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Metroparks buys land for wildlife corridor

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The Toledo Area Metro-parks board Wednesday approved buying four more parcels of land in western Lucas County for the future wildlife corridor that will be established between Secor and Oak Openings Preserve parks.

The 61 acres on Weckerly, Monclova, and Eber roads was acquired for $818,189, with the purchases ranging from $399,000 to $53,100. The park district is applying $443,954 from the Clean Ohio Fund to help cover the purchases, which were negotiated in June.

The land consists of three vacant parcels and property with a 1,900-square-foot single-family residence, which the park district plans to retain for potential use as a visitor amenity. Some of the property features high-quality Oak Openings habitat, including remnant oak savanna and sand barrens and forested wetlands the park district plans to keep protected in their current state.

The park district has been slowly acquiring property for the project, which is part of an overall master plan the Metroparks has developed to preserve more land within the historic and ecologically fragile Oak Openings region.

Scott Carpenter, a spokesman for the park district, said about 2,223 acres have been purchased since 2002.

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