On August 29, the Centerville City School Board approved the sale of 33.25 acres of land to the Centerville-Washington Park District (CWPD). The land is adjacent to CWPD’s Grant Park, a 189-acre natural area with hiking trails along creeks and through meadow, forest, prairie and wetland habitats. The land is divided into three parcels, 27 acres adjacent to Watts Middle School and an additional 6.25 acres near Normandy Elementary School.
The three parcels were identified as a high priority for park district acquisition in the Grant Park Master Plan completed in 2020. The purchase will allow the park district to preserve, in perpetuity, the green space as quality habitat and maintain and improve hiking paths that tie to the existing Grant Park trail network. The Grant Park Master Plan is based on collective input from the community.
The Park District received a $613,000 grant to fund the land purchase. This is a matching funds grant, therefore 75% of the cost will be funded by the Clean Ohio Fund Green Space Conservation Program and 25% will be from the park district’s land acquisition fund. The Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Program helps to fund the preservation of open spaces, sensitive ecological areas and stream corridors.
Kristen Marks, CWPD Executive Director said, “This land acquisition fits in well with our strategic focus. It allows us to respond to our community’s desire to conserve habitats and ecosystems, as well as continue to provide high-quality outdoor experiences in Centerville and Washington Township.”
“This is a win for our community and an example of the partnership we have with the Centerville-Washington Park District. Our parks are able to purchase the land that is not being used or developed by the school district and create trails and recreational spaces that can be used by the entire community, including our students and staff members,” said Centerville City Schools Superintendent Jon Wesney.
The Centerville-Washington Park District expects to officially close on the land later this fall.