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December 2013 News
Partners in Nature
Eagle Scout Project
Logan Roliff and Troop 269

Eagle Scout candidate Logan Roliff of Troop 269 from Aurora, recently completed his project to construct and install 4 benches along the trails at Towner's Woods Park.

Logan's project included organizing a fundraiser to purchase the building materials, then organizing his troop mates to constuct and install them at places that allow walkers to rest and take in the views. THANKS LOGAN!
What's a Park Worth?

Studies of three adjacent county park systems were recently completed that calculated their economic impact on the local community, with striking results.


MetroParks, Serving Summit County, Geauga Park District and  Cleveland Metroparks were each analyzed to determine the value that comes from parks and trails due to increased property values, health care savings, tourism, jobs, and 'ecosystem services' such as water quality protection, wildlife habitat and flood prevention. Click each Park District name for links to the reports.


Economic impacts for each county totaled in the tens of millions of dollars/year,  not to mention the priceless benefits that come from happy experiences, wonderful memories and leaving a natural legacy for future generations.  

Nature Writing
We're fortunate to have several local voices who promote parks and conservation through their writings.

Matt Sorrick and Joe Malmisur write a regular column in The Villager newspaper that showcases the natural world around us.  Check out the archives here: Nearby Nature

The monthly "Green Portage" column in the Record Courier newspaper is presented by our Portage Park District Foundation and features guest writers each month on different topics related to nature, parks, the environment, etc. Check out the archives on our new website.

Finally, thanks go to Diane Stresing, author of the book "60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Cleveland" (which would make a wonderful gift, by the way), who is a regular contributor posting on behalf of the Park District on our Facebook page--check it out and then "Like Us"!
Nearby Nature Hikes

Streetsboro Parks:  

Seneca Ponds  

& Black Maple Woods


Saturday, December 14 (1:00-3:00pm)

Friends of the Hiram Field Station Naturalist Bob Faber will lead hikes to explore two parks in Streetsboro. Portage Parks' Seneca Ponds has woodland trails that circle by fishing ponds. Black Maple Woods is a Streetsboro City park that contains large old growth trees including the rare and unusual black maple. Fee: $8 for members of the Friends of the Hiram College Field Station ($10 for non-members). Call 330.569.6003 or email sorrickmw@hiram.edu to register.
Dear Friend,

It's exciting to think about the potential ahead in 2014. We'll be constructing the Red Fox Boat Access in Shalersville on the Upper Cuyahoga State Scenic River, collaborating with a variety of partners to plan for extending our trail system to more communities and engaging new Park Commissioners on our board.

But the new year also brings concerns about the future of Portage Parks. We don't have a stable source of funding for our basic operations, and funding from State and County sources is less than half of what it was in 2011. It's clear we need to expand our base of supporters but there are still many folks in Portage County who don't yet know about us.

This is where you can help.  Please forward this email to your friends and family and invite them to join the mailing list from our website.  "Like Us" on Facebook, and post your pictures and stories of Portage Parks on our wall.  Send us your testimonial-- a photo and statement of why you love Portage Parks that we can use to spread the word.

We've been able to make great progress thanks to friends like you and our work is too important to retreat; I hope you'll help.

With warmest wishes for a peaceful and nature-filled season,

Christine Craycroft
Executive Director
Openings on the Park Board

Do you support the mission of the Park District and want to see it succeed?  Do you have skills, ideas and experiences that could benefit Portage Parks? There are currently two vacancies on the five-member Board of Commissioners who will be appointed by Portage County Probate Judge Thomas Carnes, with another potential vacancy in 2014.


Park Commissioners are the governing body of the Park District, a government agency encompassing all of Portage County.  They are responsible for setting policies, budgets and hiring the Executive Director. The Board holds regular monthly meetings, with special meetings as needed. Board members serve for a 3-year renewable term, without pay. 


Judge Carnes is now accepting applications for the vacant positions.  To learn more and receive an application package, please contact Christine Craycroft, Executive Director at ccraycroft@portageparkdistrict.org or 330-297-7728. 

Towner's Woods Winter Solstice Hike 
Join us on Saturday, December 21st at 4:00 for a nature hike through Towner's Woods to celebrate the shortest day of the year and the first day of Winter. From then on the days will be getting longer until the Summer Solstice in June.

Afterwards enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and cider provided by our Portage Park District Foundation.
New Park District Website Launched

After over ten years with our past website design we thought it was time for a little freshening-up. 

Thanks to funding from our Portage Park District Foundation and the terrific work of IdeaBase, (the Kent State University affiliated marketing and communications firm), our new format should provide a more user-friendly experience with up-to -date information.


Check it out


Special thanks go to our long-time volunteer webmaster and retired Park Commissioner Jim Tucker who has kept our website rolling and updated for many years.


As always we welcome your feedback on anything concerning the park district; you can do that through our online feedback form, or by emailing, writing or phoning. 

Parks YES!
Portage Parks has lots of fans who love the parks and trails for all kinds of reasons.  We're hosting a slide show on our website that will feature testimonials from folks who use the parks, or just appreciate knowing that we are conserving our natural and cultural heritage. Add your voice-send your photo and phrase saying why YOU love Portage Parks to info@portageparkdistrict.org and then check back regularly to see the show grow.  
"Go outside, to the fields, enjoy nature and the sunshine, go out and try to recapture happiness in yourself and in God. Think of all the beauty that's still left in and around you and be happy!"

Anne Frank
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