Monday, April 21, 2014

Remarkable Lake County: History of Lake Metroparks Part I

The year was 1958.  Citizens of Ohio's smallest county met and began a groundswell movement to set aside land for future parks.  Conservation and preservation of county natural resources became the founding principles of this movement.  Using the legal authority found in Chapter 1545 of the Ohio Revised Code, Lake Metroparks was formed.  Like many other park systems throughout the United States, the Metroparks uses a presiding Probate Judge format. Current Judge Mark Bartolotta appoints a three-member board of citizens to govern the county park system.  None are compensated and they in turn appoint an Executive Director who functions as the CEO for the entire park district.  Current park commissioners are Gretchen Skok DiSanto, Dennis E. Eckart and Frank J. Polivka.  Paul Palagyi is the 2014 Executive Director.

Lake Metroparks is comprised of portions of two state designated wild and scenic rivers, various watersheds and open space as well as many tributaries.   An agricultural based park, an environmental learning center, a lake based beach property, golf courses, ski center, wildlife trails and outdoor recreational properties highlight their holdings.  Nearly three million visitors avail themselves to the unique park system which is found in NE Ohio's best kept secret - Lake County!

Issue 3 - Preserve Lake County Metroparks is up for vote May 6th.  This renewal levy is not a tax increase, rather it serves to guarantee that the vision from 1958 continues for the next generation of county residents.

Current Park Locations:
Arcola Creek Park - Madison
Beaty Landing - Painesville
Baker Road Park - Leroy Twp.
Chapin Forest Reservation - Kirtland
Chagrin River Park - Willoughby
Concord Woods Nature Park - concord Twp.
Environmental Learning Center - Concord Twp.
Erie Shores - Madison
Fairport Harbor Lake Front Park - Fairport Harbor
Farmpark - Kirtland
Gully Brook Park - Willoughby Hills
Grand River Landing - Fairport Harbor
Girdled Road Reservation - Concord Twp.
Greenway Corridor - Painesville Twp.
Hell Hollow - Leroy Twp.
Hidden Lake - Leroy Twp.
Hogback Ridge - Madison Twp.
Hidden Valley Park - Madison Twp.
Helen Hazen Wyman Park - Painesville
Indian Point Park - Leroy Twp.
Lake Erie Bluffs - Perry
Big Creek at Liberty Hollow - Concord Twp.
Lakefront Lodge - Willowick
Lakeshore Reservation - North Perry
Mason's Landing Park - Perry Twp.
Parsons Gardens - Willoughby
Penitentiary Glen Reservation - Kirtland
Pete's Pond - Wickliffe
Pine Ridge - Wickliffe
Painesville Twp. Park - Painesville Twp.
Pleasant Valley Park - Willoughby Hills
River Road Park - Madison Twp.
Riverview Park - Madison Twp.
Children's Schoolhouse - Kirtland Hills
Veterans Park - Mentor

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