Crowell Hilaka supporter hopes for joint park district
To the editor:
The people of Richfield have an incredible opportunity to maintain the rural character of their community while creating a beautiful recreation destination within one of Richfield’s best-kept secrets.
Richfield Township and Richfield Village are in a series of discussions about the formation of a joint park district specifically for the purpose of creating a plan to purchase Crowell Hilaka, the former Girl Scout camp between Broadview Road and [state Route] 303. This property is at the highest point in Summit County and is laced with pure spring-fed streams and beautiful hiking trails that thread through the forests, along creeksides and around the two lakes. This property is unique in local history in that it once belonged to one of Richfield’s own sons, inventor James Kirby. His estate left his hydro-electric mill on the world’s only patented lake, his house, garden and spring-loaded dance hall for future generations to appreciate. The science and math education and recreation potential of this land is enormous.
If the township and village can agree to form the joint park district, then the issue would be placed before the people of Richfield in November. The citizens of Richfield would decide if it’s something they want. People who live outside of Richfield can also support this effort by donating, pledging financial support or joining Friends of Crowell Hilaka, a dedicated group of people committed to the preservation of the property and implementation of fun and exciting programs. The Buckeye Trail Association has already pledged $33,000. Richfield Historical Society is in full support of preservation and has pledged $2,000. The impact of these two pledges and scores of individual contributions far exceeds the monetary value. They demonstrate real commitment to a priority, and you can help, too, by visiting www.friendsofcrowellhilaka.org to learn more.
Most importantly, if you live in Richfield, contact your government officials to voice support of the formation of the Joint Park District. There is nothing to lose, and no monetary support is needed in the creation of this committee, but it will provide a way for the township and the Village of Richfield to work together to create a plan to keep this 360-plus-acre unique property from being developed and losing this charming, unique countryside of our beautiful town. This is an important decision about the future of our community and should be protected by the people who live here.
Kelly Clark, Richfield Township, Richfield Historical Society trustee and Friends of Crowell Hilaka board member
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