Erie County MetroParks system is enjoying bigger turnout and growing participation. It's nature programming shifted into high-drive after the summit of 2011, when Judge Tygh Tone called together all the litigants in the numerous lawsuits filed after construction of the Huron River Greenway began two decades ago.
There were many heroes in finding an end to that endless litigation — including property owners Mick and Lisa Coles — who donated considerable time and money to the fight and finally forced it to an end. They spent even more in a battle to protect property owner rights. The Coles won and protected an important principle of an important right: to own property and have it be safe from government seizure.
The Coles were ultimately proved to be right but the victory came after a long and tortuous road of litigation. Graceful in victory, the donated more time, more property and more money to get final settlements for the property owners.
And that resolution might be the best thing that's happened for the Erie County MetroParks system in two decades, removing the stranglehold law firms and lawyers had on the MetroParks for far too long. Park commissioners Kurt Landefeld, Randy Glovinsky and Don Miears have been freed from that burdened and the parks system is moving ahed, nicely, as a regional approach to the public parks system.
The Osborn, East Sandusky Bay and the Coupling metro parks and the McBride Arboretum at BGSU Firelands College are top-notch facilities with expanded programs. The success Erie County MetroParks is over adversity.