Ashtabula County Metroparks is holding a Ribbon Cutting to dedicate its recently opened Red Brook Metropark on Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 6:00pm, at the new park entrance sign at 4338 Lake Road West, Saybrook Township.

 

Ashtabula County Metroparks’ new Red Brook Metropark totals 145 acres of upland fields, recovering fairways, forest and 5 miles of paved and mowed trail loops. Metroparks acquired the former Ashtabula Country Club and Harbor Golf Course through the Western Reserve Land Conservancy using state and federal grant funds in October 2018 and is undertaking the process of transitioning from prior uses to an accessible wildlife habitat and nature preserve with trails.

 

Red Brook is expected to soon become a county resident favorite situated near the shores of Lake Erie, within walking distance of thousands of local residents and Kent State Ashtabula students, faculty and staff, and anchored by Martinis! Restaurant. Ashtabula Metroparks protects nearly two miles of Red Brook, a cold-water habitat stream that supports Steelhead trout and many native fish species.

 

The development of Red Brook Metropark into a four-season park attraction will occur in many phases, as a transition from golf course to full-fledged Metropark supporting migratory birds and other wildlife takes time and considerable funds. The planning and additions of wildlife habitats such as wetlands, meadows, emerging forests, buffered stream corridors will be costly and requires the securing of millions in grant monies.

This newly opened Metropark already has a large, repaved driveway, restriped parking lot, 3 miles of paved trail for hiking, fishing, dog-walking and birdwatching.

Metroparks is pleased to provide a Metropark within walking distance of both Ashtabula and Saybrook Township residents. It provides public access to two miles of a beautiful and healthy fishing stream and Lake Erie tributary in addition to its existing and planned hiking trails.

“Red Brook Metropark is already being used by residents as well as Ashtabula County visitors; we expect this park and preserve to be a favorite throughout the County. Metroparks is happy to provide this resource to our community”, commented Metroparks Board Vice President and local Saybrook resident, Marie Lane.

This ribbon-cutting event will precede a brief community update meeting which will be held on Monday, October 28, at 5:30pm at Martinis! banquet room.  Metroparks will announce its initial plans and grants secured to undertake the development of an ADA-accessible upland trail, habitat restoration, sledding hill and benches and tables. The county-wide park system has been able to obtain another $769,000 in Clean Ohio grants to construct upland trails and install 30 acres of native habitat. These funds must be matched by in-kind or local cash donations in order to leverage this sizable state grant. Some of the matching funds will be derived from donated plants and labor such as that provided by the Ashtabula County Master Gardeners Club and US Fish and Wildlife Service as well as planned native plants to be propagated by ATECH through its Horticulture program. While some $270,000 in Metroparks funds were committed to secure the grant, Ashtabula Metroparks plans to leverage additional state, federal and/or local grant money to stretch its levy funds as far as possible for other projects throughout the County.

Ashtabula County Metroparks is an Ohio Revised Code statutory park district providing quality park experiences in ten currently open parks covering over 1,200 acres of publicly accessible parkland throughout Ashtabula County and founded in 1959. It owns and manages 30 miles of paved, ADA accessible greenway and bike trails as well as more than 15 miles of primitive trails throughout its park system. Ashtabula County Metroparks is primarily funded through a five-year park levy which passed in 2014, which has permitted the significant expansion of its park holdings and open parks. Since 2014, Metroparks has tripled the number of open parks and publicly accessible acreage as well as adding amenities throughout the Western Reserve Greenway Trail and each of its open parks.

For further information on Metroparks’ parks, events or other activities, please visit the Ashtabula County Metroparks website or Facebook page. You may reserve a pavilion/shelter free or enjoy the many programs offered by park volunteers for your outdoor enjoyment. You can register on our Facebook page or the Ashtabula County Metroparks website at www.ashtabulametroparks.com. For questions, please call (440) 576-0717.