Nature Notes: Plain Township home of 16th Metro Park

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive


After five years in the works, a portion of the rural open space in northern Plain Township will become even greener with the signing of the Metro Park Development Agreement by representatives from Plain Township, the Village of New Albany, the City of Columbus and Metro Parks on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2008.

Metro Parks has been given the green light to acquire land, develop, operate and maintain a natural area park that could grow up to 1,200 acres. Located within a 2,800 acre Park Zone Area in the headwaters of Rocky Fork Creek, the new park will be developed within the boundaries north of Walnut Street, south of the Delaware County Line, west of Peter Hoover Road and east of the Plain Township’s western boundary.

“We are delighted to be forging this partnership with Columbus, New Albany and Plain Township in order to conserve open spaces, protect and improve wildlife habitat, and to provide outdoor recreational opportunities,” said John O’Meara, Metro Parks executive director. “We look forward to working with our partners to establish our 16th Metro Park.”

As part of the Park Development Agreement, Metro Parks will dedicate $3 million in 2008 to acquire land, the City of Columbus will contribute $7.5 million from TIF revenues over several years and the Village of New Albany will contribute $2.5 million in cash and land.

This is the first time the four entities have collaborated on such a large-scale project. "This fine example of regional cooperation will protect natural resources and enhance recreational opportunities for the citizens of northeastern Columbus and Franklin County," said Mayor Michael Coleman.

Township, Village and City officials also signed an Annexation Agreement to help bring the Metro Park into existence and build on existing City and Village sewer agreements and the Rocky Fork Blacklick Accord to define future growth zones.