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Story

With this large, natural, property for sale, in the heart of the Mud Creek Valley, community members and board members of Mud Creek Conservancy (MCC) and Sargent Road Association (SRA) began getting concerned. What change might come to the habitat and natural beauty of this corridor of Sargent Road if this site were to be developed?  In 2018, a committee from both organizations formed to “imagine” if creating a nature park at this site could both preserve the natural area and bring much needed public, outdoor recreation space to the neighborhood. After much research and many meetings and presentations in the community, the Sargent Road Nature Park 
(SRNP) concept began to gain support and formalize. A year of strategizing, planning and proposals ultimately yielded a purchase agreement to buy these 26 acres in August of 2019.

 

With no existing funding for land acquisition and a limited budget, MCC had secured two years to raise the agreed upon purchase price with the property off the market and an access lease to use the site for fundraising. We are forever grateful to the Hillburn Family for believing in our vision and granting us the opportunity to chase our dream for SRNP. The dream was now alive and well, though still very far out of reach. With due diligence complete and SRA’s backing, MCC launched a public capital campaign in October 2019 to raise a half a million dollars to purchase and preserve this property, securing the future home of SRNP. 

Fast forward through the emergence and uncertainty of COVID, trailblazing a 1-mile tour path, countless masked fundraising tours of the site, hundreds of social media posts, emails, news stories and meetings to bring awareness to the project...in April 2021 we had raised the money needed to close on this property, six months before our purchase agreement was set to expire. This incredible feat was accomplished by our entire community rallying together for a common cause and through the hard work and unwavering dedication of our two organizations’ collective volunteer leadership. Over 600 families and individuals contributed to the campaign with donations ranging from $10 to $100K. Two of our city’s most impactful family foundations, also backed this grassroots effort, contributing at critical turning points in the campaign.

 

While Mud Creek Conservancy was overjoyed to have successfully purchased and preserved this property (our first acquisition), our work was just getting started. At the beginning of our fundraising campaign, we made a pledge to the eventual 600 generous donors: Sargent Road Nature Park. A nature park focused on habitat preservation and low-impact outdoor recreation access with a specific focus on nature education, local art and unique design. After closing on the property, we got right to work, bringing this vision to life for all of you. After three more years of fundraising, design, permitting, construction and a whole lot of volunteer effort, we are thrilled to open this special nature park to our community on June 8, 2024.

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