Big news! Preserve the Valley is thrilled to announce that the City of Akron has notified us that they've made a decision about Theiss Woods. We've been told that 100% of the city-owned land known as Theiss Woods will be preserved and not developed. We applaud Akron officials for this decision and celebrate this major victory for Akron, for the Valley, and for the environment.
We could not have done it without all of you. The battle to save the 45 acres of Theiss Woods began 2 1/2 years ago in the midst of the pandemic. It started with just a handful of concerned citizens -- and grew into a movement that encompassed thousands of people from Akron, Cuyahoga Falls, and beyond.
Ultimately, more than 17,000 people from around the country shared and signed the Save Theiss Woods petition on Change.org. Hundreds of Akronites left phone messages, public comments, and emails for Akron officials asking that the city-owned property be conserved. Area schoolchildren created beautiful Save Theiss Woods posters (the one below was created by Madelyn S.). Preserve the Valley signs were posted throughout the Valley. Local and national environmental groups wrote letters of support for saving the property, and the Western Reserve Land Conservancy submitted a proposal to purchase the land for conservation. You can read more about Theiss here.
Why is this a big win for the environment? Because it is estimated that the mature forest and wetlands on the property intercept more than 6 million gallons of rainwater and 1.6 tons of air pollutants annually. The property is adjacent to parklands which contain numerous endangered plants and animals, so it serves as a critical greenway for those species. In fact, Theiss Woods' undocumented streams, wetlands, and natural springs may contain even more rare and endangered species.
While the details on property ownership and public/conservation use are still being worked out, we believe the decision to save this property represents a significant gift for Akron's future.
Do you have ideas for Theiss Woods? Our next newsletter will tell you how to share your ideas, and we will pass them along to the City of Akron. We hope that Theiss Woods will benefit the health of the Valley and the health of Akronites for many years to come. Watch this space.
You did it, Preserve the Valley followers and friends!
Mother Nature and Theiss Woods thank you.
"We need to keep as much greenspace as possible to help our future generations." (Petition comment from Monica R., Akron, 2020)