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Theiss Woods Near Cuyahoga Valley National Park Could Become Newest Summit Metro Park

[City of Akron]

The City of Akron is reviewing a new proposal for 45 acres of undeveloped land near Cuyahoga Valley National Park, considering whether to develop the land or conserve it.

Western Reserve Land Conservancy is partnering with Summit Metro Parks on a new proposal to conserve Theiss Woods, located at the southern end of the Cuyahoga Valley. If their proposal is selected, the land would become the newest Metro Park.

Akron originally received plans to develop the property into single-family homes, but Drew Holland with Preserve the Valley said that plan does not make fiscal sense.

“The environmental cost plus the urban sprawl infrastructure cost far outweighs the economic gains from a tax basis,” he said.

Developing Theiss Woods would remove the land’s environmental benefits, Holland said, such as storm water runoff and carbon offsets.

Isaac Robb is leading the project for Western Reserve Land Conservancy and said developing the land would mean permanently losing its environmental impact.

“The existing secondary forest captures a lot of carbon, prevents a lot of storm water runoff, and obviously the bio habitat and the soils as well provide a healthy ecosystem within the city of Akron,” Robb said, which far outweighs any economic gains that would come with developing the land.

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