Toledo Farm Preservation Moves Forward (OH)

February 22, 2007
Ohio

TOLEDO, OH, 2/12/07: Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo), The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and Metroparks of the Toledo Area today announced the protection of 40 acres of Keil Farm, one of the last working farms within the Toledo city limits.

TPL purchased the farm's northernmost acreage and immediately transferred the property to Metroparks, which funded the acquisition using $1.6 million in federal funds. TPL has an option to buy the remaining 114 acres. That land also would be transferred to Metroparks in the second phase of the acquisition. TPL is partnering with the Keil family and Rep. Kaptur along with Toledo City Council and Metroparks to coordinate this project.

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 not end up paved over and developed.

"I think of Toledo as a City in a Garden," said Rep. Kaptur. "Cities that thrive in this century will emphasize quality of life. This new emerald in our crown will add to our heritage. Toledo is already Ohio's harbor city. Our region's Metroparks are the finest and largest in the state, and the preeminence of our greenhouse industry makes us Ohio's floral capital as well.

"Being urban does not necessarily mean we have to abdicate our greenspace," she continued. "We should showcase these hidden secrets, enhance them, market our quality of life and capitalize on eco-tourism in this historic truck-garden corridor of our city. With the acreage that is available, all stakeholders can create a hub of green activity that will benefit the neighborhood and its businesses. This "green hub" also holds potential to help raise awareness of how powerful a resource productive land and its adjacent water resources can be to serve the needs of the people of a city," Rep. Kaptur said.

"Keil Farm lies where vision and action meet," said Christopher Knopf, Ohio director of The Trust for Public Land. "Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur provided the vision of permanent green space and The Trust for Public Land worked with the Keil family, Metroparks and the local community to make that vision a reality."

Metroparks Director Jim Spengler added, "Keil Farm represents a unique opportunity for Metroparks to preserve agricultural land and open space in the city of Toledo, as well as a piece of our region's heritage." *****

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Since it was founded in 1972, The Trust for Public Land has helped protect more than 2.2 million acres of land in 46 states. In Ohio, the Trust for Public Land has protected more than 9,500 acres valued at $60 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. The organization receives leadership support from the George Gund Foundation, the Cleveland Foundation, the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation and the George B. Storer Foundation. For more information, please visit The Trust for Public Land Ohio Office on the web at www.tpl.org/ohio.