STATE MOVES TO PROTECT 214 ADDITIONAL ACRES ON
LITTLE DARBY CREEK IN MADISON COUNTY
Madison County Park District to manage the property
COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) recently purchased 214 acres on Little Darby Creek in Madison County as an additional measure of protection for this state and national scenic river. The Madison County Commissioners will manage the acreage as parkland, under a lease agreement with ODNR.
The Robert T. Florence family formerly owned the property, which is located in Monroe Township. The Florence heirs had long expressed a desire to preserve their family farm and open it to public access. Funding for the $968,000 purchase was provided through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Resource Restoration Sponsorship Program. Members of the Florence family have also established a fund to facilitate improvements associated with opening the property to the public.
“Little Darby Creek is one of the Midwest’s most varied and important aquatic environments,” said Steven Maurer, chief of the ODNR Division of Natural Areas & Preserves. “This purchase will help protect the stream, while providing public access to its singular beauty.”
The Madison County Commissioners plan to lease the property and manage it as a unit of the county’s park district. Plans are to open it to low-impact recreation such as picnicking, birdwatching, fishing and hiking. Public access will be provided through a small gravel parking lot and mowed trails.
“We knew the state planned to purchase the property and are pleased ODNR provided us the chance to manage this area for the benefit of our local residents,” said Robert D. Hackett, president of the Madison County Commissioners.
The purchase brings to 417.6 the number of acres now protected on Little Darby Creek either through outright purchases or conservation easements negotiated by ODNR. Aside from its designation as a state and national scenic river, The Nature Conservancy has named the creek one of the world’s “last great places” for its diversity of freshwater mussels and other aquatic life.
For Additional Information, Contact:
Bob Gable, ODNR Natural Areas & Preserves
Jane Beathard, ODNR Media Relations
Robert D. Hackett, Madison County Commissioner