Quarry to become park refuge

A small crowd listens as
a senior naturalist from the Wood County Parks District speaks about local plant and animal life
Saturday morning while giving a tour of one of the trails at the newly donated proprty in Perrysburg
Township. (Photo: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)

LIME CITY – The Sawyer family offered a glimpse into their 61-acre refuge over the weekend, which is set
to become Wood County’s newest park.
The property, located across Lime City Road near Perrysburg Township headquarters, has been dubbed Sawyer
Quarry Nature Preserve and will need some improvements before opening to the public, perhaps next year.

Ann Sawyer and her children showed off their estate Saturday, land which at one time was a working
limestone quarry. It contains two homes and the large quarry is now dry, while aerial views show that
the wooded lot represents the only large swath of trees in the area.
Commissioners and staff of the Wood County Park District and the media were invited to tour the grounds,
and a naturalist offered a nature hike on a trail already on the property.
Sawyer and her late husband, Charles, sought to preserve their land by forging a conservation easement
with the Black Swamp Conservancy, later agreeing to turn it over to the park district for enjoyment by
the public. It has been in the family for a total of 131 years and was first purchased in 1883 by
Charles Henry Sawyer.
"I know that they will preserve, protect and enhance the property so that in future years, the
public will be able to enjoy it and learn from it," Ann Sawyer said.
Ann’s son, Charles "Chas" Sawyer, said his family’s property allows a unique opportunity to
teach about the area’s geological history and the impact of limestone on the economy in the late 1800s
and early 1900s.
"If you look out there you can see some of the remnants of the rails and different things they used
to mine the limestone.
"If you look on some of the limestone faces you can see where they drilled down to place the
explosives," he continued.
"We feel this next chapter will expose all the many great things that we have found plus so much
more to such a broad audience, and really bring such beauty into other people’s lives. There’s so much
that this property has to offer."
Park District Director Neil Munger said he and others realized early-on that the land would make for a
terrific park.
"When we came out and walked this property, everybody was amazed. It was hands-down that this was an
absolutely wonderful treasure to be kept and maintained," he said.
"When you look at the big picture and the generosity of the family, it’s just amazing."
Munger said the first obstacle before opening to the public is widening the main drive next year, which
presently can only accommodate traffic by small vehicles in one direction. Future uses will be guided by
the conservation easement, but its restrictions are generally in line with how the park district would
treat the property anyway.
"It’s really an open book," Munger said.