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.”


For Immediate Release
August 30, 2019

Water Level at Hubbard Valley Lake to be Lowered for Dam Inspection

GUILFORD TWP. -- The last time anyone had a good look inside the flood-control structure at Hubbard Valley Park was, likely, when the dam was built there 40 years ago. Thanks to new laser technology, Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District soon will have a 3-D image of the interior of the water flow system, helping ensure the future integrity of the dam and spillway.

Hubbard Valley Park’s 21-acre lake was constructed as one of eight flood-control sites in the Chippewa Subdistrict of MWCD -- following a series of 20th-century floods that wreaked havoc on Ohio. The lake and spillway were designed to collect and hold back water to protect downstream property and communities during times of heavy rain and snow melt.

Medina County Park District opened Hubbard Valley Park in 1981. It’s home to the only dam in the Chippewa Subdistrict that doubles as a park -- offering the public the twin bonus of flood protection plus a natural recreational area for hiking, fishing, boating, and more. While MWCD manages the dam and spillway, the park district maintains the balance of the park.

In order to examine the interior of the flood-control structure, the lake’s water level will be significantly lowered, beginning Sept. 3. David Kopchak, Chippewa Project Coordinator with MWCD, will open a control valve on a 16-inch drain pipe that extends 20-30 feet into the lake. He’ll carefully monitor the water level with the intention of leaving a large enough pool in the lake for fish and other aquatic life.

That will allow the concrete riser at the south end of the lake, as well as the 42-inch-wide outlet pipe that runs for 236 feet under the 55-foot-tall dam, to dry out. The contractor, GPD Group, will use a laser to scan the inside of the riser and pipe. The laser provides more exact data than a camera and is safer than sending a person inside to make a visual inspection. The exact measurements produced by the laser will provide a baseline for future scans, allowing MWCD to detect even the most minute changes in the structure that may telegraph bigger problems down the road.

The work is weather-dependent, but the entire project should be completed within about a week, Kopchak said. Hubbard Valley Lake then will be allowed to refill.

For more on Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, visit To find out about programs and recreational opportunities at Hubbard Valley Park and other Medina County Park District sites, go to


For Immediate Release
August 30, 2019

Chippewa Lake Remains Open for Normal Recreational Activities

Medina County Park District continues to monitor Chippewa Lake water conditions due to a harmful algal bloom. Test results from water samples collected on August 27 showed microcystin levels at less than 0.21 parts per billion. There are no advisories in place at this time. All normal boating, swimming and recreational activities may continue.

Please note that going forward, the park district will only send out press releases if the microcystin level increases to 6 ppb or higher.

Medina County Park District follows Ohio’s Harmful Algal Bloom Response Strategy for Recreational Waters. For information on harmful algal blooms, please visit To keep up to date on Chippewa Lake water conditions, please follow the park district on social media or contact the park district at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to sign up for email alerts.

2019 Chippewa Lake Water Test Results
August 27, 2019: <0.21 ppb-- No advisories in place
August 20, 2019: <0.34 ppb--No advisories in place
August 13, 2019: <0.13 ppb--No advisories in place
August 6, 2019: <0.13 ppb--No advisories in place
July 30, 2019: <0.13 ppb--No advisories in place
July 23, 2019: 0.15 ppb--No advisories in place
July 16, 2019: 0.19 ppb--No advisories in place
July 9, 2019: 2.61 ppb--No advisories in place
July 2, 2019: 0.20 ppb--No advisories in place
June 25, 2019: <0.13 ppb--All Advisories Lifted
Due to flooding at Chippewa Lake, there was no water test the week of June 17, 2019.
June 11, 2019: 3.15 ppb--Recreational Public Health Advisory Remains
June 4, 2019: 10.5 ppb--Recreational Public Health Advisory Remains
May 28, 2019: 13.6 ppb--Recreational Public Health Advisory Issued
May 21, 2019: 16.1 ppb--Elevated Recreational Public Health Advisory Remains
May 14, 2019: 21.8 ppb--Elevated Recreational Public Health Advisory Issued
May 7, 2019: 17.8 ppb--Recreational Public Health Advisory Remains
April 30, 2019: 9.49 ppb--Recreational Public Health Advisory Issued
April 22, 2019: 5.74 ppb--No advisories in place
March 19, 2019: <0.14 ppb--No advisories in place
February 19, 2019: <0.14 ppb--No advisories in place
January 22, 2019: <0.14 ppb--No advisories in place


For Immediate Release
August 15, 2019

Mosquito Trapping Location Tests Positive for West Nile Virus

BRUNSWICK -- Mosquitoes trapped by the Medina County Health Department near Susan Hambley Nature Center at Brunswick Lake Park have tested positive for West Nile Virus, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

In response, the Medina County Health Department will conduct additional treatments in possible breeding locations around Brunswick Lake. Beginning today, health department staff will increase larvicide treatments in an effort to control future mosquito hatches. This includes treating catch basins with extended-release larvicide tablets and treating accessible marshy areas with a granulated formula larvicide.

The health department recommends that members of the public take the following personal protective measures to reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes:

  • Apply a U.S. EPA-registered insect repellent when going outdoors.
  • Wear light-colored clothing, long-sleeved shirts or jackets, and long pants to protect against mosquito bites.
  • Consider avoiding outdoor activities during peak mosquito biting hours.

Mosquitoes become infected with West Nile Virus when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to humans and other animals when they bite, potentially causing serious illness.

To learn more about mosquito control and your health, please visit the Medina County Health Department at or the Ohio Department of Health at