Medina County Park District History

On April 19, 1965, over sixty people gathered before Medina County Probate Court Judge W. W. Garver to support the creation of Medina County Park District. Fourteen political subdivisions and twenty-five service clubs of Medina County presented resolutions to the court in support of the formation of the park district. When the judge polled those present, over forty indicated their support for the creation of the park district, and no one spoke against it. Louis Bohley, Virgil Burris, Alice Dallas, and County Commissioner Chairman Dunn expressed their support to the probate court for the creation of the park district. In his journal entry, Judge Garver found ". . . the evidence presented at the meeting was conclusively in favor of the creation of the park district." Judge Garver then ordered the creation of Medina County Park District in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code Section 1545 including all of Medina County with the exception of Hinckley Township. (Hinckley Township had previously become a part of the Cleveland Metropark District.)

I wonder if those supporting the creation of a park district had an inkling about what would happen in Medina County over the next forty years. While the park district struggled in its early years to find a funding source, the face of Medina County began to change rapidly. Once a predominantly rural county, the influx of new residents thrust the county into becoming the fastest-growing county in Northern Ohio, a distinction that remains in place today. With the explosive growth came a change in the landscape from largely rural to more suburban. Residents of the county approved a 1/2 mill levy in 1989 to fund the park district and its operations. That levy was replaced with a new 1/2 mill levy in 1998. With vital funding established, the park district began a systematic approach to the preservation of important natural resources in Medina County. From its humble beginnings when it accepted the donation of its first 33 acres, the park district has grown to over 6,300 acres.

The generosity of Medina County residents did not start with the passage of the first levy. Through the years, over 500 acres of land have been donated to the park district by residents of the county. This generosity resulted in the park district being able to obtain grants to purchase other lands as well. It is amazing to think about the value of these donations to the residents of Medina County.

We continue to work toward the goal of preserving as much open space in Medina County as possible. How much is enough? Good question! As long as funding is available, the park district will continue to acquire special places in Medina County. Much work remains to be accomplished. The preservation of open space is vital to bring a balance to the ongoing development around us. We appreciate the support of Medina County residents as we enhance the quality of your life -- naturally.

On April 19, 1965, over 60 people, 14 political subdivisions, and 25 service clubs of Medina County gathered before Medina County Probate Court Judge W. W. Garver to support the creation of Medina County Park District. Below is a list of community organizations that signed the original resolution.

- Black River Game Club, Inc.
- Brunswick Chamber of Commerce
- Brunswick City Council
- Brunswick Hills Township
- Brunswick Kiwanis Club
- Brunswick Lions Club
- Chatham Township
- Chatham Ladies Auxiliary
- Guilford Township
- Harrisville Township
- Homer Gun Club
- Homer Township Trustees
- Lafayette Township
- Litchfield Township
- Liverpool Lions Club
- Liverpool Township
- Lodi Rotary Club
- Medina Bird Club
- Medina ASC Co. Committee
- Medina Chamber of Commerce
- Medina Chapter Izaak Walton League
- Medina Co. Agricultural Society
- Medina Co. Assoc. of Twp. Trustees
-     and Clerks
- Medina County Coon Hunters
- Medina County Rose Society
- Medina Co. Resource Development
- Medina County Soil and Water
      Conservation District
- Medina Family Campers
- Medina Girl Scouts
- Medina Kiwanis Club, Inc.
- Medina Lions Club
- Medina Parks and Cemeteries
- Medina Rifle and Pistol Club
- Medina Rotary Club
- Montville Garden Club
- Montville Township
- Sharon Township Trustees
- Spencer Garden Club
- Valley City Garden Club
- Wadsworth Garden Club
- Wadsworth Izaak Walton League
- Wadsworth Rotary
- Wadsworth Township Trustees
- Weymouth Civic Group
- York Garden Club
- York Township Trustees

The park district diligently strives to preserve land in Medina County. Below is the number of acres added throughout the four decades since the park district's existence.

1965 to 1974: 65.98 acres added

1975 to 1984: 507.24 acres added

1985 to 1994: 1,113.55 acres added

1995 to present: 5,278.44 acres added

Current Managed Land Total: approximately 6,353 acres

Green Leaf Park: 1972
Letha House Park: 1976
Plum Creek Park: 1980
Hubbard Valley Park: 1981
Hidden Hollow Camp: 1984
Buckeye Woods Park Schleman Nature
  Preserve: 1989
River Styx Park: 1996
Allardale: 1997
Lester Rail Trail: 1997
Alderfer/Oenslager Wildlife Sanctuary/Wolf Creek
  Environmental Center: 2000
Chippewa Inlet Trail: 2002
Lake Medina: 2002
Princess Ledges Nature Preserve: 2005
Carolyn Ludwig Mugrage Park: 2013
Killbuck Lakes: 2015
Montville Trails: 2017

The park district plans to open these sites in the future. These are properties in transition.

East Fork Nature Preserve

Chippewa Nature Preserve

West Law