News Releases

For Immediate Release
October 12, 2017

Water Contact Warning Remains in Place

Test results received October 12 from Chippewa Lake water samples taken October 10 show microcystin toxin levels of 6.49 parts per billion, which means a public health advisory for pets and vulnerable persons to avoid water contact remains in place.

Per Ohio’s Harmful Algal Bloom Response Strategy for Recreational Waters, a Recreational Public Health Advisory is issued when toxin levels reach 6 ppb. It recommends children, pregnant or nursing women, individuals with certain medical conditions, and pets avoid contact with the water. When toxin levels reach 20 ppb, an Elevated Recreational Public Health Advisory is issued, warning all persons to avoid all contact with the water.

Public health advisories remain in effect until two consecutive tests taken at least one week apart show levels have dropped below the thresholds outlined in the Harmful Algal Bloom Response Strategy for Recreational Waters.

The toxins are a result of algal blooms that occur in bodies of water due to a combination of factors including water temperature, rainfall, and nutrient runoff within the watershed. The Chippewa Lake algal bloom is the result of a microscopic organism called cyanobacteria. Its blooms can produce harmful toxins that may make people and pets sick when they come into contact with the water.

Medina County Park District will continue to monitor Chippewa Lake as needed. Samples collected by the park district’s natural resource staff are sent to Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District for testing. Results typically are reported back to the park district in three to five working days.

Below are the ongoing 2017 test results for algal toxins in Chippewa Lake:

Sample Date       Results Received     Toxin Level         Action

6/8/17                 6/15/17                  11.06 ppb         Warning posted
6/15/17               6/19/17                  7.64 ppb
6/21/17               6/26/17                  5.10 ppb
6/27/17               6/29/17                  8.18 ppb
7/5/17                 7/7/17                   9.62 ppb
7/11/17               7/13/17                 10.75 ppb
7/18/17               7/21/17                 6.24 ppb
7/25/17               7/27/17                 6.07 ppb
8/1/17                 8/3/17                   6.18 ppb
8/8/17                 8/11/17                 10.50 ppb
8/15/17               8/17/17                 3.52 ppb
8/22/17               8/25/17                 5.05 ppb         Warning removed
9/5/17                 9/8/17                   20.02 ppb         Lake closed
9/12/17               9/14/17                 9.02 ppb
9/19/17               9/21/17                 22.3 ppb
9/26/17               9/28/17                 8.29 ppb        
10/3/17               10/5/17                 3.74 ppb         Lake reopens, warning remains
10/10/17             10/12/17               6.49 ppb         Warning remains in place



For Immediate Release
September 25, 2017

Take Nature’s Beauty Home with You at Nature Art Fest

Find one-of-a-kind, nature-inspired pieces for everyone on your holiday gift list at the 16th-Annual Nature Art Fest November 11-12 at Wolf Creek Environmental Center. Admission is free.

More than two dozen professional artists from Northeast Ohio will offer fine artwork inspired by nature or made using natural materials. Visitors will find a diverse range of media, including acrylics and watercolors, stained glass, metalwork, jewelry, photography, sculpture and pottery, embossed tiles, turned bowls, naturally dyed silks and cottons, hand-illustrated children’s books, and more.

Photographer Mary Sandmann has been bringing her nature photos to Nature Art Fest for about 12 years. She said it’s the perfect venue for her pictures -- most of which are shot in Medina County parks and in her own Lafayette Township backyard. She has documented 98 different bird species on her property, which is a certified wildlife habitat.

“I find it amazing how much nature is on an acre of land that people miss,” Sandmann said.

The wildlife habitat designation is the result of her lifelong passion for nature, as well as exhaustive research into how to attract various species and create a wildlife-friendly space. Sandmann raises mealworms to bring her favorite feathered subjects in for close-ups. One of her favorite pictures is of two bluebirds eating mealworms from her late husband’s hand. Her photos are unaltered, except for cropping.

“I don’t have any secrets. I want to show what the birds really look like,” she said, adding that each has its own personality. Sandmann believes in keeping things simple -- after all, a wild bird is not going to sit and wait patiently while you change lenses, she said.

In addition to being available in local shops, Sandmann’s work has been published in multiple books, placed in an Akron-Summit County Public Library time capsule, and displayed everywhere from Hospice of Medina County to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

Visitors to Nature Art Fest will be able to buy her photographs in several formats ranging from frameable photo cards to fully framed, ready-to-hang pictures from large to small.

Nature Art Fest hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on November 11 and noon to 4 p.m. on November 12. Wolf Creek Environmental Center is located at 6100 Ridge Rd. in Sharon Township, just north of Sharon Center. For a complete list of 2017 artists, please visit



PRESS RELEASE                                                             
For Immediate Release
August 22, 2017

Trekking Through Autumn

Need a little incentive to get outside and enjoy the beauty of fall?

Sign up for Medina County Park District’s free self-guided hiking program Trekking Through Autumn, and earn awards for completing at least eight hikes between September 1 and November 30. It’s the perfect opportunity for families and individuals of all abilities to enjoy the crisp air and spectacular colors of the fall season. 

To participate, pick up a Trekking Through Autumn brochure at Medina County Park District Headquarters, Wolf Creek Environmental Center, or simply print one at Check trails off the list as you complete them. When you’ve hiked eight or more, bring the brochure to Wolf Creek Environmental Center by February 28 to claim your reward. Backpacks are awarded to first-year participants. Hiking pins are awarded in successive years. Awards are free for Medina County residents. Out-of-county residents pay $10 for the backpack and $2 for the hiking pin.

Trekking Through Autumn offers a choice of 16 different hiking trails in parks and nature preserves that show off the beauty and natural diversity of Medina County.

“We often hear from participants who say they never knew there were so many special places in Medina County,” said Interpretive Services Manager Shelley Tender. “Part of the fun of Trekking Through Autumn is the opportunity to revisit favorite parks and discover new ones.”

Hikers complete the walks at their own pace and on their own schedule. Medina County park sites are open from dawn until dark -- except Wolf Creek Environmental Center, which is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. As a wildlife sanctuary, no pets are permitted at Wolf Creek, but dogs on leashes are welcome at other park locations.

A new backpack or hiking pin isn’t the only reward in store. Walking a trail on a fall day is a great way to experience nature, spend time with friends and family, and get some outdoor exercise at a time when temperatures are at their most comfortable, and the season’s beauty is at its peak.

Post your hiking photos on Instagram or Twitter using the tag #trekkingthroughautumn, and we’ll share your picture with our followers on Medina County Park District social media.