Weatherwax sale to MetroParks is end of golf course

Golfers arrive at Weatherwax Golf Course in Middletown. MetroParks of Butler County announced Sept. 23, 2015, it has acquired the golf course at 5401 Mosiman Road and plans to combine it with the adjacent Sebald Park to create the new Elk Creek MetroPark. STAFF FILE / NICK DAGGY

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Golfers arrive at Weatherwax Golf Course in Middletown. MetroParks of Butler County announced Sept. 23, 2015, it has acquired the golf course at 5401 Mosiman Road and plans to combine it with the adjacent Sebald Park to create the new Elk Creek MetroPark. STAFF FILE / NICK DAGGY

Golf course will close once current lease expires.

Weatherwax Golf Course has a new owner — and it will cease to exist as a golf course.

MetroParks of Butler County announced today it has acquired the golf course at 5401 Mosiman Road and plans to combine it with the adjacent Sebald Park to create the new Elk Creek MetroPark, according to a MetroParks press release.

The golf course is currently owned by Myron Bowling, who is leasing to a group to operate the golf course. Bowling purchased the golf course in 2014 from the city of Middletown.

TPL secured an option to purchasethe golf course from Weatherwax Holdings, LLC which is owned by Bowling Auctioneers.

The 456-acre property will provide opportunities for thousands of Butler County residents and future sports tourism events such as regional cross country meets, triathlons, equestrian events and more, according to the press release.

However, due to restrictions placed on the use of the property by the grant funds used to acquire it, golf will no longer be possible there once the present golf lease expires and park ownership begins.

When approaching Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national non-profit organization, Bowling expressed a desire that the site be maintained as open space and an asset to the community, according to the MetroParks news release.

TPL, whom MetroParks had worked with in the past, made MetroParks aware that land, adjacent to Sebald Park, was on the market. MetroParks owns and operates Sebald Park, in Madison Township and shares over a mile of common boundary to the Bowling property.

“It was, therefore, logical for MetroParks to pursue, in the public interest, the expansion of Sebald Park through the acquisition of the property in order to ensure continued public enjoyment and access”, said Greg Amend, president of MetroParks’ Board of Park Commissioners.

“Funding to pay for the acquisition of the land and its conversion to a natural area public park open to all will be available at almost no local cost through a combination of donated value, labor, state and federal funds,” he said.

The significance of the purchase is “not what won’t happen there, but what will happen there in the future that makes this change in the use of the property important to the residents of Butler County,” said Jonathan Granville, MetroParks executive director.

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