By Rick Palsgrove
Walnut Woods Metro Park will soon be growing.
The 1,098 acre park, located between Canal Winchester and Groveport at 6716 Lithopolis Road, will expand by 282 acres following Metro Parks purchase of the land from the Daltonna and Craig Crawford trustee of Donna J. Miller Trust for Public Land. The $2.9 million purchase price will use about 75 percent in Clean Ohio Fund money in addition to levy funds, according to Metro Parks Public Information Manager Peg Hanley.
Hanley said the newly purchased land is located just south of Walnut Woods off Hayes Road and includes about 5,000 feet of frontage along Little Walnut Creek.
“We will do some habitat restoration to protect ground and storm water and wildlife,” said Hanley, who added there will be access for fishing and kayaking and an eventual connection to the Tall Pines Area at Walnut Woods.
“It’s a nice addition of land for Metro Parks to continue protecting land and resources in southeast Franklin County for visitors and resident in an area that is growing quickly and developing,” said Hanley. “It is part of our core mission to protect wildlife and habitat and ensure that the citizens of Central Ohio have places where they can discover nature and enjoy activities outdoors.”
Walnut Woods Metro Park consists of woodlands and fields. The Tall Pines Area along Richardson Road features dramatic stands of pines and sweetgum trees and the Buckeye Area along Lithopolis Road has long rows of old nursery trees such as serviceberry, crab apple and red maples. The park also features restored wetlands and vernal pools.