Tuesday
Apr062010

Raccoon Valley Greenway

The Raccoon Valley Greenway is a major project of the Trust. Its purpose is to create and preserve a woodland ribbon at least 150 feet on each side of Raccoon Creek to provide aquifer protection, wildlife habitat, erosion prevention, flood control, passive recreation and education experiences.

The Greenway began with property in Granville Township and is being extended to cover Raccoon Creek from Johnstown to Newark. The first step was to conduct a study aimed at identifying appropriate land use in the Raccoon Valley and to seek alternative ways to protect and preserve the land, its water, and its natural resources. The Trust published the Raccoon Valley Land Use Study. This study and the Greenway received enthusiastic approval by the Licking Park District, the Licking County Planning Commission, the Granville Village Council, and the Granville Township Trustees.

The Greenway started in a big way with the donation in 1991 of the Harnden Mill Pond Preserve. The Preserve is especially well located, with easy access by car from the end of Clouse Lane, and by bicycle, being about midway between the Granville and Newark entry points on the T.J. Evans Bikeway. It is southwest of the iron bridge crossing Raccoon Creek.

The Trust has subsequently acquired from Granville Township conservation easements to property within the Greenway, and expects to grow the Greenway through the aquisition, usually by donation, of additional conservation easements. Please contact the Trust if interested in discussing the benefits of placing a conservation easement on property within the Greenway.

Spring Valley and its Salt Run are tributary to Raccoon Creek and the Greenway. They have been saved from development. Spring Valley with its spring-fed pool and natural area was a favorite recreation area from 1933 to 2004. At that time, the pool was closed and the property was offered for sale. The proximity of major highways, the regional growth in population and traffic, the existing general business zoning on the property, and the likelihood of infrastructure access were factors that attracted development offers. In 2006, the Trust organized a conservation consortium. It included several members of the Roberts family and their business interests, along with the Trust, Denison University, Park National Bank, the Granville Township Trustees, and the State of Ohio through its Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Program. The LIcking Land Trust will ensure the long-term protection of the land as a natural area in the public interest by holding an in-perpetuity conservation easement.