Fairborn looking to acquire land to maintain green space, prevent development

Fairborn park land
Caption
Fairborn park land

The city of Fairborn may be getting a little more park land thanks to the B-W Greenway Community Land Trust looking to buy property from a local developer.

The land trust nonprofit organization has applied to the Ohio Public Works Commission for a $370,125 Clean Ohio grant to purchase 5.75 acres of land in Fairborn owned by the Oberer Development Company, according to the grant application.

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The vacant land lies south of Dayton Yellow Springs Road behind TJ Chumps sports bar and restaurant and contains part of Beavercreek. If the plan is funded and carried through, the nonprofit organization would donate the land to the city with deed restrictions and the land would be added to the 27-acre Valley View Reserve, according to the grant application.

The plan is to continue preserving the land along Beaverceek and connect Valley View Reserve to the Fairborn Marsh via trails and a bridge, according to Bob Jurick, chairman of the land trust’s board of trustees.

“Preserving these natural areas is critical,” Jurick said. “We’re trying to connect people with the land and recognize that the birds and the bees are all part of our community.”

Jurick said acquiring this land helps his organization’s mission to connect Beaverceek and Wenrick Wetlands with green space that will be off-limits to any commercial or residential development.

“Preserving these natural areas is critical. We have such great soils because of the Mad River flood plains … Getting the younger generations more involved is one of our prime motivations as well,” he said.

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The total project cost, including buying the land from Oberer, is estimated to be $493,500, according to the application. The costs include appraising and surveying the property, removing invasive species and improving the site with trails and a bridge.

Preserving the Beavercreek corridor will connect the city’s parks and help keep nature’s natural water-filtering processes in place, according to Alicia Eckhart, director of Fairborn Parks and Recreation,

“This is a great way to use Clean Ohio funds for water preservation,” Eckhart said. “(The wetlands) are the cleansing mechanisms of everything we do as man.”

Eckhart said this is a continuation of the city’s partnership with Oberer, which previously owned all the land that became the Garland Wetland Reserve.

“We are fortunate that Oberer is willing to do this. They pay the matching portion of the grant,” she said.

The local matching portion of the grant is $7,500, according to the application.

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Jurick said the organization will know in November whether it is awarded the Clean Ohio grant. If funded, the project is slated to be finished by December 2020.

A representative with the Oberer Development Company could not be reached for comment.