AKRON, Ohio — Ohio's only national park will likely be expanding. The Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CCVNP) has its eye on turning an empty Brandywine Golf Course, which has been closed since 2018, into park land. The CCVNP has signed a purchase agreement to obtain the land the golf course sits on, according to a new release from CCVNP.
The Brandywine Golf Course, which has been closed since 2018, has been on the market for several months, leading to speculation that the land might be sold for development.
Opened in 1960s by the Yesberger family, the course was opened to the public until 2018 when Yesberger’s grandson and successor to the property died suddenly.
"When Brandywine first became available, the Trust for Public Land stepped forward to explore ways the property might become part of Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP)," said Deb Yandala, CEO of the Conservancy, in a news release. "This was a high priority for the Trust, but interest in the property increased substantially in just a few months and the group was unable to complete its due diligence fast enough to make a purchase."
The 215-acre property sits on both sides of Akron-Peninsula Road, south of the Village of Peninsula.
Members of the conservancy were able to step in to secure the purchase agreement before the property was sold to another party, which could have been for development since the property is zoned for residential use.
"We are incredibly grateful to our partners for leading the effort to preserve this critical piece of property in the heart of Cuyahoga Valley National Park," said CVNP Superintendent Craig Kenkel. "Words cannot express our gratitude to the Trust for Public Land for beginning the acquisition process and to the Conservancy for completing the negotiations and providing the funding to secure a contract. This is a legacy gift to Northeast Ohio of land everyone can use and enjoy."
The conservancy and park staff will begin to study the property to consider potential purposes, including the acquisition of federal land monies. Also, staff will need to begin to raise funds in order to close the deal in September 2020.
"We are very confident our members and the community at large will step forward to help us complete this purchase," said Yandala said in the news release. "We know Cuyahoga Valley National Park impacts the lives of millions of visitors and residents every year. There will be no greater testament to that love for our park than providing the funds to secure this beautiful property."