The Revival of Friends of Coopers Woods Put-in-Bay
In 1997, the Friends of Coopers Woods Put-in-Bay created a mission statement: “to listen to and carry out democratically the will of the majority of residents and property owners of South Bass Island in an endeavor to ensure that pledges stated in the original Coopers Woods Put-in-Bay Town Hall Meeting [held by the Put-in-Bay DeRivera Park Trustees] on May 18, 1997, are fulfilled.”
Twenty years later, the mission is the same. Coopers Woods Put-in-Bay is in jeopardy — again! The Friends of Coopers Woods is being revived and is back! We are dedicated to preserving and protecting the 18.7 acres of Coopers Woods in a natural state — forever. It is what the overwhelming number of people on South Bass Island want.
Three trustees manage the Put-in-Bay DeRivera Park Trust. Now that the 15-year moratorium on building in the Woods has expired, the Trustees may do anything with the woods they wish—clear-cut the majestic trees, construct a baseball field where trilliums grow, build a dormitory/shop/maintenance building on the walking trails, or sell the property at a profit.
We, as taxpayers, have invested a significant sum in property tax money through a levy passed in 2010 for the purchase of Coopers Woods Put-in-Bay Ohio. (About $40,000.00 per year for ten years!) As such, the public should have some direct say in the future of Cooper’s Woods Put-in-Bay. Two of the three Trustees strongly disagree and feel that the DeRivera Park Trust is a private trust and not responsible to the people of South Bass Island. The Friends of Cooper’s Woods Put-in-Bay strongly disagree.
The people should have some participation and some influence on the actions of the Trustees To save the Woods, the Friends of Cooper’s Woods will need help. The only goal of the Friends is to protect and preserve Coopers Woods Put-in-Bay. If the DeRivera Park Trustees refuse to listen to the wishes of most of South Bass Island’s people, the process to save Cooper’s Woods may involve significant legal fees. It is so simple, the DeRivera Park Trustees could place a conservation easement on the 18.7 acres, and the property would be preserved and protected in a natural state forever!
The three DeRivera Park Trustees are Kelly Faris, George Stoiber, and Don Thwaite. Please contact them. Urge them to preserve and protect Cooper’s Woods. The next three meetings of the DeRivera Park Trust are Monday, Aug. 14th, Monday, Sept. 11th, and Monday, Oct. 9, 2017. All meetings are held at 5 p.m. at the Put-in-Bay Ohio Town Hall. The Board of Directors of Friends of Cooper’s Woods: Roger Parker, Chair; Lisa Brohl, Glenn Cooper, Dustin Heineman, Scotty Jackson, Sue Latham. Marsha Parker, Martha Faris, Secretary; and Mary Parker, Treasurer.
Once again, our goal, our only goal, is the preservation and protection of Cooper’s Woods in a natural state — forever. Any funds remaining from donations, after the protection of Coopers Woods Put-in-Bay is achieved will be donated to a local, non-profit conservation organization. Please mail donations to Friends of Coopers Woods, PO Box 475, Put-in-Bay, Ohio 43456. If you wish to donate electronically, a Generosity fundraising site is set up: generosity.com – search “Friends of Coopers Woods.” A 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable designation for Friends of Coopers Woods Put-in-Bay is pending. For more detailed information, please follow the Put-in-Bay Ohio Facebook page.