The Olander Park System was recently awarded more than $800,000 from the Clean Ohio Fund that will be used to acquire land to expand Sylvan Prairie Park in Sylvania Township by about 70 acres.
Gary Madrzykowski, park director, said the District 12 Natural Resources Assistance Council for Lucas County met at the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Government offices on Dec. 12 to approve the allocations.
The Clean Ohio Fund, which aids in the restoration and protection of natural and urban spaces in the state, awarded $409,275 that will be used to acquire up to 32 additional acres from Park Place Residential Development.
The price for the acreage was $544,000, with 75 percent covered by the grant.
The Olander Park System will use a Waterford Bank loan to cover the balance.
The second grant — $427,500 — will be used to acquire 40 additional acres from the Sylvania School District.
The system also received $57,967 from an Ohio Department of Natural Resources NatureWorks grant to be used toward the project.
The park system will also be able to take a loan from Waterford Bank to complete the second transaction, with 85 percent covered by the grant.
Mr. Madrzykowski said it will take about 90 days to close on the project.
He said addition of land at Sylvan Prairie will allow the park system to expand to 223 acres from its current 152.
The grants stipulate how the land can be used.
“Eighty percent will be kept or restored to a natural state,” he said. “That match is what we have always done.”
Mr. Madryzkowski said the grant funding will also help expand the Quarry Ridge Bike Trail, which eventually will hook up to the new Central Trail Elementary school on Mitchaw Road as well as to a residential neighborhood.
He said this will allow students to bike or walk to school safely.
“The school kids themselves were so excited about the future connection,” he said.
The first segment of the bike trail was created in 2006 and was 4 miles long. The Sylvania Area Joint Recreation District lengthened the trail by 2 miles in 2009.
Mr. Madryzkowski said the eventual plan is that the bike path will connect to Kilburn Road, “and the entire trail system will hook together.”
But those plans are still about five years away from reality, he said.