In late 2012, Cleveland Metroparks received the 155-acre Acacia Country Club from The Conservation Fund under the stipulation that the land could no longer be used for golf and had to be restored to its natural state. Since then, Cleveland Metroparks has undertaken substantial efforts to restore the land to its natural state and transform the former golf course into a park reservation that is free and open to all.
Planned Removal of Acacia Clubhouse:
One of the last remaining remnants of the former golf course is the former Acacia Clubhouse. Built in 1995, a recent review of the clubhouse indicated that it needed a significant overhaul in order to maintain safe and efficient operation. After thorough review, consideration of the original intent of The Conservation Fund’s granting of the land for restoration and overall master plan for the reservation, Cleveland Metroparks is removing the former clubhouse and adjacent hard surfaces in early 2022. The removal will improve the health of the reservation and Euclid Creek watershed, make way for additional greenspace and meadow and continue Cleveland Metroparks’ efforts to return the former course to nature.
Return to Natural Space:
Cleveland Metroparks Natural Resources Division has continued to take an active role in maintaining a diverse and healthy ecosystem at Acacia Reservation. This includes installation of over 10,000 native plants and trees, active protection of the young forest through deer exclosures, creation of over 8 acres of wetland, native meadow establishment, fish stocking, invasive species removal, stream clean-ups, and restoring Euclid Creek and its tributaries.
While the trees and plants of the reservation are not expected to reach natural maturity for at least 30 more years, the naturalization of the reservation is well underway. Expert biologists surveying the reservation documented 465 species including 139 bird species. And academic researchers continue to utilize Acacia Reservation for their studies.
Improvements to Trails & Guest Experience:
Acacia Reservation now totals 156 acres and continues to gain popularity every year since it was acquired by Cleveland Metroparks including driving a record 256,000 recreational visitors in 2020, a 40% increase from 2019 and a 186% increase from 2014, the first full year that park visitation was captured.
Popular activities by guests include picnicking, tai chi, frisbee, rollerblading and hiking. Cleveland Metroparks has continued to invest in trails and recreational opportunities at the reservation including a recently opened boardwalk loop trail and viewing deck that connects visitors to Central Pond. The reservation currently has more than 4 miles of trails that are used for active recreation.
In 2021, new amenities were added to improve the guest experience including ADA accessible flush restrooms and a rentable shelterhouse that fits naturally into the scenic landscape.