Ohio DNR announces New Direction for Malabar Farm State Park

Ohio DNR photo
Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Director James Zehringer recently announced a new vision and a series of capital improvements for Malabar Farm State Park.

“Louis Bromfield showed farmers firsthand how we could improve our farmland and protect our drinking water,” said Zehringer. “Our new vision for Malabar Farm involves an approach to agriculture that emphasizes sound environmental conservation practices that will create healthier soil and water, two things that Bromfield always strived to maintain on his farm.”

ODNR’s initial capital improvement project at Malabar Farm includes updating the exterior of the Big House. Currently, rotting boards and more than 14 layers of paint cover this historic home. ODNR will replace the boards and repaint the Big House to return it once again to the beautiful farmhouse that Bromfield built. ODNR has pledged up to $500,000 in capital funds for updates and improvements at Malabar Farm.

“The Big House has needed this improvement for many years,” said Zehringer of the painting project. “The Malabar Farm Foundation recently raised money to replace the windows in the greenhouse, and we want to ensure we do our part to restore the grandeur and excitement to Malabar Farm.”

In order to achieve this new agricultural vision for Malabar Farm State Park, Zehringer announced that Korre Boyer of Lucas will be serving as the park’s new full-time manager. As a farmer and local resident, Boyer appreciates both the historic importance of Bromfield’s agricultural accomplishments while understanding the unique place Malabar Farm occupies in the local community.

Additionally, Boyer’s work as a farmer, a teacher and his role with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation make him the ideal person to implement the farming techniques ODNR intends to apply at Malabar Farm State Park. In order to achieve this new vision for Malabar Farm State Park, Boyer stressed that he would collaborate closely with the ODNR Divisions of Wildlife, Forestry and Soil and Water. Boyer will start in this new position on Dec. 3.

Malabar Farm was established by Mansfield native and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Louis Bromfield in 1939. During his time at Malabar, Bromfield penned a number of best-selling books and entertained countless Hollywood legends. In 1945, the Big House at Malabar Farm played host to the wedding of film idols Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

Since taking ownership of Malabar Farm in 1972, ODNR has been dedicated to preserving the Big House and its many artifacts just as Bromfield left them. These efforts to preserve Bromfield’s life and farming philosophies make Malabar Farm State Park one of the most unique and historic destinations in Ohio.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.com.