The mission of the Wayne County Park District is to protect, establish and conservatively maintain natural areas including wetlands, woodlands, stream channels, lakes, prairie fields, and hillsides throughout Wayne County. These natural areas will be maintained for public use by providing natural areas of beauty for spiritual and mental rejuvenation, leisure activities, and the promotion of educational opportunities to study nature.
The Wayne County Park District reorganized in 2011. Currently the Park District has five park commissioners that serve 3 year terms as appointed by the Probate Judge. The Board is committed to the Mission Statement of securing and preserving natural habitats for recreational and educational purposes.
The Park Board is responsible for applying for state, federal, or local grants and seek avenues of additional funding to maintain parks under their ownership. The Park District does not receive any operating monies from the county and solely depends on grants and donations along with any fundraising done by the Friends of the Park District.
The Friends of the Wayne County Park District also reorganized in 2011. These volunteers provide the majority of the labor for maintaining the parks and responsible for fundraising for approved projects. The organization welcomes all age groups and families.
I am a native of Wayne County and a naturalist. My love for nature started as a small child growing up in the country. My favorite memories were those spending time in the woods behind our house. I really enjoy walking at Barnes Preserve and hiking at Mohican State Park. In fact, I spend a lot of time at the Barnes Preserve. I love to take in nature in all its splendor, beauty, serenity, and being in awe of it all. It is both a privilege and responsibility to spend time at the Barnes Preserve. There have been many opportunities to assist people, answer their questions, watch families and individuals enjoy, and help with some of the many programs that are offered. It is wonderful to be able to watch and assist children in learning about, understanding, and experiencing nature. I am grateful to be part of the Friends of the Wayne County Park District/Barnes Preserve. I took the OCVN (Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist) classes at the Wilderness Center in Wilmot, Ohio, in June. That was an amazing and awesome experience.
The Park Board and Friends group meet back-to-back at least one time per month, normally the second Tuesday of the month at 6 PM either at the Wayne County Library or Romich Pavilion at Barnes Preserve (weather permitting). All meetings are open to the public.
What is the future of Wayne County Park District? During the year 2019 we will be participating in Strategic Planning sessions with Trevor Dunlap, an experienced facilitator in assisting organizations in developing short and long term goals. Through a series of assessments, public surveys, participation, and input from any interested people, the Board hopes to determine the most appropriate and effective direction to take the Park District over the next 10 years. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend any of the sessions. Each meeting will be posted on the Events page.