By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Wood County Park District is planning more than $800,000 in capital improvements to its parks in 2018.
More than half of the money – $420,000 will be spent on renovations to the Sawyer Quarry Preserve interpretive center in Perrysburg Township. That park, off Lime City Road, offers rappelling and bouldering in an old quarry.
The other big ticket items for next year include $125,000 for bridge and parking lot construction at Baldwin Woods, where seasonal hunting is allowed, near Weston; $50,000 for playground equipment at William Henry Harrison Park near Pembervillle; and another $50,000 for playground equipment at Otsego Park near Grand Rapids.
Following is a list of the improvements planned at the park district’s 20 sites:
- Buttonwood Park – $8,300 for parking lot repairs and miscellaneous.
- Cedar Creeks – $17,200 for parking lot sealcoat, paint restrooms and miscellaneous.
- Fuller Preserve – $500 for miscellaneous.
- William Henry Harrison – $52,000 for playground equipment and miscellaneous.
- Park headquarters – $2,000 for miscellaneous.
- W. Knight Preserve – $30,960 for nature center deck repairs, great room acoustic treatment, LOONA room window replacement and miscellaneous.
- Otsego Park – $61,000 for parking lot sealcoat, playground equipment and miscellaneous.
- Wood County Historical Center – $10,000 for shelter house repairs and miscellaneous.
- Zimmerman School – $12,800 for brick repairs, entrance ramp and entrance door replacement.
- Slippery Elm Trail – $23,850 to paint bollard posts, repair bridge railings; Cricket Frog Cove, miscellaneous; Rudolph Savanna/Midwood for pole barn repairs; and Black Swamp Preserve for boardwalk repairs.
- Baldwin Woods – $126,000 for bridge and parking lot construction, and miscellaneous.
- Carter Historic Farm – $17,980 for barn roof beam repair, barn ridge cap replacement , stone path to school, pasture fencing, orchard trees, parking lot repairs and miscellaneous.
- Bradner Preserve – $14,050 for deck construction, picnic tables, grill and miscellaneous.
- Beaver Creek Preserve – $3,000 for building furnishings and miscellaneous.
- Reuthinger Preserve – $7,650 for radiant heat for shop, replacement lighting for shop and miscellaneous.
- Sawyer Quarry Preserve – $427,000 for interpretive center renovations and building improvements, trail construction and miscellaneous.
Other business discussed at Tuesday’s park district board meeting included an update on a request from AEP for an easement along the Slippery Elm Trail for power lines. Park District Director Neil Munger said that the revised request was much more acceptable than the original request, which asked for an easement along the west side of the trail from Quarry Road to the south end of the trail on Cherry Street in North Baltimore. The new request was for a much smaller area, including 0.001 acres near Needles Road plus at the very end of the trail.
“This is a much better option here,” Munger said. “I was very happy to hear this.”
The original request for AEP was met by opposition from people who did not want to see the trees and brush cut down on the west side of the trail. A representative of AEP plans to attend the park district’s January meeting.
“I told him we weren’t really happy with what we were hearing,” Munger said of the original plans.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, board president Denny Parish mentioned that he had received questions about why Wood County Park District does not need to cull the deer population like the parks in Lucas County.
It was discussed that Wood County is a much more rural environment, that many of the deer are killed during the hunting season, and that there are many more natural predators here than in Lucas County.