For Immediate Release
March 22, 2020

Select Number of Parks to Remain Open

The health and safety of park visitors and Medina County Park District staff is the top priority during the current health crisis. In an effort to promote social distancing and to reduce exposure to COVID-19, all Medina County Park District locations will be closed effective Monday, March 23 at 6 a.m. EXCEPT for the following:

  • Brunswick Lake Park
  • Buckeye Woods Park (Only State Route 162 and Deerview Lane entrances open)
  • Hubbard Valley Park
  • Lake Medina
  • Letha House Park West
  • Multipurpose Trails: Lester Rail Trail, Chippewa Inlet Trail, Chippewa Rail Trail, and Montville Trail

While visiting open parks, the park district urges park visitors to follow CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • Keep a six-foot distance between yourself and other park users.
  • If you are ill, please do not visit parks.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze.
  • Do not use playground equipment. On 3/22/20, Governor Mike DeWine ordered that all playgrounds be closed until further notice.

Thank you for your cooperation. Please continue to check for updates.


For Immediate Release
March 20, 2020

Chippewa Lake Closed Due to Flooding

As of March 20, the park district has closed Chippewa Lake due to flooding. The lake will reopen when conditions allow. Please check for updates.


For Immediate Release

March 16, 2020

Medina County Park District’s Updated Response to COVID-19

The health and safety of visitors is Medina County Park District’s number-one priority. In an attempt to reduce the potential spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, all park programs are canceled now through April 30.

In addition, all reservations of facilities (open-air shelters, enclosed facilities, and sports fields) are cancelled through April 30. Dates can be rescheduled without penalty, or, if desired, refunds will be issued. Effective March 17, Medina County Park District Headquarters will be closed for in-person business through April 30.

Closures of Wolf Creek Environmental Center, Alderfer-Oenslager Wildlife Sanctuary, and Susan Hambley Nature Center are extended through April 30.

All other parks, trails, and preserves remain open to visitors -- including Brunswick Lake Park, where Susan Hambley Nature Center is located.

For more on COVID-19 and information on how to minimize the risk of exposure, please visit the Medina County Health Department’s website at Watch for updates related to the park district.


For Immediate Release
March 13, 2020

March Park Board Meeting Cancelled

Medina County Park District Board of Commissioners meeting scheduled for Wednesday, March 18 at 8:30 a.m. at Wolf Creek Environmental Center has been cancelled. The next regularly scheduled board meeting is Wednesday, April 22 at 8:30 a.m. at Wolf Creek Environmental Center.


For Immediate Release
March 12, 2020

Medina County Park District Programs Canceled March 14-30

The health and safety of visitors is Medina County Park District’s number-one priority. In order to be proactive in attempting to reduce the potential spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, all park programs are canceled beginning March 14 and extending at least through March 30. In addition, Wolf Creek Environmental Center, Alderfer-Oenslager Wildlife Sanctuary, and Susan Hambley Nature Center are closed to the public from March 14-30.

All other parks, trails and preserves remain open to visitors -- including Brunswick Lake Park, where Susan Hambley Nature Center is located.

The park district will assess the situation on March 30 and make a determination as to when normal programming and nature center hours will resume. All decisions regarding public health and the safety of park visitors are being made in close consultation with the Medina County Health Department.

Medina County Park District Headquarters will be closed from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday so that volunteers who assist with office duties during that period may stay home.

For more on COVID-19, and for information on how to minimize the risk of exposure, please visit the health department’s website at Watch for updates on future park district programs.


For Immediate Release
December 4, 2019

Granger Wetlands to Become a Medina County Park District Wildlife Sanctuary

mapThanks to a partnership with the Stream + Wetlands Foundation, a habitat-rich 163-acre site in Granger Township will become Medina County Park District’s newest wildlife sanctuary.

Located east of the intersection of Beachler and Wilbur roads, Granger Wetlands Wildlife Sanctuary is comprised of a 150-acre wetlands mitigation area acquired at no cost from the Stream + Wetlands Foundation — plus an adjacent 13-acre parcel purchased by the park district at 50 percent of its market value, due to the generosity of its owners, who wished to see the land preserved.

The foundation completed restoration of Granger Wetlands in 2013, planting nearly 50,000 trees and shrubs, plus hundreds of pounds of wetland seed mix. Over time, the site will develop into a mix of wetland forest, scrub-shrub wetlands, upland forest, and emergent marsh habitat. While designed to be largely self-sustaining, some ongoing care will be needed, such as controlling non-native invasive plants and maintenance of water level control structures. In addition to the transfer of the property, the Stream + Wetlands Foundation is providing the park district with significant funding to assist with the future stewardship of the wetlands.

According to Granger Historical Society Research Director JoAnn Boruvka, the recorded history of this part of the township goes back more than 200 years. An early hunter reported collecting honey, hops, and cranberries, while the rich soil was later prized for growing potatoes. The site was once home to a horse track that served as an annual picnic spot for the Knights of the Maccabees fraternal organization.

As a wildlife sanctuary, Granger Wetlands will be managed differently than a typical park. Development will be limited to a parking area, natural surface trails, and restrooms. Bicycling, fishing, picnicking, and pets will be prohibited to minimize disturbance of the plants and animals that live there.

Park district Resource Management Specialist Travis Morton noted the wetlands are likely a prime stopover for migrating waterfowl to eat and rest on their journeys to and from their summer nesting areas in the arctic. Future visitors will enjoy the panoramic quality of the landscape — it’s like walking to an amphitheater, Morton said — especially when fall colors are in abundance. A portion of Granger Ditch, a Rocky River tributary, runs through the property.

“It’s exciting to collaborate with the Stream + Wetlands Foundation to preserve this key area within the Rocky River Watershed — and at an incredible savings to the public,” said park district Director Nathan Eppink. “Granger Wetlands Wildlife Sanctuary is sure to become a destination that birders and hikers from around the region will want to explore.”

The site remains closed to visitors. Eppink hopes to open the wildlife sanctuary, possibly on a limited basis, sometime in 2020, which marks Granger Township’s bicentennial and the park district’s 55th anniversary.

The United States has lost nearly 50 percent of its original wetlands. In Ohio, upwards of 90 percent of wetlands have been destroyed. Due to these extensive losses, state and federal regulations have been developed requiring those who plan to impact wetlands to obtain a permit and to compensate for the loss by creating, enhancing, or restoring wetlands in return. Typically, they are required to provide mitigation equal to twice the size of the wetlands authorized to be impacted. Permit applicants include private landowners, Ohio Department of Transportation, county engineers, municipalities, commercial and residential developers, hospitals, schools, airports, utility companies, and others. While they can complete mitigation projects on their own, many choose to use a third party to carry out the work on their behalf. The non-profit Stream + Wetlands Foundation is a third-party provider that specializes in mitigation for impacts to wetlands and streams throughout Ohio.


For Immediate Release
October 16, 2019

Grant Helps Protect Chippewa Lake Headwaters

A 51.25-acre parcel in the Chippewa Lake Watershed has been permanently preserved by Medina County Park District through a $328,219 grant from the Clean Ohio Fund — helping to protect the water quality of the state’s largest natural inland lake and provide future opportunities for the public to connect with nature.

Located on Lake Road north of state Route 162 in Lafayette Township, the property contains headwater streams that flow into Chippewa Lake, which has experienced significant challenges due to Harmful Algal Blooms and flooding. Restoring wetlands and maintaining a buffer of native vegetation along waterways within the 14,000-acre watershed limits run-off and erosion — helping keep pollution, nutrients and sediment from flowing into the 325-acre lake. Not only do streams and wetlands act as nature’s water filters, they also absorb flood water during times of heavy rain, protecting property downstream.

Healthy streams and wetlands lead to more abundant aquatic life, which benefits amphibians, birds, and mammals along the food chain. A survey by park district staff found high-quality stream habitat in the newly preserved site, as well as a notable vernal pool — a seasonal wetland that provides an essential breeding area for salamanders, wood frogs, chorus frogs, and spring peepers.

Twenty-two different tree species were identified in the natural resource inventory, including American beech, red oak, black gum, shagbark hickory, red and sugar maple, black cherry, and eastern cottonwood. Growing beneath the forest canopy are a number of native shrubs, such as winterberry holly, swamp rose, and buttonbush. The ecosystem supports numerous spring ephemeral wildflowers like ramps, trillium, and wood anemone.

First approved by voters across the state in 2000, the Clean Ohio Fund restores, protects, and connects Ohio's important natural and urban places by preserving green space and farmland, improving outdoor recreation, and cleaning up brownfields to encourage redevelopment and revitalize communities.

Because of its natural diversity and key location within the Chippewa Lake Watershed, the Lake Road property scored well in Clean Ohio’s competitive methodology, said park district Director Nathan D. Eppink.

“There’s an old saying that no matter where we live, we all live downstream,” Eppink said. “Medina County Park District has long been committed to preserving and restoring natural areas critical to the health of our local watersheds. This grant leverages local tax dollars to allow us to continue that important work for the benefit of Medina County and beyond.”