By Jocelyn Stefancin ’16
The Lodge at Allardale proved the perfect place to begin Environment/Quality of Life Day for the 2016 Signature Class. The picturesque view made it easy to understand why conservation was so important to community founders’ years ago. A group of citizens wishing to preserve open spaces and protect natural resources petitioned the probate judge in 1965 to create the Medina County Park District. The district began with 30 acres of donated land. Today the park district has grown to over 6,300 acres. Kim Corrigan was “extremely impressed by the resources of the park district, the beauty of the lodge, and the opportunities to rent lodges.”
Environmental topics such as waste water management and natural gas resources were also addressed. Guest speakers included Amy Lyon-Galvon Medina County Sanitary Engineer, Jon Strong from CORN (Coalition to Re-Route Nexus) and Bruce Teague from NEXUS. Strong and Teague gave conflicting reports on the pipeline issues facing county property owners. “It was interesting to hear both sides of the CORN –NEXUS debate” said Diane Cartwright; “It proves you have to do your own research to determine what is best for your community.”
Class members headed out on a hike lead by Allardale Park Ranger, Shelley Tender to conclude the morning. Despite the muddy conditions, the class enjoyed the hike and the information shared by the ranger about the park’s creation and the wildlife and plant life found within. Lunch was provided by NEXUS.
Cliffside Artists’ Collaborative and the Buckeye Library hosted the class for afternoon activities. Situated on a back lot, surrounded by trees, the Cliffside Artists’ Collaborative is a Medina County gem few people knew existed. Sculptures were part of the landscaping along the walkway to the museum doors. The building itself was a work of art. “The museum was inspirational” said Sean Parker. An art scavenger hunt helped class members explore the five rooms featuring local artists.
The day concluded at the Buckeye Library, a part of the Medina County District Library.
After discussing new programs offered by the library such as story walk and pop up libraries, Theresa Laffey and Ann Plazek gave tours of the library facilities. Buckeye Library is home to outreach programs like the book-mobile.
Matt Wiederhold of Main Street Medina was the last speaker of the day. Main Street programs were created 35 years ago and exist to preserve the historical district of cities. There are four components to a main street program: organization, promotion, design, economic restricting. Medina County is considered an example of the start of the preservation movement. In 1967 medina County citizens formed the Community Design Committee. The group wanted to restore the historical architecture and beauty of the public square. Driving through the square it’s easy to see the success of that initial movement in 1967.
Medina County takes pride in its community. The county park district, the arts council, and the district library deliver programs and opportunities for family fun. Take advantage of all that Medina County has to offer and improve your quality of life.