The Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park this week finalized its purchase of the former Brandywine Country Club
The national park will purchase most of the property from the conservancy, which stepped in to buy the 215 acres that had sat dormant since the owner of the golf course died in 2018 as developers joined the Department of the Interior with heated interest in the property.
“The importance of conservation and preservation of CVNP is underscored by the community stepping up to help us raise and secure the funds needed to purchase this property and ultimately increase access to the park and the Cuyahoga River,” Deb Yandala, CEO of the Conservancy for CVNP, said in a statement.
While most will be pleased at the additional park space, which sits near the Virginia Kendall area, the village of Peninsula is not.
Local officials there said the course represented some of the last developable land left in the village, and that CVNP's acquisition was “a worst case financial scenario” and “a death [knell] to the village’s prospects,” according to the Akron Beacon Journal.
"I would say we're disappointed that we couldn't come to some kind of agreement that would make that, the relationship a little better than it seems that it's going to be," Peninsula Mayor Daniel Schneider Jr. told the paper. "It's just disappointing that we couldn't come to some agreement that would have been more beneficial to Peninsula."
The Department of the Interior will use $3.8 million from the Great American Outdoors Act to acquire the property from the conservancy.
"Because of its size and location, protection of this property is a critical concern for the park and an important connection with other parklands, recreational opportunities and resources," the Department of the Interior said in a release last year. "Loss of this property to development would greatly diminish the open space character. The threat to natural resources includes the loss of approximately 80 acres of forested hills and riparian areas, along with the potential for degraded downstream water resources."
CVNP includes 33,000 acres and welcomed more than 2 million visitors last year.