The Morrow County Park District held the official opening of the Gleason Family Nature Reserve, located at 3095 State Route 314 one mile south of Chesterville, on Saturday July 26.
The newly opened reserve is named in honor of the Carroll and Jeannine Gleason family whose generous support made the park possible. The entire facility is owned and managed by the Morrow County Park District.
The Gleason family, Morrow County dignitaries, park officials and approximately 80 Morrow County residents were in attendance for the official opening.
“I think this is a great addition to Morrow County,” noted county commissioner Tom Harden, “We greatly appreciate the Gleason family and all the volunteers that made this park possible so the citizens of Morrow County and others can come and enjoy Morrow County and spend good quality time together in this park. We want to thank everyone.”
County commissioner Tom Whiston said of the park, “I think it goes hand in hand with our county theme of “Love Life, Live Rural.” “We have 100 acres here with over a half million dollars invested for trails for people to spend for generations to come. People will enjoy and benefit from the green space we have here and continue to make Morrow County a great place to live.”
“I am really thankful for all the volunteers and the Gleason family, the fact that they have made this possible for the people of Morrow County to enjoy for generations. It’s a great day.” said county commissioner Dick Miller.
The park became a reality with combined efforts of the park district and community members. The Park District submitted a successful grant application resulting in a very large grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission which administers the Clean Ohio Fund. This statewide conservation program requires park districts to provide at least 25% funding match from local sources. The Morrow County Park District has no public funding of its own. Two community-oriented residents made a significant contribution.
Jack Fishburn, president of Morrow Meadows Development Company, donated 24 acres of prime forested Kokosing River riparian corridor. William and Kathleen Hurdle then donated a sizable monetary contribution. Together, the two gifts combined to enable the park district to reach its minimum match amount in order to qualify for consideration of the Clean Ohio Grant.
Three trails of various lengths traverse the diverse habitats and deliver spectacular views. The most prominent feature is the marsh-forest community which for most of the year is submersed in shallow water.
The park is open from dawn till dusk every day.
The Morrow County Park District extends a sincere and hearty thank you to the Gleasons and other contributors for their cooperation and vision to bequeath this park to the public.
Contact Donna Carver at 419-946-3010 ext. 1804