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Medina County Park District reopens four more park areas

The Plain Dealer  Cleveland logo The Plain Dealer Cleveland 5/12/2020 By Brian Lisik, cleveland.com

MEDINA, Ohio -- Four more Medina County parks have been reopened to the public after having been temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

They join a host of other businesses and public areas to reopen this week as part of Ohio’s shift from a stay-at-home to a stay-safe approach to reducing the spread of COVID-19.

On Friday (May 8), Green Leaf Park, Killbuck Lakes, Medina Marsh Nature Preserve and Plum Creek Park were opened to the public.

Other sites remaining open include Allardale; Brunswick Lake Park; Buckeye Woods Park; Chippewa Inlet Trail North; Chippewa Lake; Hubbard Valley Park; Lake Medina; Letha House Park East; Letha House Park West; River Styx Park; Schleman Nature Preserve; and the Lester Rail, Chippewa Inlet, Chippewa Rail and Montville multipurpose trails.

Medina County Park District Director Nate Eppink said the openings have been based on a number of factors, including a particular area’s location within the county and its proximity to other parks.

“And honestly, which areas people have asked about the most,” Eppink said. “Initially, closing areas to protect staff and visitors was very purposeful and deliberate. There’s no formula for reopening, other than doing so slowly.”

Some areas will remain closed to the public until further notice, however. These include Carolyn Ludwig Mugrage Park, including the dog park; Princess Ledges Nature Preserve; Wolf Creek Environmental Center; Alderfer-Oenslager Wildlife Sanctuary; Susan Hambley Nature Center; and park district headquarters.

In some cases, the reason for keeping an area closed seems contradictory.

“Mugrage Park will be reopening later than most sites because of its popularity,” Eppink said. “I realize that sounds counterintuitive, but social distancing is still very important. When Mugrage reopens, the dog park will remain locked, and we’re placing snow fencing around the playground."

All programs and reservations will also remain canceled through at least June 30, Eppink said. New facility reservations for 2020 are not being accepted at this time, and the park district’s young naturalist camps and youth fishing camps have been canceled for this summer. All playgrounds and drinking fountains also remain closed.

The Medina County Health District asks park visitors to stay home if they feel ill, to keep a 6-foot distance between themselves and others, and to cover their mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.

Visitors utilizing the park district’s open-air shelters must adhere to public health orders issued by Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health, which limit gatherings to fewer than 10 people. Park district rangers will enforce these orders and require larger groups to disperse.

Read more news from the Medina Sun.

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