For Immediate Release
November 19, 2020

Park District Volunteer Named State’s Outstanding Citizen

Volunteer David Harrison is the recipient of the 2020 Outstanding Citizen Award from the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association.

Harrison is a trail monitor who routinely walks up to 15 miles per day on park trails -- usually accompanied by his Jack Russell terrier mix, Gypsy.

“She probably walks more, with those short little legs,” said Harrison, 58.

Over the course of just three years as a volunteer, Harrison has logged more than 1,700 hours of service -- picking up trash and fallen branches, cleaning up outdoor shelters, removing invasive plants, and alerting staff to larger maintenance concerns. There are 40 miles of trails in Medina County Park District, and Harrison frequently covers them all in the course of a single week.

“We’re honored and proud to have David as part of our team,” said Volunteer Coordinator Judy Soroczak, who shared news of the statewide award with Harrison.

When OPRA issued its call for nominations, Soroczak added, the park district emails started flying. Every department recommended him for the award and shared examples of how he positively impacts visitors and staff.

Harrison has steeped himself in a knowledge of nature, as well as park district history, rules, and information. He has notes and a calendar of park programs on his phone for quick reference and keeps a first-aid kit in his backpack. It makes Harrison a walking, talking, seemingly ever-present ambassador of the park district, answering visitor questions and helping members of the public have the best experience possible in the parks. His nature photos are often featured on the park district’s website, social media, and in print publications.

A resident of Sharon Township, Harrison is a retired kitchen, bath, and basement remodeler. In addition to volunteering for the park district, he is a member of Bugles Across America, playing Taps at the funerals of veterans, Memorial Day observances, and other events. An avid woodworker, Harrison has made more than 1,000 walking sticks -- the vast majority of which he donates to veterans, stroke patients, and those with special needs.

Ohio Parks and Recreation Association is a non-profit, public-interest organization representing more than 2,000 professionals and citizen board members striving to provide quality park and recreational facilities and opportunities for all Ohioans while protecting and preserving Ohio’s natural resources.

OPRA will honor Harrison at its annual awards dinner April 28 at Kalahari Convention Center in Sandusky.

For Immediate Release
October 5, 2020

Wanted: Park Photos for Display

Typically, we look out a window to see nature. This December, Medina County Park District is inviting visitors to enjoy the beauty and diversity of the natural world by looking into the windows at Susan Hambley Nature Preserve in Brunswick.

This has been a year for the history books. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, parks have been safe destinations for recreation, socially distanced meetings, and outdoor learning, while people seek respite from self-isolation. To encourage a feeling of connection with nature and with others, the park district is offering visitors the opportunity to share their park experiences through photographs to be displayed in the windows of the nature center.

Here’s how to participate. Print an 8-by-10 inch photo taken in a Medina County Park District park or preserve. Complete an information label available under What’s New at and attach the label to the back of the photo. No watermarks or logos are permitted on the photos.

Submissions may be mailed to Medina County Park District Headquarters, 6364 Deerview Lane, Medina, OH 44256 or placed in a drop box at Wolf Creek Environmental Center, 6100 Ridge Road, Sharon Township. (Use Wadsworth when mapping directions online.) The Wolf Creek Environmental Center site (building remains closed due to COVID-19) is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

All ages are welcome to participate, but only one photo per person, please. This is not a contest, and no prizes will be awarded. Pictures will not be returned. The deadline to submit a photo is November 30.

While Brunswick Lake Park is open to visitors from 6 a.m. to dark, Susan Hambley Nature Center remains closed due to COVID-19. The gallery of submitted photos can be viewed by walking around the exterior of the building during park hours from December 5 through January 3. The nature center is located at 1473 Parschen Boulevard in Brunswick.

For Immediate Release
August 14, 2020

New for Trekking Through Autumn: Hiker’s Choice

Definition: Trekking (noun) -- A form of walking, undertaken with the specific purpose of exploring and enjoying the scenery.

Call it hiking, walking, strolling, rambling, wandering, or trekking, it’s good for body, mind, and spirit -- maybe now more than ever.

Back for its 14th year, Medina County Park District’s popular self-guided hiking program, Trekking Through Autumn, offers the opportunity to explore and enjoy the beauty of fall on local trails. Those who complete at least eight designated hikes between September 1 and November 30 qualify for hiking rewards. The program is free and open to all ages.

To get started, simply print a Trekking Through Autumn brochure at It lists 14 selected trails in parks and preserves throughout Medina County for participants to hike on their own schedule. New this year is a Hiker’s Choice. So, if a favorite trail isn’t on the menu, the trekker can add it to the list.

After completing eight or more of the hikes, participants will receive an award. 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 backpacks and $3 for hiking pins.

Please note the building at Wolf Creek Environmental Center is currently closed until further notice, but the grounds are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Please check for changes to that schedule. As a wildlife sanctuary, no pets are permitted at Wolf Creek. Dogs on leashes are welcome at other park sites, which are open from 6 a.m. until dark.

“So much of everyday life seems to be on pause,” said park district Interpretive Services Manager Shelley Tender. “We can take solace in the fact that nature’s seasonal wonders continue and beckon us to get outside and enjoy the colors and cooler temperatures of fall.”