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With 200-Acre Expansion, Portage Park District Considers Land Uses and Bog Protection

photo of Cooperrider Kent Bog State Nature Preserve
Protecting the Kent bog (pictured) is one of the benefits the Portage Park District will get in its recent land acquisition.

The Portage Park District is considering potential uses for 215 acres it recently acquired in Kent and surrounding areas.

The land was owned by the Carter Jones Lumber Company and includes hills, woods, portions of Plum Creek and more than 50 acres of sphagnum peat bog.

Portage Park Executive Director Christine Craycroft says the acquisition may allow the park system to achieve one of its biggest goals.

“The grand vision was to see if we could come up with a trail corridor connecting Wingfoot Lake State Park, Mogadore Reservoir, all the way up to the Cuyahoga River and the Portage Hike and Bike Trial. This property could be a piece of that puzzle.”

She says the park board is also looking into the possibility of creating a mountain bike trail.

The park district is also using the acquisition to better protect the Kent bog and hopes to provide water quality and wildlife protection for the area.

Craycroft says bogs like this are rare.

The importance of the bog

“A lot of them have been lost to development over the years, some of them have been mined for their peat. So the fact that it’s very rare, it’s a remnant of the last glaciation, and with it comes some very rare species.”

Craycroft says that before the acquisition, nearly two-thirds of the bog was on private property.