• Photo of the Beaver Marsh by Jeffrey Gibson.

    Cuyahoga Valley

    National Park Ohio

Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy

Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Program Offers Two Farms for Lease

Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP), in conjunction with Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy (CVCC), is announcing the next round of long-term lease offerings under the Countryside Initiative program. The Countryside Initiative invites farmers to live and farm in the park using sustainable methods appropriate for a national park while promoting farming that will produce high quality specialty products for direct, local, retail sale. Currently, CVNP has 7 farms under lease through this program including a vineyard and winery, vegetable and egg operations, livestock, pick-your-own, and a community-supported vegetable farm. Farm products are marketed through a growing range of venues including pick-your-own farms, community-supported agriculture, roadside stands, local farmers markets, and direct sales to individuals and restaurants.

The current recruitment seeks lessees for the Garvey and Grether farms located in Peninsula and Cuyahoga Falls; each farm includes a residence (rehabilitated), outbuildings and fields (3 and 12 acres, respectively). The farms are suitable for operations including fruit and vegetable production, management-intensive grazing, and integrated crop-livestock enterprises. The farms are available for long-term leases up to 60 years. The selection of proposals, managed as a competitive process for the individual farms, will be based on the proposal’s agricultural and economic soundness, responsiveness to a national park setting, engagement of the public, etc.

The Countryside Initiative and the process of submitting farming proposals are fully described in the Request for Proposals (RFP) publication now available. The RFP includes background information about program objectives and administration, information about the two farmsteads available, a description of the information to be included in proposals and the process of proposal evaluation and selection. To receive a copy of the RFP, interested parties should contact Stephanie Webb, CVCC, 2179 Everett Road, Peninsula, OH 44264, (330) 657-2542, or swebb@cvcountryside.org or visit www.cvcountryside.org.

Open houses for the farms will be held December 13 and 19; call (330) 657-2542 for times and locations. Completed proposals are due by 3 p.m., Thursday, February 1, 2007. Final selection of proposals is expected in spring 2007 with occupancy to follow by summer 2007.

CVCC is a non-profit organization created in 1999 to conceptualize and help implement a management program for the picturesque but deteriorating old farms still surviving within the boundaries of CVNP. For more information about CVCC, visit www.cvcountryside.org or call (330) 657-2542

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