"Wick Woods at the River's Edge" and the "The Wick Homestead"
In partnership with the Douglas Wick family, Western Reserve Land Conservancy (WRLC) and the Gates Mills Land Conservancy (GMLC), the final component of this project was completed in June 2007 with the transfer of 25 acres of land to the GMLC. These parcels are a part of a 53-acre project that included a donation of a conservation easement by the Wick family to WRLC and the GMLC on 28 acres of their family land. Together, the GMLC and WRLC orchestrated the purchase of the remaining 25 acres with funding provided by the GMLC and a grant from the Clean Ohio Green Space Fund. As part of the Clean Ohio grant, the GMLC granted an easement to WRLC as an extra layer of protection.
The 53-acre property includes many natural features such as mature forest and high-quality wetlands. During the survey in early May, red squirrel, catbird, cardinal, Carolina wren, chickadee, hairy woodpecker, red tailed hawk, red winged blackbird, and deer tracks were all recorded. A total of six rare or threatened species have been spotted including the osprey, an Ohio endangered Species. The property now preserved in its natural condition will continue to protect water quality in the nearby Chagrin River. This is truly a spectacular property located between Beverly Lane and Berkshire Road on Chagrin River Road with a parcel on the corner of Beverly Lane and Epping Road. We are grateful to the Wick Family, the Western Reserve Land Conservancy and the Clean Ohio Green Space Fund.
Beecher's Brook - Wilson Mills Road and the Metroparks Trailhead
In 2005, with the support of Cleveland Metroparks, Mayfield Village, Gates Mills Village and Clean Ohio Funds, we purchased 10 pristine acres on the banks of Beecher's Brook. This land, which provides a leafy welcome to the Buckeye Trail, was transferred to Metroparks and a perpetual conservation easement was placed upon it.
The Polo Field
Located in the Village Historic District on Epping Road bordered by Main Street, Sudbury and Foxboro Roads, the "Polo Field" was donated to the Gates Mills Village in the mid 1930's by the Gates Mills Improvement Society to be used primarily for equestrian events. The Village in turn has leased the land to the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club for equestrian activities. The Village continues to use the Polo Field for Village events such as the Fourth of July Parade festivities. While there are currently restrictions on the use of this land as open space, the Village Council has recently granted a comprehensive conservation easement as additional protection. The beautiful 25 acres of land provide a spectacular panoramic view of our hillsides and enhance the entire neighborhood and historic center of our Western Reserve Village. As you meander through this area, the Polo Field immediately catches your eye and then draws your attention to the surrounding open expanses of well-tended lawns, wooded lots, old stone walls, split rail fences and lovely old century houses maintained in excellent condition. It is our vision that those vistas remain intact for future generations. This is an integral part of our unique natural treasure. This recent successful effort would not have been possible without the cooperation of The Gates Mills Village Council, the Mayor, the Gates Mills Improvement Society, the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club and of course the residents of the Village.