Located in the middle of a bustling suburban corridor, across from a high-end shopping mall, the 155-acre property had been eyed by developers as a prime spot for commercial and residential development. But as it was one of the only open spaces left in the area, some of the club’s members wanted to preserve the property’s legacy of being a place where families could gather, play and recreate outdoors, as they had for generations.

Our Role
After the Acacia members voted to reject a lucrative offer to sell the property for development, The Conservation Fund approached the Club about buying the property to keep it in open space. Even though our offer was below competing offers from developers, the membership overwhelmingly approved a sale to The Conservation Fund knowing that our intention was to keep the property in some form of open space.

The Conservation Fund began working with Cleveland Metroparks, which owns the nearby Euclid Creek Reservation and had an interest in turning Acacia, part of the Euclid Creek corridor, into a public park and restoring it to its natural state. Through anonymous donors, the Fund was able to donate the property to Cleveland Metroparks, and it was renamed Acacia Reservation.

Why This Project Matters

Preserving Acacia more than tripled the amount of public open space for local residents to enjoy. A massive restoration effort has been underway for several years that will restore Acacia to its natural state, including letting the once-manicured greens grow naturally, planting nearly 6,000 native trees, plants and shrubs, constructing trails and exposing feeder streams of Euclid Creek that had been buried underneath the golf course.

While it may take decades for Acacia Reservation to fully mature, the benefits can already be seen. More than 450 species of plants, animals and insects have been documented, and on any given day you can see people in the park running, biking, birdwatching, walking dogs and pushing strollers. In fact, in the first five years, Metroparks has counted nearly half a million visitors to Acacia Reservation. Restoring Euclid Creek will also reduce storm-water runoff and improve water quality in the Euclid Creek watershed and the community.

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