Overwhelming wins for local park levies

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TOLEDO, Ohio (13abc Action News) - Metroparks Toledo got a big, rousing win yesterday, a 3-to-1 vote in support of its tax levy. And in Sylvania at Olander Park, getting additional tax revenue, with 64 percent of the vote. So the question now: what's next for both systems?

“A park within five miles of every resident of Lucas County,” Dave Zenk said. He is the executive director of Metroparks Toledo.

“We are planning an additional walking a path here at Olander on the west side of the park,” Erika Buri said. Buri is the executive director of Olander Parks.

You’ll soon find upgraded bathrooms and new playground additions at Olander-branded parks. Metroparks Toledo is set to open Howard Marsh, its biggest project ever.

“Very supportive of not only operating a world class park but our aggressive pursuit of growth and expansion,” Zenk said.

Both Dave Zenk and Erika Buri want to thank voters. After all, these levies are the main source of funding, what keeps the lights on and the parks staffed. And Zenk from the Metroparks says world-class parks could draw world-class talent, not the other way around.

“It used to be, you moved to where the job was. And what we now know, is that people actually decide where they want to live, and then figure out what they want to do,” Zenk said. “And so quality of life is one of the biggest motivating factors.”

“That's why they support us. They see the park district as an asset that brings people to the community. So yes, I would agree with Dave on that,” Buri said.

Private donations will create other gems, like a new treehouse village in oak openings.

“Available and reservable accommodations, literally treehouses out in the middle of the wilderness,” Zenk said.

Dave Zenk says that treehouse village will be the single largest in the county, upon completion. And they're also working to finish up a single track mountain bike course.