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.
Sue Zann Johnson
My name is Sue Zann Johnson and I am proud to say that I volunteer at the Barnes Preserve. I grew up in Orrville but at the age of 13, my family moved to Florida. After living there for 34 years, I wanted to move back to Wayne County and get involved in the community. At my sister-in-law’s suggestion, I became a member of the Friends of the Wayne County Park District, and eventually the Treasurer.
I view the Barnes Preserve as a gift to the residents of Wayne County and I have been lucky enough to watch and help with the development of this park for the last 5 years. I often tell people about this beautiful and serene park that is ideal for people with mobility problems as it a paved flat surface. I also explain to them how the wonderful volunteers donate their time, effort, and energy to maintain the Barnes Preserve. I am truly blessed to know these amazing people and to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the Barnes Preserve.
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.