New park coming to Portage Lakes

Discussion in 'Northeast Ohio Fishing Reports' started by goodday, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. Park district buys Coventry Township land
    $3.1 million purchase will protect wetlands, link Portage Lakes to canalway

    By Bob Downing
    Beacon Journal staff writer

    POSTED: 11:38 p.m. EST, Dec 16, 2008

    Metro Parks, Serving Summit County and the Trust for Public Land on Tuesday announced the purchase of 115 acres in Coventry Township to protect some of Ohio's most pristine wetlands.

    The property near the Akron line was purchased for $3.1 million from owner Marilyn Buckey and will become part of what is known as the Confluence Park Wetlands.

    The land is off North Turkeyfoot Road and abuts the Tuscarawas River and the north end of Long Lake. About half of the land is low-lying and swampy.

    The new park is expected to link the Portage Lakes to the Ohio & Erie National Heritage Canalway. The tract could provide a trail link between the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail and nearby Firestone Metro Park in Akron.

    The new 1,400-acre park also will tie the Portage Lakes to the historic Portage Path and the Ohio & Erie Canalway Scenic Byway. It could provide a water route through the Akron area.

    ''We are very happy,'' said Bill Carroll, Ohio director of the Trust for Public Land, a national land conservation group. ''It has been a long time coming.''

    Metro Parks, Serving Summit County has been discussing the purchase for five years, and Carroll's office got involved 21/2 years ago, he said.

    The proposed purchase had been announced last spring.

    ''There is little question that development of this property for multifamily residential or commercial purposes would destroy or severely impact these wetlands and the water quality of the Tuscarawas River,'' Carroll said. ''Now this property will exist in its natural state for public enjoyment.''

    In a statement, Buckey said, ''I am happy to know this property will not be developed commercially or residentially. The land is beautiful, and I am thrilled that it will be there for the wildlife and the public for years to come.''

    She said she wanted to preserve the land in memory of her parents, Robert A. and Jean C. Meyers.

    The land was purchased with $3.1 million from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's Water Resource Restoration Program — through sewer improvements by the city of Willoughby and the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati.

    The city and the sewer district will borrow money from the EPA to pay for their projects and will get lower interest rates through the state-backed loans. In exchange, the borrowers will funnel $3.1 million of their estimated $5 million in interest savings back to the state for the Summit County park project.

    Metro Parks, Serving Summit County intends to build a small parking lot and limited trails on the new tract. At least a dozen threatened plant species are found on the land.

    The park district envisions a small visitor/nature center off Manchester Road (state Route 93) next to Long Lake as part of Confluence Park.

    In a separate transaction, the city of Akron purchased 19 acres on the opposite side of North Turkeyfoot Road from Buckey for its economic development district. The land, bought for $900,000, will be used to expand the North Turkeyfoot Industrial Park, city spokesman Mark Williamson said.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or bdowning@thebeaconjournal.com.
    Metro Parks, Serving Summit County and the Trust for Public Land on Tuesday announced the purchase of 115 acres in Coventry Township to protect some of Ohio's most pristine wetlands.

    The property near the Akron line was purchased for $3.1 million from owner Marilyn Buckey and will become part of what is known as the Confluence Park Wetlands.

    The land is off North Turkeyfoot Road and abuts the Tuscarawas River and the north end of Long Lake. About half of the land is low-lying and swampy.

    The new park is expected to link the Portage Lakes to the Ohio & Erie National Heritage Canalway. The tract could provide a trail link between the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail and nearby Firestone Metro Park in Akron.

    The new 1,400-acre park also will tie the Portage Lakes to the historic Portage Path and the Ohio & Erie Canalway Scenic Byway. It could provide a water route through the Akron area.

    ''We are very happy,'' said Bill Carroll, Ohio director of the Trust for Public Land, a national land conservation group. ''It has been a long time coming.''

    Metro Parks, Serving Summit County has been discussing the purchase for five years, and Carroll's office got involved 21/2 years ago, he said.

    The proposed purchase had been announced last spring.

    ''There is little question that development of this property for multifamily residential or commercial purposes would destroy or severely impact these wetlands and the water quality of the Tuscarawas River,'' Carroll said. ''Now this property will exist in its natural state for public enjoyment.''

    In a statement, Buckey said, ''I am happy to know this property will not be developed commercially or residentially. The land is beautiful, and I am thrilled that it will be there for the wildlife and the public for years to come.''

    She said she wanted to preserve the land in memory of her parents, Robert A. and Jean C. Meyers.

    The land was purchased with $3.1 million from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's Water Resource Restoration Program — through sewer improvements by the city of Willoughby and the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati.

    The city and the sewer district will borrow money from the EPA to pay for their projects and will get lower interest rates through the state-backed loans. In exchange, the borrowers will funnel $3.1 million of their estimated $5 million in interest savings back to the state for the Summit County park project.

    Metro Parks, Serving Summit County intends to build a small parking lot and limited trails on the new tract. At least a dozen threatened plant species are found on the land.

    The park district envisions a small visitor/nature center off Manchester Road (state Route 93) next to Long Lake as part of Confluence Park.

    In a separate transaction, the city of Akron purchased 19 acres on the opposite side of North Turkeyfoot Road from Buckey for its economic development district. The land, bought for $900,000, will be used to expand the North Turkeyfoot Industrial Park, city spokesman Mark Williamson said.
     
  2. dmills4124

    dmills4124 don m

    Don't really understand how they manipulated the money for the purchase of this land, but way to go. A waterway through Akron. No Wake, Idle only, electric only or paddle only? Maybe they will rent mules to pull our boats along the canals like it was way back when. That will look cool pulling my bass boat while we cast the banks, Cool. I dont know really what to think about all of this but my imagination has it running really cool senarios.
     

  3. Anyone remember several years ago when Akron was going to put a park with marina services on the north shore of Summit Lake, dredge the canal and put a public ramp somewhere on Nesmith?
    That thing died and haven't heard hide nor hair of anything close since. Maybe this will resurrect some of those plans.
     
  4. Lewzer

    Lewzer Powderfinger

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    You'll never be able to take a bass boat down the canal. In the industrial area north of Wilbeth the canal has very shallow spots behind the old Diamond Salt and BF Goodrich plants. Not to mention the industrial infrastructure right up to the waters edge in those areas.
    Not to mention the environmental cleanup of the what we call the Lagoon where Goodrich used to dump all kinds of wastes and monomers back in the day when it used to be legal or overlooked.
    I'm sure Firestone used to do the same thing.
    The environmental costs would be huge. The dredging and cleanup would ruin the fishing downstream.
    The projects on Summit and the PCB in Nesmith don't make it a very desirable recreation area.
    There is some good bass fishing in the canal south of Wilbeth however.
     
  5. Haven't done it in a couple years but we used to fish Summit Lake and the canal past Wilbeth out of a 19ft. Triton without any trouble. We could idle all the way to the salt plant (outlet was awesome for bass in the winter ;) ).
     
  6. Lewzer

    Lewzer Powderfinger

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    We took a 14' deep V from Summit to Nesmith several times and had a heck of a time getting through that area. Your draft is probably not as bad as mine. But there is no way I'd take a $30,000-$50,000 boat back there.
     
  7. You'd probably be surprised at what some us will do for a little green fish. My boat was only about $25,000 so I was under the limit :p .

    Actually I was more skeered of some of the characters walking the banks and hanging around the train bridge than I was of anything in the water. Maybe that's what you were referring to anyway ;) .
     
  8. In a related story the city is building a 1,645 foot floating walkway (dock) along the east shore of Summit Lake extending nearly 500 feet out into the lake that will serve as an extension of the Towpath Trail.
    http://www.ohio.com/news/36522039.html

    There are a number of reasons I don't like this...
    1.) Virtually wipes out access to the best shoreline for bass at Summit Lake.
    2.) Who is actually gonna use this thing as it winds down the bank right next to the low income housing and the shady characters roaming all over the place?
    3.) How long before it's covered with graffitti and drug dealers?
    4.) The cost. During times like these is this something that really needed to happen right now? People don't have jobs and are losing their homes all over Summit County, Akron is crying for money but somehow the Towpath Trail is of utmost importance! Gimme a frigg'in break!
     
  9. Lewzer

    Lewzer Powderfinger

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    I saw that in the papper too. I commented to my wife how they built it on the west side of the lake to keep everyone safe but then I realized the map was upside down.:p
    I can't believe they built that right alongside the projects.
    I agree with your first three points. The money was appropriated long before everyone who tried to live beyond their means started losing their homes.
     
  10. 1.) Virtually wipes out access to the best shoreline for bass at Summit Lake.
    These projects seldom address the needs/wants of fishermen. Let's be honest. It's a place for people to walk their dogs and jog/bike
    2.) Who is actually gonna use this thing as it winds down the bank right next to the low income housing and the shady characters roaming all over the place?That's even more interesting. In light of what's happened recently near the towpath in Akron, I'd be leery of it.
    3.) How long before it's covered with graffitti and drug dealers?As soon as the weather is warm enough
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2015
  11. Money gets re-appropriated everyday, why should this project be immune to it?

    I take offense to your last statement. I know too many people who have lived within their means only to lose everything because of governmental and corporate greed and mismanagement.
    I'll stop there, doesn't belong in this forum.
     
  12. Ruminator

    Ruminator TeamOGF

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    Its all about protecting the rivers and wetlands.

    More and more, people are losing access to land and water in the name of endangered animals and plants. Its got its upside and its downside.
     
  13. Just an FYI...

    Summit County runs the Metroparks, not the City of Akron, and the decision to extend the trail onto Summit Lake was a County decision...

    Not sure if it's good or bad... And, the "bad" people in that area are the ones that get all the attention... I know of lots of good folks that live in that area too that fish, birdwatch, hike, clean up, educate kids... Too bad those aren't the stories you hear.
     
  14. I went down Christmas day to check out the floating pier; it appears it is going to cut off the lake making the canal unaccesible by boat? They also are are starting on trail between wilbeth and waterloo roads. This stretch of the canal can be good fishing in the spring.
     
  15. This thing will be posted "No Fishing", because you can't catfish with those guys riding back and forth on thier bicycles.;) And "C-Dog" don't you know buy now that what Don Plusquelic wants Don Plusquelic gets! FYI-He lives on the canal south of Waterloo Rd.!! I know because he yell'd at me from his backyard about 10-11 years ago when I had my 16 ft. aluminum Fisher - 35hp Evinrude WOT!!! :)