Would you believe that there are more than 10,000 golf courses currently in the United States? There used to be more, but there is now a slow and steady decline in golfing, including the closure of golf courses. What do you do with a closed golf course, you might ask? Nothing, apparently.
One of those nothings is now the Cleveland Metroparks Acacia Reservation across the street from the Beachwood Mall (Figure 1). It’s not obvious from the street, but this urban green space was once the Acacia Country Club established in 1921. The original 300 acre property was initially a 9-hole golf course. At its closing in 2012, the property was 160 acres with 18 holes. The property was sold to the Conservation Fund, a national group committed to land preservation, which in this case involves natural reforestation.
It’s only been five years or so since the land changed hands, but a quick stroll along the former golf cart path shows how much progress at reforestation has already been made (Figures 2 and 3). Along with reforestation came the return of animals, including birds and four-legged friends. “Friends” might be generous here (Figure 4). Suffice to say, please keep your pet on a leash and be prepared to run!
Today the reservation is a popular place for a stroll or a jog (Figure 5). Next time you see the sun peeking out from the clouds and you are looking for something more than par for the course, think of Acacia. It’s sure to make your cut!