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Monday, May 6, 2019

Beautiful day, sad story

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.

36 comments:

  1. That seems insane to me! I understand the concept, and can see taking out the greens, but going as far as taking out all the trees? The wildlife who have made that area their home for nearly fifty years will be left without habitat. Where's the sense in a legal clause like that?

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    1. I believe the direct intent was the prevention of development of condos or retail. Back in the seventies I bet it was a "we'll cross that bridge if we come to it" situation. To quote Pogo, "We have met the enemy and he is us".

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    2. Let's hope common sense enters the equation before all the trees are uprooted!

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  2. So do they trace the heirs of those who were dispossessed too?

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  3. Why remove trees, of all things!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  4. All that work...gone....all that beauty.....destroyed. It boggles the mind.

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  5. Hopefully, sanity will win and the trees will be protected.

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  6. This makes no sense to me at all.

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  7. Sad, really. I understand they may want native trees, but going so far seems excessive.

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    1. Think about the fate of the Richfield Coliseum, which passed into the possession of the Conservancy for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Title to this piece of land surely will pass into the hands of the Conservancy, with appropriate ribbon cutting and publicity about the greater good.

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  8. Would its natural sate be to be completely barren? Something doesn't sound right here.

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  9. Oh no, that is not right. Who makes these cockamamie decisions anyway?

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  10. I hope citizens will let those in power know that they think that the cutting of these trees would not be in the best interest of the town.

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  11. it seems to me that returning it to its natural state would mean just closing the golf course and letting nature take over. no need to drain the ponds or cut down trees. just stop interfering with nature.

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  12. It seem land is over value or under value. Here if your a California, New Yorker and have a fairly great retirement. North Idaho is a place for you. On my husband and my wages I couldn't purchaser much, or anything at all.
    Coffee is on

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  13. One would think that ’return to natural’ sate would mean letting it revert because dismantling doesn’t seem exactlymnatural.

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  14. I don't get why they would remove the trees. Definitely not being environmentally friendly on that part I think.

    betty

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  15. Ponds drained and hundreds of trees removed??? They can't just leave them in place and still let nature take its course? Who in their right mind would remove hundreds of beautiful fully grown trees??

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  16. I agree with River. It would be better to let nature take its course. I am sure the Heron would like that.

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  17. This is just lawyers complicating things.
    If nothing wierdly foreign to the region has been planted over the years and the greens are now just allowed to get scruffier and scruffier, it should all revert to nature quietly, heron and all.

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  18. Really? Why? Why not just let everything return to its "natural state". Take out established trees? And the ponds? I can't even imagine the cost to return it to a "natural state". The weird world just gets weirder.

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  19. I recall you writing about this before, I should have paid more attention.
    And who decides the definition of 'natural state'.
    That talk of loss of village revenue seems to me to smack of resentment at a lost financial opportunity for someone.
    Alphie

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  20. Consider your source - someone upset about the loss of their golf course and tax revenue for the town. The "destruction of ponds" is probably letting the site go back to its original water flow. As for the trees, well, the site is most likely going to be part of Cuyahoga National Park. If cutting down every tree on the site is a necessary part of restoring the land to its natural state, there would not be a tree in the park over 17, 18 years old. You know that's not true; therefore his statement is false. Having worked for county and national parks, and done natural areas restoration for both, I can promise you even removing a handful of cottonwoods to encourage black oaks has a way of turning into "they're cutting down every tree in the preserve!" If you're really that concerned, call the National Park or the Land Trust to find out what the plans really are instead of going by a 2nd or 3rd hand source.

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    1. Sadly, Amanda, I worked with this park's representatives for thirteen years, from the property manager, the historical accuracy manager, several rangers, through the assistant superintendent. The park did not have a permanent superintendent most of the time I worked for the township consumed by the park and the conservancy. Sadly, my source was first hand.

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  21. It's a beautiful willow. I enjoy it every day.

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  22. This is so depressing. It's like every other thing that humans touch - ruined.

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  23. Why must these things always be so badly thought through?

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  24. According to wikipedia the Cuyahoga NP was first a National Recreation Area. I have not heard of these recreation areas. I guess a golf course is considered recreation but I don't know any other National Parks with a golf course.

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    1. Nor do I. Brandywine remains in private ownership; they want a lot of money for it. I suspect the National Conservancy may need to ante up. In the meantime, the property is Posted.

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  25. Removing trees sounds ridiculous under those circumstances.

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  26. I lived with that in my last house, it broke my heart and also bank account. I will never understand the wilful destruction of thousands of trees, the planet's lungs.
    Wisewebwoman

    XO
    WWW

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