H2Ohio Transforms Former Amusement Park into Wetland, Public Park

COLUMBUS, Ohio – As part of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio initiative, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) announced today that it will partner with the Medina County Park District to help eliminate toxic algal blooms in Chippewa Lake, Ohio’s largest glacial lake.

“Through this new partnership, the Chippewa Lake Wetland Restoration Project will restore more than 20 acres of wetlands in Medina County, including the site of the former Chippewa Lake Amusement Park,” said Governor DeWine. “This property will be transformed into a public park and functioning wetland that will capture nutrients that otherwise feed algal blooms in Chippewa Lake.”

The project, which spans three sites in Lafayette and Westfield Townships, will be funded through the H2Ohio initiative and led by the park district.

“Collaborations like the one we now have with the Medina County Park District are a key part of what is making H2Ohio a success,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said.  “The support and assistance of our partners allows us to extend the momentum of H2Ohio and strengthen its impact across the state.”

“Chippewa Lake Amusement Park once attracted visitors from far and wide to the shores of Ohio’s largest natural inland lake, and we are excited that this site will once again be an area for public recreation when it is reborn as a conservation-focused public park,” Medina County Park District Board of Commissioners member Andrew J. de Luna said. “There is a lot of work ahead, but this funding from H2Ohio dramatically accelerates the timeline for making it happen.”

The project will focus on diverting water from the Chippewa inlet into more than half a mile of newly restored stream channel to reduce nutrients flowing into the lake, including more than twenty acres of restored wetlands, and will add two acres of restored wetlands geared toward public outreach and educational opportunities for visitors to learn the benefits of these projects.

“Our H2Ohio project will not only benefit Medina County, but also everyone who lives downstream,” said Medina County Park District Director Nathan D. Eppink.  “The return on this significant investment by H2Ohio will be exponential.”

The Chippewa Lake Wetland Restoration Project is expected to cost $1.52 million.  It is expected to be complete in December 2023.

This project joins dozens of other H2Ohio wetland projects underway right now including the Redhorse Bend Preserve in Sandusky County, the Forder Bridge Project in Paulding County, the Fruth Wetland Nature Preserve in Seneca County, the St. Joseph Confluence Reconnection and the St. Joseph River Floodplain Restoration in Williams County, the Van Order Wetland and Forest Restoration in Henry County, the wetland area east of the Andreoff Wildlife Area in Wyandot County, Sandusky Headwaters Preserve in Crawford County, and the Oakwoods Nature Preserve in Hancock County.

Launched by Governor Mike DeWine in 2019, H2Ohio is a collaborative water quality effort to provide clean and safe water to Ohio.  The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Department of Agriculture, and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency each has a significant role in H2Ohio through the natural infrastructure of wetlands, the reduction in nutrient runoff, and increasing access to clean drinking water and quality sewer systems. To learn more, visit h2.ohio.gov.

The Medina County Park District, established in 1965, connects people with nature through education and conservation, managing more than 7,500 acres that include 18 parks and preserves, almost 50 trails, Susan Hambley Nature Center, and Wolf Creek Environmental Center.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

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For more information, contact:
Stephanie O’Grady, ODNR Office of Communications
614-265-6860

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