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To the Editor:
As the President of the Carroll County Park Board, I wish to share some facts about the parks with your readers. The Carroll County Park District was established in 2000 by the Probate judge under ORC Sec. 1545.  The district is its own political division with five board members.  Our mission is to acquire and develop lands in Carroll County for the purposes of conservation, recreation, education and to enhance the quality of life for Carroll County residents.

The Park District lands and its facilities will remain as community assets forever.  Our vision is to develop six community reservations, one in each quadrant of the county and two in Center twp. Our current plan is to develop passive and active recreation areas, an outdoor education facility, arts venues and a historical/working farm.

The park district has the ability to place operating levies on the ballot.  Twice we have done so and both times countywide support was absent. Support for the district was strong in the villages but in the rural townships where individuals still own vast acres it met with little support.  The board therefore made the decision that procurement and development of land and recreational facilities will be through grants and philanthropic support of the community.  Over the last 10 years we have secured over $400,000 in grants and have received as a gift from the Joyce Hannon Estate the Bluebird Farm Park to manage in perpetuity.

We realize that levy support may be far in the future.  Therefore we look at the park district as a revenue center until which time we do pass a levy. Currently at the Bluebird Park we have a concessionaire providing us with a revenue stream for development and maintenance of facilities there. What remains to be developed will be dependent upon donations we receive from corporations, businesses and philanthropic gifts from community members.  As your readers are an integral part of our community we are asking that they consider partnering with us to continue developing park enhancements for all Carroll County residents.

With the influx of revenue coming in from coal, oil and gas development, I ask that those of you who have benefited greatly from this new industry consider meeting with park representatives to discuss the possibilities of partnering with us to preserve our natural heritage for generations to come.

Should you wish to learn more about  our  purpose, mission and needs,  please review the 2004 County Comprehensive plan, visit our web site at www.ccparkdistrict.org  or call the park district office at 330.627.8046.  Please take time to visit your parks and explore the opportunities that a park system can provide.

Wayne Chunat
Park Board President

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