For Immediate Release
September 11, 2020

Is Creativity in Your Nature?

The new Monthly Makers program offers an opportunity to add a little personal creativity to the beauty of the fall season.

Participants are invited to create an art project -- solo or with their families -- on a different monthly theme and have the project displayed along a trail at Alderfer-Oenslager Wildlife Preserve, home of Wolf Creek Environmental Center. The program is free and open to all ages.

The theme for September is mushrooms. Simply visit www.MedinaCountyParks and click on “Programs,” then “Program Listing” to register. Each registered individual or household will receive a five-foot by five-foot square along a trail in which to display the project. The art can be realistic or whimsical and made out of any material but must be able to withstand being outdoors for at least two weeks. Online registration must be completed by Sept. 17.

Setup will occur September 22-26. Registered individuals/households will be contacted with details. Mushroom art projects will be on public display through October 10. Upcoming themes include scarecrows for October and turkeys for November.

Please note Wolf Creek Environmental Center has limited hours. The gate and grounds are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday (closed Sunday and Monday.) A portable restroom is available in the parking lot. The building remains closed due to COVID-19.

For Immediate Release
September 9, 2020

Park Board Meeting

Medina County Park District Board of Commissioners will meet in regular session on Wednesday, September 16, at 8:30 a.m. at Wolf Creek Environmental Center located at 6100 Ridge Road in Sharon Center. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, as permitted by Ohio House Bill 197, and in keeping public and employee health and safety as a priority, this meeting will be live-streamed on Facebook at

Public comments or questions can be sent in advance to Director Nathan Eppink at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Emails must be received by Tuesday, September 15, at 4 p.m. Live comments will not be addressed during the meeting.

For Immediate Release
August 14, 2020

New for Trekking Through Autumn: Hiker’s Choice

Definition: Trekking (noun) -- A form of walking, undertaken with the specific purpose of exploring and enjoying the scenery.

Call it hiking, walking, strolling, rambling, wandering, or trekking, it’s good for body, mind, and spirit -- maybe now more than ever.

Back for its 14th year, Medina County Park District’s popular self-guided hiking program, Trekking Through Autumn, offers the opportunity to explore and enjoy the beauty of fall on local trails. Those who complete at least eight designated hikes between September 1 and November 30 qualify for hiking rewards. The program is free and open to all ages.

To get started, simply print a Trekking Through Autumn brochure at It lists 14 selected trails in parks and preserves throughout Medina County for participants to hike on their own schedule. New this year is a Hiker’s Choice. So, if a favorite trail isn’t on the menu, the trekker can add it to the list.

After completing eight or more of the hikes, participants will receive an award. Backpacks are awarded to first-year participants. Hiking pins are awarded in successive years. Awards are free for Medina County residents. Out-of-county residents pay $10 for backpacks and $3 for hiking pins.

Please note the building at Wolf Creek Environmental Center is currently closed until further notice, but the grounds are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Please check for changes to that schedule. As a wildlife sanctuary, no pets are permitted at Wolf Creek. Dogs on leashes are welcome at other park sites, which are open from 6 a.m. until dark.

“So much of everyday life seems to be on pause,” said park district Interpretive Services Manager Shelley Tender. “We can take solace in the fact that nature’s seasonal wonders continue and beckon us to get outside and enjoy the colors and cooler temperatures of fall.”

For Immediate Release
July 24, 2020

Lake Medina’s Granger Road Parking Lot to Close for Construction

Improvements are scheduled to begin this summer at Medina County Park District’s Lake Medina, including paving its Granger Road parking lot and increasing parking capacity to 41 spaces. In addition, the lower trail will be upgraded to an asphalt surface.

In order for this work to take place, the Granger Road entrance to Lake Medina will close on July 30 and remain closed until mid- to late fall. To access Lake Medina, please use the parking lot off state Route 18 near Signature Square Plaza.

For Immediate Release
June 25, 2020

A Once and Future Park

Park District Completes Purchase of Former Chippewa Lake Amusement Park

In a milestone on a journey that began more than 40 years ago, Medina County Park District has purchased the site of the former Chippewa Lake Amusement Park, which will become a future public park on the shores of Ohio’s largest inland glacial lake.

“We are thrilled that this special place, which is such an important part of the cultural history of Northeast Ohio and treasured in the memories of so many people, will be open for the public to enjoy once again,” said Medina County Park District Director Nathan D. Eppink.

Chippewa Lake Properties Inc. sold the just under 95-acre site to the park district on June 15 for $2.1 million, which was less than its appraised value. The purchase agreement includes all mineral rights and lake privileges associated with the property. The park district purchased the adjacent 340-acre Chippewa Lake with a Clean Ohio Grant in 2007.

Eppink said public access to the site is at least two years away. The park district will use that time to invite community input on a master plan and seek grant funding to support development of the park. Reforestation, along with restoration of wetlands, will begin as soon as possible to help improve the water quality of the lake, which has been plagued by toxic algal blooms.

“It’s good for our village,” said Joanne Dodaro, who has served as mayor of Chippewa Lake since 2003. “I like knowing that the amusement park property is owned by the park district and that it will help protect the lake.”

The park district will preserve the remnants of the Ferris wheel and other historical relics that remain on the property, which provide an opportunity for interpretive panels and programs that celebrate the site’s iconic past. As a destination for entertainment, family vacations, and company picnics from 1878 to 1978, Chippewa Lake Park once boasted multiple rides, games, a hotel, and a ballroom that hosted famous bandleaders like Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, and Lawrence Welk.

“We’re really excited to tell the story of the amusement park,” said Eppink. “We want to make it a fun place to be, like it once was.”

The property was identified in the early 1970s as one of the most important potential public recreation sites in Medina County. Its owners and the park district first talked about a possible sale shortly after the amusement park closed -- a discussion that had multiple stops and starts over the ensuing decades. Former park district Director Thomas K. James had his first conversation about the former amusement park almost immediately after his arrival in 1993, and talks continued for the next 25 years until his retirement in 2018.

“It’s been on the radar for a long time,” he said.

With extensive wetlands lining the less-developed west side of the lake, the former amusement park emerged as the best site for a possible public park after Chippewa Lake was acquired by the park district in 2007.

“Having a park on the east side of the lake with good access to the water for public recreation makes the most sense,” James added.

Medina County Park District Board of Commissioners Chairman Andrew J. de Luna expressed gratitude to the many community partners, as well as to past and present park district staff, whose work and perseverance made this long-anticipated day a reality.

“Their efforts will help ensure that Ohio’s largest glacial lake remains a place for outdoor recreation and nature education for generations to come,” de Luna said.