Our Parks

  • Sheedy
  • Cedar Fork
  • Sautter
  • Fishburn
  • Chesterville

Gleason Family Nature Reserve was acquired by grant monies and a private donation. The Park District submitted a successful application resulting in a very large grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission which administers the Clean Ohio Fund. Also, a generous donation was graciously given by William and Kathleen Hurdle.  The park lies between a series of glacier features called moraines created when the slow intermittent advance and retreat of the last continental ice sheet (referred to as the Wisconsin Glacier) covered almost two thirds of Ohio. The resulting rolling hills and gentle sloping valleys create an impressive sight for the visitor especially for those knowledgeable in glacier terminology. The deeper open water portions of the park seldom, if ever, dry up, thus providing excellent year round habitat for waterfowl, amphibians and reptiles. Eventually, the drainage patterns combine and its waters meander their way to join with the Kokosing River, located just a few hundred yards to the North. The upland watershed is relatively free of significant external pollution and the park’s natural processes of water filtration and ground water replacement seem to be exceptional.

The open water quickly transforms into a dense expanse of forested wetlands characterized by large water tolerant deciduous trees towering above dense populations of marsh oriented shrubs, sedges and grasses. Eventually, as terrain elevation rises, the nearly impenetrable margin of wetland plants yields to lush stands of upland trees, bushes and wildflowers.

Preliminary research indicates the presence of a relatively healthy plant and animal population. Bird nesting census figures are impressive! Extensive reforestation plantings and grassland restoration in the spring of 2008 were conducted by the Park District in an effort to quickly restore the previously farmed agricultural fields into even more diverse habitat suitable for long term wildlife and ecological benefits.

Trails and parking facilities to be opened June 2014.

Location: Chester Township, one mile South of Chesterville, East side of State Route 314

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