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.

Park District

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.

Friends of the Park

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. 

Photo of Janet Welty with her dog
Friends Spotlight

Janet Welty

Our Friends Spotlight for November/December 2020 is Janet Welty!

Although I’ve taken pictures since the “film days” when I lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, I stopped for a long time except for vacations. I consider myself a photographer who likes to take pictures of birds—but I’m not really a birder. I started doing birds in Florida where they are bigger and decided that in order to take better pictures of big birds I would need to take pictures of little birds. Guess I really got into it!  I tell people that I take pictures of anything that swims, flies, or walks on four legs (notice - no humans!). In addition to nature pictures, I love to do old barns and Amish farms.  

My other obsession is genealogy and American History.  I’m a life member of both the Wayne County Historical Society and the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) Wooster-Wayne Chapter. I have 30 established ancestors who fought in the American Revolution and did all the genealogy on them. I’m an Honorary Past Regent of Wooster-Wayne. This the first time in 25 years that I don’t hold an office!

I truly enjoy the Barnes Preserve and posting my pictures for everyone’s enjoyment on “A Walk at Barnes Preserve” Facebook group.

Congratulations, Janet!


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.