The Morrow County Park District has been a well-hidden treasure since it was formed in 1996.
The MCPD has created a Facebook group, “Friends of Morrow County Park District,” for people willing to volunteer time and energy to help maintain the county parks.
The park district is currently managed by five volunteer commissioners including: Bill Loebick, Jim Overmoyer, Dixie Shinaberry, Cathie Robinson and Steve Fuller. They want the public to know that the park district exists.
Robinson said they will post notifications on the social media page when a special project is planned. Volunteers can also get notice when and where extra help is needed at a park.
Two projects the MCPD plans to tackle this spring and summer include adding trails and giving the parking areas a facelift. Park visitors are encouraged to pick up trash at the park when they see it. They also ask park visitors to contact them if they see something that needs attention or repair.
If you are unable to physically work, but want to help, donations are always welcomed and appreciated. Other opportunities for volunteers are: artists, writers, and photographers, research, bookkeeping and secretarial, Friends of the Parks Organization and park maintenance.
The park district was formed by many sources that include private donations as well as state and federal funding. The MCPD strives to provide natural areas and green spaces for the general public to enjoy.
Park commissioner Jim Overmoyer said Judge Dean Curl appointed the first volunteer park commissioners in 1996 and Cedar Fork Park was the first to be opened in 2001.
Overmoyer described the five parks and reserves that currently make up the district.
• Cedar Fork Park has 22 acres that encompasses both banks of Cedar Fork Creek. It is located one mile east of Johnsville on US 42 with vehicle access on CR 29.
• Sautter Memorial Park is a 95 acre park with paths winding through a rich forested beech and maple woods. It is located ¼-mile north of the intersection of CR 35 and 46 on CR 46.
• Sheedy Sanctuary is on 189 CR 204 in South Bloomfield Township. It contains over 40 acres of woodlands and extensive marsh areas. It is one mile south of CR 15.
• Fishburn Reserve is at 3791 CR 172 in Chester Township. It includes 25 acres on both banks of the Kokosing River at its headwaters. It is south of SR 95, off the east side of CR 172.
• The newest of the five county park lands is Gleason Nature Preserve a mile south of Chesterville on the east side of SR 314. Land for the preserve was obtained in 2010. The park lies between a series of glacier features called moraines. They were created with the advance of the Wisconsin Glacier.
The next meeting of the Park District will be April 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the Morrow County Hospital downstairs meeting room. Park District meetings are held the second Monday each month and the public is welcome.
MCPD can be contacted at MorrowCoPark@gmail.com or on the Facebook page, “Friends of Morrow County Park District.”