New Metro Park for Summit County, OH

Springfield Township, OH, 10/12/2009: Critical bog and headwaters land in Springfield Township, slated for future subdivision development, will instead become the newest Metro Park in Summit County, The Trust for Public Land announced today.

In 2007, the Ohio office of The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national conservation organization, approached the landowner of the 165-acre property and has since worked with Metro Parks, Serving Summit County and Springfield Township to protect the land as a new park. It is the first Metro Park in Springfield.

“A Metro Park in Springfield is going to open up a beautiful asset for Springfield Township residents and our surrounding neighbors to use and enjoy,” said Vince Mealy, Springfield Township Trustee. “I think this will be positive for both our residents and business within the Township. I thank Metro Parks, Serving Summit County and The Trust for Public Land for making this possible.”

The land has more than 15 acres of rare kettle hole bog ecology. These bogs have global ecological significance. The mostly vacant property is currently utilized for agricultural purposes, but most recently seemed destined for development as a large subdivision.

“We are proud to help Springfield establish its first Metro Park, and protect this significant ecological treasure,” said Bill Carroll, Ohio Director of The Trust for Public Land. “Springfield Bog Metro Park would not have been possible without a strong Clean Ohio funding source or the Ohio EPA Water Resource program.”

TPL is purchasing the land for $2.1 million, approximately half of which is coming from the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund and the other half from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Resource Restoration Sponsor program. The funding will allow Metro Parks, Serving Summit County to take ownership of the new park.

“We’re excited about the land in Springfield Township,” said Keith Shy, Director-Secretary of Metro Parks, Serving Summit County. “We’ve wanted a greater presence in this area, and its quality wetlands and a potential prairie will make for a unique Metro Park.”

“As TPL’s project manager and a Springfield Township resident, I am extremely happy and proud to see this effort’s success,” said Neal Hess, Project Manager for The Trust for Public Land. “This remarkable property was protected due to a strong partnership between The Trust for Public Land, Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, and Springfield Township. I believe this Metro Park will yield great dividends for the citizens of this area.”

Since it was founded in 1972, The Trust for Public Land has helped protect nearly 3 million acres of land in 47 states. In Ohio, TPL has protected more than 10,000 acres valued at more than $86 million. The Trust for Public Land depends on the support and generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to achieve its mission to preserve land for people.