Betterment hears from the park district
By Rachel Mendell
The Galion Area Betterment Commission met Monday, Sept. 10 after a summer recess. Speaker for the lunch meeting was Bill Fisher from the Crawford Park District.
First, Fisher answered questions about eagles seen near Amicks Reservior. He explained that there are three known eagles’ nests in Crawford County. One nest was so heavy it recently collapsed the big sycamore tree it rested in in the northern part of the county. He said eagles continue to add to their nests each year with some nests weighing as much as a ton. The tree could no longer hold the weight of the nest.
Fisher guesses the eagles will find another suitable tree in the area to rebuild next spring. The other two nests are near Iberia and near the reservoir in Bucyrus.Fisher told members of Betterment that a 60 pound meteorite was found in Crawford County and was on display at the Nature Center of Lowe-Volk Park. He said the meteorite will again be available for viewing Sept. 22 from 1 – 4 p.m. After that it will be sold to a collector.
Fisher said the Lowe-Volk Nature Center is trying to stay open longer hours. The new Labor Day hours were well received. All parks in the Crawford district (apart from the nature center) are open to the community from dawn to dusk.
Fisher shared information on the new Daughmer Burr Oak Savannah which recently celebrated an opening as a state nature preserve. It is part of the original prairie, an oasis of sorts of the great prairie of the United States and is part of the Sandusky Plains Prairie. The park contains very old burr oak trees, some more than 200 years old. He added the sad news that the June 29 storm took out 10 of those ancient trees, either by breakage or uprooting.
Fisher thanked Galion for helping to pass the March levy, which has resulted in more hours open for the Nature Center (Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sunday 12 – 4 p.m.) and no fees to school and church groups for educational programming offered by the park district. At present the center is looking for a part time naturalist and a part time janitor. He named groups that have helped the park system greatly including the Galion Community Foundation, the Galion Chamber of Commerce, Galion Rotary Club and the Galion Inquirer. “These partnerships are extremely important to us.”Fisher thanked the Galion businesses that donated the materials to complete the board walk which makes the woods and Sandusky river lookout accessible to strollers and wheel chairs. The park district will be publishing a book on the Leesville Quarries and updating their strategic plan and policy procedure manual in the months to come.
In member business, Joe Kleinknecht from the Chamber noted new businesses opened in Galion including the Thrift Shop on Harding Way East, the Verizon Store in the Geyer’s mall, and the Crackpot gift shop on Harding Way East. Kleinknecht also noted the Kiwanis Pancake Day and the Alumni Raffle will take place on Sept. 28.
Gene Toy updated Betterment members on city projects including the street resurfacing of portions of Dawsett, Jefferson and Boston. The Railroad Street Substation continues with its upgrading which includes new polls going in to replace the old ones. The Taylor Road Composting Facility will be open three more times this year, Toy said. Dates are Sept. 14–15, Oct. 19–20 and Nov. 16–17 with the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on those days. Toy warned that the facility is not accessible from the south, but only from the north because of a county bridge project.
Toy explained further that the polls in Amick Reservoir that cut right through the center of the park will be removed and new ones will replace them along County Line Road. Trees were removed along County Line Road because of them being an obstruction in the city’s right of way as well as roots clogging drainage lines and water mains.
Terry Gribble said the Center Y had a good summer swimming season. Classes are now open at the center with 55 to choose from.
Patty Rice Groth reported for the Galion Community Hospital Auxiliary, saying that the recent fund raiser was successful, selling over 700 potted mums. She reminded members of Betterment that they can go on the hospital’s website and sign up for auxiliary announcements. The hospital continues to bring in more specialists, she noted, so patients do not have to go out of town for care.
Elaine Hottenroth announced the successful try-outs for the Galion Community Theatre’s opening production of “Leading Ladies” directed by Jim Hoover. Dates for the new show are Nov. 9 and 10 and Nov. 16, 17 and 18.
Amber Wertman said the Galion Historical Society’s annual banquet will be held Tuesday, Sept. 11 with a theme of the History of Galion Bands. She said the society has extended Brownella Tours to Fridays and Saturdays. There will also be free museum days beginning with Saturday, Sept. 29. Sunday, Sept. 30 from 1 – 5 p.m. is the historical society’s fall car show.
New Rotary Club President David Halsey announced the club will be giving dictionaries to all area third grade students again this year. Trick or Treat, Walk Your Feet will take place this year as well. The juniors and seniors will receive pocket constitutions from the Rotary Club. The group has already started planning the Independence Day Celebration for July 6, 2013 with plans to expand the all-day event.
Jean Plack noted that the Golden Age Center is taking trips. Home Care Matters funnel cake stand will be at the Crestline Harvest Festival Sept. 20–22 and the Galion Oktoberfest Sept. 27–29.
Laura Smith reported for the United Way. Its next fundraiser will be at the Moose, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. and will feature the group Coco Beenos. Fundraising is still a struggle, she said, but they have gotten the support of new businesses.