Quality outdoor life essential for a strong community

Shawn Murphy

SACIC President Jeff Clegg, executive director of Toledo Memorial Park, center, greets guest speakers Erika Buri, TOPS executive director and LaRae Sprow, natural resources supervisor at the Toledo area Metroparks.

A thriving and well-balanced community requires vibrant and blossoming outdoor recreation space. This was the central message from both speakers presenting on Sept. 14 before the board of directors of the Sylvania Area Community Investment Corporation, who met at Sylvania Country Club.

Discussing the Toledo Metroparks’ acquisition of the former Spuytan Duyval & Cottonwood Creek Golf Course properties on West Central Avenue, LaRae Sprow, natural resources supervisor at the Toledo area Metroparks, shared with the board how the park system was able to incorporate the 227-acre property into the already existing Secor Metropark. The combined property, totaling 837 acres, is now the third largest metropark. The acquisition of the property and its development was accomplished through the utilization of multiple grant and foundation funding opportunities, with a focus on habitat restoration, water quality improvement, stormwater retention, and increased park visitor engagement. The project, which put a specific emphasis on the floodplain restoration on the north side of Prairie Ditch, as well as expanding the wetlands on the property, began in April of 2021 and is slated for completion in December 2022.

Erika Buri, executive director of The Olander Park System (TOPS), also spoke with the board and shared some of TOPS’ successes for the year as well as results from a recent community-needs survey. This survey information was a cornerstone in establishing TOPS’ priorities for the next five years, which include maintaining and updating current facilities, adding more trails throughout the community, and protecting and restoring natural areas on current park properties. Currently, The Olander Park System operates utilizing a levy that will expire on Dec. 31. Issue #6, which is on the ballot this fall, is a proposed replacement levy of 0.8 mil, the same as the current expiring levy. The 0.8 mil levy would cost the owner of a home valued at $250,000 in the Sylvania School system $56 annually in taxes.

SACIC is a non-for-profit organization representing a collaboration of business and government working to enhance balanced economic growth and the quality of life in the greater Sylvania area.


SACIC membership information is available at sylvaniaareacic.org. Reservations for future luncheons may be made by contacting Tiffany Scott, 419-882-2135, or Tscott@SylvaniaChamber.org.

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