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Published: Friday, 5/2/2014 - Updated: 7 months ago

Family gives 61 acres to Wood Co. Park District

Conservancy will care for land in Perrysburg Twp.

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Editor's Note: This version corrects that the donated land is north of the township offices.

The entrance to property being donated for a Wood County park. It's to be called Sawyer Quarry Nature Preserve, located at 26940 Lime City Road, in Perrysburg Township. The entrance to property being donated for a Wood County park. It's to be called Sawyer Quarry Nature Preserve, located at 26940 Lime City Road, in Perrysburg Township.
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Charles Sawyer’s 61 acres off Lime City Road in Perrysburg Township has been in his family for 131 years, but it will be donated to the Wood County Park District so others can enjoy it.

The tract just north of and across the road from the township offices will become the Sawyer Quarry Nature Preserve. While the park district received the land, the family made an agreement with the Black Swamp Conservancy to ensure it is properly maintained.

“To give it to the public is remarkably generous of the family,” said Neil Munger, the park district’s director. “The generosity of the family is overwhelming.”

The land at 26940 Lime City is mostly woods, with some of the land being a dry quarry. The quarry will make for a great area for geology programs, Mr. Munger said.

There is a trail on the site that will be used, and one of the former houses built on the property can be used for educational programs.

The new park will be centrally located in the township, whereas the township’s three other parks — W.W. Knight Nature Preserve on White Road, J.C. Reuthinger Memorial Preserve on Oregon Road, and Buttonwood/​Betty C. Black Recreation Area on Hull Prairie Road — are near its edges.

“W.W. Knight is on the other side of Perrysburg Township. This is by the epicenter, it is very exciting,” said Bob Mack, a township trustee. “It is a fabulous donation and great to have across from the township hall.”

Kelly Bishop lives just south of the Sawyer property and said she couldn’t be happier.

“It will be awesome. I have two dogs and I’d love to walk them there,” she said. “I’m very excited. Perrysburg needs something like this that’s closer for us in the country.”

Currently she goes to Woodland Park in Perrysburg to walk the dogs.

Mr. Munger said the Sawyer tract also could attract scout groups for camping.

Rob Krain, the Black Swamp Conservancy’s executive director, said natural preservation is his group’s mission. Once a year, Black Swamp representatives will inspect the site with the landowner. Small-scale development, like a shelter house, parking lot, trails, and a gazebo may be allowed at Sawyer, he said.

“Since it is the only significant woodlands in the area, the woodlands are important for migrating birds,” Mr. Krain said. “It has a lot of use by birds and butterflies. There are frogs, toads, and snakes.”

The new park likely will not open to the public for another year or two, Mr. Munger said. Besides creation of parking space, its driveway off Lime City is barely wide enough for one vehicle and needs to accommodate two-way traffic, he said.

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.



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