Kenyon Land Trust and Park District Partner to Protect Green Space

The Knox County Park District has acquired Coshocton Road property from the Philander Chase Conservancy, conserving the land in perpetuity.

By Yvonne Johnson

Land previously owned by Kenyon College’s Philander Chase Conservancy (PCC) — 62 acres located at 18220 Coshocton Road — was purchased by the Knox County Park District on Sept. 12, and simultaneously protected with a conservation easement donated to PCC by the park. The newly acquired park property consists largely of woodland (33 acres) and tillable land (27 acres), the latter of which will continue to be leased to a local farmer. A tributary of Wolf Run traverses the southwest portion of the property along with other seasonal streams and springs throughout. Directly adjacent to the 260-acre Wolf Run Regional Park, the property will extend the existing hiking and interpretive trails and public open space on its rolling topography. 

The property was originally purchased by PCC in 2020 through the generous support of John Woollam, a member of Kenyon College's Class of 1961, who shared the vision that the land would one day be part of the public open space available to all Knox County residents. That patronage also allowed the county to purchase the land for less than half of PCC’s acquisition cost using the remaining funds as a grant from PCC. 

The park district plans to improve access to the property from Coshocton Road/US 36 to provide parking and other outdoor amenities. Details for a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be announced at a later date.

“Knox County Park District is thrilled this land has been conserved in one of Knox County’s fastest growing areas of the county,” said Lori Totman, director of Knox County Park District. “This acquisition is directly aligned with Knox County Park District’s mission to acquire, conserve and manage Knox County’s natural resources while maintaining green space and providing public access. The Park District is extremely pleased to have collaborated with Philander Chase Conservancy, and now this parcel will be conserved in perpetuity as a public park.”

Committed to the conservation of open spaces and vital natural habitats surrounding Kenyon College, PCC works with farmers, landowners, environmental groups and government agencies to protect the rural character of the area. The sale of the Coshocton Road property to the park, and subsequent easement, will ensure its stewardship for generations to come.

“We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of John Woollam and his passion for conserving open space around Kenyon in Knox County. His support has enabled our long history of working with private and public landowners to conserve open space and the rural character of the region,” said Khara Strum, director of PCC. “Our partnership with the park district began in 2000 with the transfer of what is now Wolf Run Regional Park from PCC to KCPD, and we are delighted to again play a role in increasing the amount of open space available for public enjoyment.”

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