Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Blossom land is acquired by Cuyahoga national park

November 3, 2009, 8:17 am

It was Christmas and a birthday rolled into one for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Congress on Thursday approved $4 million to buy 635 undeveloped acres at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, eliminating one of the biggest threats to the 33,000-acre federal park.

The land — with forests, meadows and ravines — will be transferred to the park under an agreement involving the National Park Service, the Trust for Public Land, a national conservation group, and the Cleveland-based Musical Arts Association, the parent of the Cleveland Orchestra.

''That's a very positive step forward . . . and it's great news,'' said Paul Stoehr, acting superintendent of the park between Akron and Cleveland.

The $4 million is a partial payment for the 635 acres. The final sale price has not been determined, officials said.

An appraisal of the property, required under federal law, is under way. Earlier, officials had indicated the final sale price might be between $5 million and $10 million.

In July 2008, the parties involved had announced the planned sale but needed the federal funds to complete the arrangement. That's where five members of the Ohio congressional delegation stepped forward to acquire the largest privately owned tract within the national park.