The national park has been here longer than I have, but not much. I've told the story of undervalued property, 400 displaced families. How Ohio Senator Taft and Ohio businessman Vail (who had land to donate) tracked down President Ford, on vacation in Colorado, on December 27th, to have legislation for the park signed, back in the seventies.
And so it began.
I've been fascinated by the golf course bounded by Akron Peninsula Road and Truxell Road. The corkscrew willow at the end of the pond on Truxell Road has been my header picture for the last many years.
The stately yews planted by Mr. Yesberger, straight row after row, have drawn me in for years. Sadly, the year I booked a tee time and a golf cart, for the purpose of photographing trees while a granddaughter drove the cart, I was foiled. I neglected to complete my disguise with a golf bag. I was not allowed to go on the course. I would distract the golfers!
It's the course where I followed the life and death of a young deer, who I called "The Little Guy". And, it's the course where a solitary heron has spent the summer these last several years. Today I saw the heron for the first time this year.
Mr. Yesberger, the owner and builder of this course, lived across Akron Peninsula Road, up (down?) a windy road. He died unexpectedly a few years ago, and title passed to an unexpecting grandson. The story only grows sadder; this young man could not carry on, and took his life.
I always knew there were covenants of some sort protecting the land from development in the circumstance of no heirs, but I was very hazy on the details. So, I sought them out.
That piece of legislation that President Ford signed in his vacation motel room in Colorado, has the only stipulation of its kind of any federal park in America. In the event the land leaves the Yesberger family, it may not be developed, though it may be returned to its natural state.
The person who explained this to me wanted me to realize the amount of tax revenue lost to the village, the school, the library. But my mind focused on "returned to its natural state".
Yes, he explained. The ponds drained, the roughs gone, the greens gone, the sand traps gone, the hundreds and hundreds of trees removed.
This is still sinking in.
I think I'll go post the picture I took today of the willow.