NOTE: This article clearly shows that the current members of the Geauga Park District Board of Commissioners are uninterested in preservation of park lands and natural resources and want to open as much of the parks as possible to construction, roads and recreational facilities.
Many of the Park District properties that are currently not open to public use are being held for the protection of wetlands and/or endangered species. Some may be difficult and costly to develop and others may have been donated to the Park District with restrictions that prohibit certain development. Others might simply be under study by the park naturalists to determine their most effective use.
If Mrs. Dottore and the other Commissioners were better acquainted with the purpose of the Park Districts in Ohio, more interested in the day to day functions of the Geauga Park District and more willing to interact with the Park District Naturalists, the answers to her questions would have been clear in her mind long ago.
Thanks to the Chagrin Valley Times for permission to republish their article.
Chagrin Valley Times
While the Geauga Park District awarded a bid for one park project, Commissioner Jackie Dottore requested more information on plans for the rest.
The Geauga Park District Board of Commissioners awarded River Reach Construction the guaranteed maximum price contract of $191,500 for the Sunnybrook Preserve streambank stabilization and riparian reforestation project during a Tuesday morning meeting.
The project will help prevent erosion and involve the planting of additional trees in the park.
Upon review of a list of parks and properties the Geauga Park District owns, Executive Director John Oros explained that the district currently is responsible for 10,659 acres. Of this property, he said that 8,265 acres are open to the public as parks and about 2,393 acres are not open as public parks and are either properties yet to be developed or kept for preservation.
Mrs. Dottore requested that the list be compiled during last month’s board meeting to see what parks are currently accessible to the public.
“I’d like to maybe pick through this list whenever month by month,” Mrs. Dottore said, adding that she would like to know what the actual percentage of accessibility is of each of the public parks in terms of trails and recreational space.
She also noted that some of the properties that are not open as parks could easily be made into public parks, giving the Westwood Land Lab in Russell Township as an example, wondering if it would be possible to put in a small lot similar to the Modroo property.
She also pointed out properties not currently open as public parks that span more than 100 acres in size.
“Is there anything that you can look at in a five year plan or something?” she asked about turning the larger properties into parks. “We don’t have to develop every one with a big building, but are there opportunities that are minimal impact and not very expensive to us to be able to put in some loops and things like that?”
Mr. Oros said the district can look into this and have park naturalists explore some of the properties to determine the exact percentages of accessibility.
Mrs. Dottore also said she would like more information on the properties not listed as public parks that specifies which properties are locked for preservation and which ones could be turned into parks or have plans in place.
Protect Geauga Parks endorses and supports Matt Rambo for Geauga County Probate/Juvenile Court Judge in the March 17 Republican Primary election.
Please request a Republican Party ballot and vote for Matt Rambo.