Harrison Park expanding

Larry Limpf

The Wood County Park District has closed on the purchase of a 32.8-acre parcel that will more than double the size of William Henry Harrison Park to almost 55 acres.
The park is located near the Village of Pemberville and the purchased acreage sits along the Portage River.
Neil Munger, director of the park district, informed the district’s board of commissioners last week the purchase was completed Feb. 6 and the district took possession of the buildings on the property at the closing; a 1,148-square-foot house and a two-car detached garage.
He said the district will take possession of the acreage in July following the harvest of the winter wheat crop.
The property was acquired from Alton and Dolores Beeker with the assistance of a $224,715 grant from the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund.
“As the Clean Ohio program was established for the conservation of natural areas, the land will remain in a natural state,” Munger said. “In the fall, park district land management staff will work to seed the farmland to a native prairie, funded in part by the grant. The control of agricultural runoff is a high priority in the attempt to control the algae issues on Lake Erie. The conversion of this land, adjacent to the Portage River, from cropland to a native prairie will not only eliminate the runoff of water from a previously farmed field but also act as a filter for any runoff from adjoining properties before it enters the river and eventually the lake.”
Other planned improvements include the addition of trails.
The buildings on the property will serve as staff offices and storage space.
Originally, the park covered 12 acres and was established in 1951 on land donated by the Pemberville Gun Club.
In 1990, the park district purchased 10 additional acres to the south of the existing park.
The park features picnic areas, an open-air shelter, playground, hiking trails, and a large open field. The park also includes two enclosed rental shelters, cooking grills and a pollinator garden.


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