Everyone who lives in Bowling Green, Ohio has a park within 1.5 miles of their home. It’s a point of pride for the city, especially for the Parks and Recreation Department, which has worked diligently for many years to create open spaces that appeal to the many recreational interests of the community.
Wintergarden/St. John’s Nature Preserve is one of those parks. Pieced together over time through five separate land acquisitions, the preserve offers more than 100 acres of meadows, forests, woods and wetlands. Miles of trails loop the property, an observation center gives visitors an up-close look at native wildlife, and a full-time staff of naturalists host educational programs year-round.
Earlier this year, Black Swamp Conservancy entered into a purchase agreement to acquire 20-acre property containing woods and grasslands that share a boundary with the existing park. It is a critical addition to Wintergarden Woods – the last opportunity to expand the park.
“We have been in discussions with the sellers of this property for several years now,” remarked The Conservancy’s executive director, Rob Krain. “We are really glad that they chose to work with us – this is a great opportunity to expand upon a beloved community resource.”
In addition to negotiating the purchase agreement, Black Swamp Conservancy is managing the purchase process and raising grant funds. About $340,000 of the purchase will be funded through these grants, and the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Foundation has committed to providing about $100,000 in matching funds.
In return for The Conservancy’s assistance, Bowling Green Parks and Recreation will grant us a conservation easement that protects this land and all of Wintergarden/St. John’s Nature Preserve from development forever.