Most of the South Toledo property that was originally the Anderson family farm will become part of the Metroparks Toledo system sooner than anticipated, the company and the park district announced.
Metroparks will take ownership of just under 92 acres of land, which represents the culmination of an earlier gift combined with the purchase of additional land. The property will be restored to natural area over the next several years and one day be used for parkland.
“It’s an incredible gift to the community,” said Dave Zenk, executive director of Metroparks. “This property, along with an adjacent property that was also donated to the park district, will continue to provide ecological benefits, and eventually become a park that families will enjoy for generations.”
In 1995, The Andersons, Inc. donated 67.4 acres of land, subject to an easement agreement that allowed both Metroparks and family members limited use of the property. At the same time, The Andersons, Inc. granted Metroparks an option to acquire additional parcels, including a 12-acre pond and 4.34 acres of land fronting Holland-Sylvania Road.
The timing of the Metroparks exercise of the option agreement was originally set for 2026 at the earliest, but The Andersons, Inc. decided to accelerate the gift. The option price paid for the pond and additional acreage on Holland-Sylvania Road was one dollar.
“Both the family and the company are excited that the vision for this property becoming a community park asset is coming to fruition,” said Mike Anderson, chairman of The Andersons, Inc. “We look forward to the entire community being able to one day create memories on this property as my family has, and as many Anderson employees’ families have.”
In addition, Metroparks will purchase another 8.023 acres for $532,000, including a structure known as the Activities Building, a detached garage and additional land along Swan Creek.
An adjacent 52 acres donated to Metroparks in the late 1990s by Virginia Belt was recently developed into the Brookwood Area on Swan Creek Drive. That property is open for Metroparks programs and special events, and by reservation for private functions.
Combined, The Andersons and Belt properties total 144 acres along Swan Creek.
There are six parcels of land adjacent to the new South Toledo property that are owned by individual Anderson family members. The ownership of those parcels is unchanged.