Metroparks’ purchase of Ironwood Golf course aims to conserve green space

by Chris Studor and Melissa Martin

Cleveland Metroparks has signed a deal with the owners of Hinckley’s Ironwood Golf Course to purchase the 150-acre property.

“Transfer of the course and management by Cleveland Metroparks will begin in 2024,” said Jacqueline Gerline, communications director for the Cleveland Metroparks. “This will add a ninth golf course to Cleveland Metroparks’ portfolio and the acquisition near the Hinckley Reservation will help protect wetlands and maintain an open and accessible green space to the public, protecting it from any future development.”

Bob Brown, owner of Ironwood, said that according to the terms of the agreement, which is set to close later this summer, the Cleveland Metroparks will take over operations Nov. 1, the end date for the 2023 season. He said the purchase price of the property is set at $3 million, which not only includes the course itself, all property used to operate the golf course and the club’s vintage golf carts.

Brown, whose family has owned the property since 1967, will share the proceeds from the sale with his brother, Charles.

While the Metroparks has agreed to keep Ironwood operating as a golf course for at least the next 10 years, Gerline said the Metroparks’ goal in purchasing the land is to preserve the east branch of the Rocky River, which runs through the far east corner of property near Ironwood’s 13th, 14th and 15th holes.

According to information presented to the Cleveland Metroparks Board Feb. 16, the Ironwood property is situated in an area that supports groundwater-driven primary headwater streams and Category 3 wetlands.

“The Ironwood property presents and excellent opportunity for stream restoration projects. The acquisition of the Ironwood property will enhance the east bank of the Rocky River corridor and associated tributary streams, create core natural resource areas along the river and build upon the connections between Hinckley, Mill Stream Run and Brecksville reservations,” the documents state.

Cleveland Metroparks intends to release a statement on their plans for the ongoing operations of Ironwood following the November takeover. ∞

Featured Photo: Cleveland Metroparks will take over ownership and operation of Ironwood Golf Course beginning Nov. 1. Photo submitted.