The Pickaway County Park District announced a partnership on Tuesday with Appalachia Ohio Alliance (AOA) on the purchase of the former Cooks Creek Golf Club, located at 16405 U.S. Route 23 in South Bloomfield.
In April of 2022, AOA purchased the 324-acre golf course from the James Cook family to conserve, protect and restore the property. The Park District is very thankful that the Cook family wanted their property to be retained as a natural preserve and park, given how quickly farmland and green spaces are disappearing in Pickaway County, especially in Harrison and Scioto Townships. This new preserve will provide a place for the flora and fauna of the property to thrive, and for the public to experience some exceptional passive outdoor recreational opportunities in the future.
In one of the first such partnerships, the Park District has purchased 25 acres of the former golf club, including the clubhouse, associated maintenance buildings, paved parking lots and the entry road from AOA. The Park District will utilize the site for a passive nature park for the Pickaway County community and will utilize the clubhouse as our new Park District headquarters and a future nature center. Many of the existing golf cart paths on AOA’s neighboring property will be retained for public walking and nature observation.
The new preserve provides exceptional habitat for many species of breeding and migratory birds. Travel paths such as the Scioto River Flyway Corridor are especially important for migrating neotropical birds and waterfowl. The site also provides excellent habitat for other migrating species such as bats and butterflies.
In 2023, the Park District will concentrate on moving its headquarters to this new location and completing a master plan for the clubhouse and the surrounding 25 acres. Once plans are completed and necessary improvements are made, the District is hopeful to open its new park to the public sometime in 2024.