Joy of Medina County Magazine February 2020

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Joy of Medina County Magazine | February 2020

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district funds to add additional acreage to Oenslager’s donation, bringing the total acreage to 248 acres. The sanctuary has a variety of habitats that include prairies, wetlands, mature forests, a deep-water pond, and meadows. Four acres of marsh became the Wolf Creek Educational Wetlands and a boardwalk was built to allow people to see the wildlife and study the wetland. To preserve these areas, activities such as fishing, biking and picnicking

are not allowed. One couple whom James has fond memories of were Willette and Ted Chandler, who donated Ted’s family’s farm to the park district. His family had lived on the farm since 1926. The Chandlers donated their land, which was approximately 100 acres located on Smith Road, behind the Buehler’s River Styx location on State Route 18. The farm was known by longtime Medina residents as the old pickle farm because Farm Packt Pickles were produced there. Both Chandlers have since died, Willette in 2007 and Ted in 2018, but their legacy lives on in their land. Even though the Chandlers’ land has not been developed to be a park yet, there is a trail planned that would connect Smith Road with State Route 18. James said it is supposed to open this year or in 2021. Two of the most significant land donations to the park district were Allardale Park and Carolyn Ludwig Mugrage Park, James said. Allardale Park was the result of the donation of 125 acres donated by Stan and Esther Allard in 1992, about six months before James became director. They later donated an additional 50 acres. Another 212 acres was added to their donations through purchases by the park district. The Allards took an active role in the development of the park and advised on the best paths for trails to be established that would protect resources and make the best use of the land. They were often on the property, interacting with park visitors. During the time that the Allards owned the land, Stan planted 100,000 trees on the property in areas that were unsuitable for farming, such as inclines. “It was a good place to go if I was having a bad day,” James said, with obvious fondness for the Allards.