Western Reserve Land Conservancy has partnered with the Village of Glenwillow on the Tinker’s Creek Preserve II Project to conserve 35 acres of land and nearly a half-mile of the creek.
Glenwillow Mayor Mark Cegelka said, “Tinker’s Creek is the largest tributary to the Cuyahoga River. The project will support potential trail connections and an expanded greenway network that will possibly connect the Village to the Cleveland Metroparks. More importantly, the conservation of the land benefits the environment and supports the health of the watershed and the local community.”
As part of their work, parcels have been identified. If they became available, they could be worked into the grant. “Western Reserve Land Conservancy helped us secure funding, negotiate with property owners and coordinated all legal documents to help the village be successful and help fulfill the vision we have; to conserve land, to maintain the natural beauty and preserve the habitat along the creek for future generations to appreciate and enjoy,” Mayor Cegelka said. “We’re trying to make the most of the creek going through our community by giving everyone access to it. It is a beautiful area with wildlife including being home to bald eagles.”
This is not the first time the village has partnered with the land conservancy group based in Moreland Hills. In 2014, the two groups worked together to conserve 17.5 acres along Richmond Road adjacent to Tinker’s Creek, the Tinker’s Creek Preserve I. WRLC helped with the application and securing land acquisitions and easements.
In another project, the village has established a park on the south side of Pettibone Road, across from the Glenwillow Grille. Some homes that date back to being built when the Austin Powder plant was operating were razed and replaced with a new pavilion and parking lot with plans for a gazebo, restrooms and Veterans Memorial. Currently, the village is working with the Midwest Historical Railway Preservation Society to relocate the existing train depot that dates to the 1800’s, into the park, according to Mayor Cegelka.
Joe Leslie, vice president of real estate at the land conservancy, said the Tinker’s Creek project is a critical “element to a first-class trail system in the village that will ultimately benefit the community for years to come. This is a great accomplishment.
“(Glenwillow) bought some of the property and there is also an access on the portion of another property. It’s a combination,” Mr. Leslie explained.
“The complete preservation of Tinker Creek II required the land conservancy to flex its expertise in the complex acquisition, conservation and funding strategies,” Mr. Leslie said. “The land conservancy team negotiated with several landowners and secured Clean Ohio conservation funding on behalf of Glenwillow,” he said. There was much effort including coordinating the legal documents and more to ensure the conservation of five separate parcels.
“No matter how complex these projects can be, our goal is simply to conserve land for people in an effort to support healthy and thriving communities,” Mr. Leslie said.
He noted they did a previous project in Glenwillow that required great vision. The village is continuing to provide a trail from the Bedford Reservation to Glenwillow.
It has involved several projects over the last several years in Glenwillow for the trail corridor. “Ultimately it will be open to the public,” Mr. Leslie said.
“Preservation along Tinker’s Creek is critical for its health and the health of the Cuyahoga River and the Great Lakes. Anything we can do to protect them from runoff is a good thing,” Mr. Leslie said. The conservation of the property to create a trail is step one, he noted.
The project is an important addition to nearby established parks like the 2,290-acre Cleveland Metroparks Bedford Reservation.