Space Preserver

The city has worked with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History since 1996 to help them acquire property in and around the Singer Lake Basin. The Museum has ownership of approximately 225 acres of environmentally sensitive land that composes and surrounds the Singer Lake Basin. It was only natural that when the opportunity presented itself for the City to acquire Southgate Farm, that the museum be involved.

Mayor Croghan, city planning department staff and the city’s parks and recreation board, along with the museum, believed that the best use of the Southgate Farm property was not as a residential subdivision, but as natural open space to provide a buffer to the Singer Lake Basin, which would allow the preservation of similar habitats and native species.

Just as at the Singer Lake Basin, the Southgate Farm property contains many acres of significant wetlands, 33 acres of an extraordinary Black Oak Savannah/Sand Barren woodland community, portions of Glacial Bog remnants, and supports native plant, animal, and insect species.

Therefore, the main goals of the city and the museum were to acquire the land for open space, wetland preservation and restoration, protection of existing endangered species, and interconnection of the property to other established natural and recreational areas.

Ownership plans called for the city to be the primary owner of the majority (164 acres) of the Southgate Farm acreage and to jointly own with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History the 33 acres of the Southgate Farm Property that borders the Singer Lake Basin Nature Preserve.

Financial Resource Partners:

City of Green

$870,000

Cleveland Museum of Natural History

$400,000

Clean Ohio Conservation Grant

$1,500,000

Airport Wetland Mitigation Dollars

$230,000

Total Acquisition Costs

$3,000,000

The city and museum’s acquisition of Southgate Farm consisted of obtaining the land as an open space project under the State of Ohio’s Clean Ohio Conservation Fund Program, which involved a pledge for the enhancement of existing natural areas and the preservation of high quality wetland along with the native plant and animal species.

Also important was the ability to link the property to existing local, state and private parkland and pedestrian corridors in the area. Permanent conservation easements and deed restrictions were placed on the entire site in order to protect and safeguard the land for future generations and prevent any type of future development.

The Akron-Canton Airport also played a part in the financial resources that permitted the city to acquire Southgate Farm. The Akron-Canton Airport contributed approximately $230,000 in Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Wetland Mitigation funding to preserve and restore existing wetlands that occur on Southgate Farm.

The 12 acres of wetland areas on the farm, which are planned to be enhanced and preserved through the efforts of the Akron-Canton Airport, will carry an additional conservation easement with the Ohio EPA.

It is hoped that preserving and protecting the sensitive aspects of Southgate Farm will promote the existence of various endangered species and the near extinct woodland communities that currently inhabit the farm.

The 33 acres of the farm, which supports the native Black Oak Savannah/Sand Barren Community, is one of the most threatened natural communities in northeast Ohio and would be beneficial to repopulate.

As a result, the city and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History have entered into a joint cooperative agreement to care for and protect Southgate Farm and its sensitive ecosystems. Part of this arrangement calls for the development of both a reforestation management plan and an invasive species management plan for the site.

The State of Ohio, the city, and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History strongly believe that the acquisition of the property will prevent degradation of Southgate Farm and the surrounding Singer Lake Basin ecosystems.

Passive recreation plans are currently being developed to enhance the present system of hiking trails and add park furniture in strategic locations on the site to encourage the public to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

Southgate Farm also contains various historic structures such as an 1883 Victorian Farm House and Barn. The city has made a provision for the Summit County Sheriff’s Office to use the barn and surrounding pastures for the boarding of its mounted patrol unit.

Acreage of Public/Private Park Land

Southgate Farm

197 acres

Singer Lake Basin Nature Preserve

311 acres

Boettler Recreation Park

63 acres

Total Acres

571 acres

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