On August 18 Five Rivers MetroParks closed on a land acquisition deal that will significantly expand the footprint of Wesleyan MetroPark. The land was purchased from the Calvary Mission Church through a Clean Ohio conservation grant and a significant donation from the church.
Grant funds totaled $311,000 and $215,000 was applied to the purchase of the property.
“Calvary Mission Church dreamed of this green space becoming a destination where the community could enjoy the outdoors,” said Eric Sauer, MetroParks planning manager. “By incorporating this space into an existing MetroPark, we can expand park amenities and connect trails, in addition to activating the space and making it accessible to the community, which is what the church envisioned.”
The 45.8 acres of acquired land contains ponds and portions of the Wolf Creek, which would offer new fishing and recreation opportunities to park visitors. The addition of this land also could help close a portion of a five-mile gap in the Wolf Creek bike trail and allow MetroParks’ conservation team to improve the land’s ecosystems.
“As part of MetroParks’ 10-year comprehensive master plan, we asked the community what they want to see from their MetroParks during public site plan meetings,” Sauer said. “We will do the same thing with Wesleyan MetroPark, considering the substantial addition of this new green space.”
MetroParks will begin the process over the next several months of cleaning up the space and selecting entrances that ensure neighborhood pedestrians have access to the area. MetroParks rangers will monitor the area, which will be considered one of MetroParks’ conservation areas until a community-based site plan can be completed. These natural areas are managed so that habitat for plants and wildlife take precedence.
Wesleyan MetroPark, located at 1441 Wesleyan Road, is home to Adventure Central and is one of Five Rivers MetroParks’ 18 clean, safe parks. Adventure Central is the result of a partnership among Five Rivers MetroParks, The Ohio State University Extension and 4-H Youth Development. Adventure Central’s positive youth development partnership is based on a proven model of long-term commitment and high touch integrated with opportunities to connect with nature. The result: strengthened values, lasting life skills and both an eagerness and confidence to explore life’s possibilities by building trusting and positive relationships with caring adults for the purpose of connecting youth and their parents with nature.