the Trust for Public Land Ohio Office. “People come from far away to witness the beauty and power of the great blue herons and the protection of this section of the river will allow that interaction between people and the natural world to continue.”

“Ensuring permanent protection of large undeveloped tracts of land within the national park continues to be a high priority for the park, “said John P. Debo, Jr., Cuyahoga Valley National Park Superintendent. “Protection of this 92-acre property, with its critical river habitat and its prominence from several park entrances, the train and towpath trail was vital.”

“This is an important quality of life issue for our community,” said Akron Mayor Donald Plusquellic. “We’re pleased that this partnership will offer protection for this valuable park resource.”

The land is located north of Bath Road between Akron-Peninsula and Riverview Roads. It is also adjacent to the 278-acre Hampton Hills Metro Park managed by Metro Parks, serving Summit County. The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad and the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath pass along the western edge of the parcel on its way to Akron. The quarter-mile of the Cuyahoga River meanders through the property bounded on both sides by tall sycamores, providing cooling shade in the summer.

From the property people can view scores of great blue herons raise their young in nests situated high above in the sycamore trees located on the adjacent land owned by the City of Akron. The Akron Community Foundation provided important funding to support the Trust for Public Land’s work on the project through a generous $10,000 grant.

The Trust for Public Land continues to play a role in the development of Cuyahoga Valley National Park through its facilitation of land acquisition. Since the earliest days of the park, the Trust for Public Land has helped acquire numerous properties within the park. Through its efforts, TPL has been able to help protect at-risk park resources and prevent development on several large tracts within the nation park. Included among the 19 projects has been the 327-acre Richfield Coliseum property, the historic Frazee House, and surplus lands at the former state mental health facility in Sagamore Hills. Today the National Park encompasses more than 33,000 acres and is one of the most visited national parks in the country.

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 1.4 million acres across the nation. In 2001, The Trust for Public Land helped protect the nearby 1,300-acre Edison Woods Preserve, which is the largest single conservation project in northern Ohio in decades.