The Toledo Metroparks board agreed yesterday to apply for a state grant to help buy land that would double the size of Pearson Park.
The park system will apply by April 30 for a grant from the Clean Ohio Fund, said Art Weber, spokesman for the Metroparks.
He said the amount of the grant request hasn't been determined because no price has been set for the 306 acres. Mr. Weber said an appraisal must be conducted on the land.
He said the grant likely wouldn't cover whatever the purchase price will be, so a portion will be paid for by the park system. The land was owned by Ola Blodgett of St. Louis, who died last year. It is now owned by two of Ms. Blodgett's nieces and one of her friends, Mr. Weber said. All of them live out of state.
The property, zoned for agricultural use, is north of Pearson and is bounded by Starr Avenue on the south, Seaman Road on the north, Lallendorf Road on the west, and Wynn Road on the east.
“It's our only facility on the east side of the [Mau- mee] river, so it's a critical area that we want to preserve,” Mr. Weber said. “There just aren't that many 300-acre parcels out there any more. It's a heavily used park that needs more amenities.”
The park was dedicated in 1934, and much of its development was done by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration.
It is named after George Pearson, a reporter for The Blade, who led an effort to have the land purchased by the former Metropolitan Park Board with the provision that it be used for a public park.