More details have been released regarding the purchase of Aukerman Farm.
This 14-acre parcel, at York Road and Valley Parkway which the city and Cleveland Metroparks are collaborating to obtain, will be purchased for $219,000 and is expected to be completely restored to park space by July 2015.
The Metroparks announced the purchase price and the restoration timeline Tuesday morning.
The property, located at 15561 York, abuts the Brecksville Reservation and the very popular all-purpose trail along the Parkway.
The city will contribute $180,000 toward the property, and the Metroparks will contribute $39,000 of the purchase price and acquire a conservation easement. The parks will also invest $141,000 into restoring and improving the property by demolishing the existing structures, adding a trailhead and parking and developing a trail access to the all-purpose trail.
“Cleveland Metroparks needs community partnerships to successfully meet its conservation mission,” said Brian Zimmerman, executive director of Cleveland Metroparks. “This is a significant acquisition for the park district, and it enhances the community of North Royalton as well.”
The property will enhance the Metroparks’ 3,968-acre Brecksville Reservation by improving access into the reservation, particularly for bikers and pedestrians; bolstering the recreational experience with trailhead information and a variety of habitats to explore and enjoy; and creating a gathering place for area residents to utilize.
There has been some talk that the finished product could include a dog agility course of some fashion and a pavilion, though nothing has been finalized.
Roy Aukerman, the current property owner, said he is pleased with the direction the city and parks are taking with his land.
“I am thrilled to have worked with Mayor Stefanik and Cleveland Metroparks Executive Director Brian Zimmerman in carrying out our family’s wishes to preserve this property as public open space,” he said.
Tom Jordan, North Royalton’s community development director, said the Cleveland Metroparks are experts when it comes to building and maintaining parks throughout the region and that the property is in great hands.
“This is adjacent, and frankly, in the Brecksville Reservation, and it’s immediately adjacent to the all-purpose trail. It’s essentially filling a missing tooth along that route,” he said. “This acquisition is strategic, and we are happy to have assisted in that. The Metroparks are great at what they do.”