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Ashland County Park District History

Building on the Past (2002-2016)
In early 2001, Ashland County Commissioners created a committee to study the potential establishment of a park district in Ashland County organized under Chapter 1545 of the Ohio Revised Code. The committee was chaired by county resident Tom Kruse and was comprised of residents from throughout Ashland County and had some forty members.

The committee began its work in early 2001 and found that there was significant support for the creation of a park district. A report was prepared and presented to the Ashland County Commissioners on October 29, 2001. In this report, the committee summarized the findings of support for the creation of a park district and requested that commissioners pass a resolution to be presented to the Ashland County Probate Court requesting a court order to create a park district for Ashland County in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code. The county commissioners concurred with the findings of the committee and supported the creation of the park district through the passage of a resolution that was sent to the probate court.

After receipt of the resolution, Ashland County Probate Judge Damian Vercillo scheduled and published the dates of two public hearings where testimony would be heard regarding the creation of a park district. Hearings were held on December 5, 2001 and December 13, 2001. During these hearings, testimony from both proponents and opponents was accepted. After the second hearing, the court found that the overwhelming majority of testimony supported the creation of the park district and took the matter under advisement for study and a decision. On January 25, 2002, Probate Judge Damian Vercillo issued an order creating Ashland County Park District, the territory of which would include all of Ashland County. Subsequent to that ruling, the judge issued an order appointing the first members of the board of park commissioners on March 26, 2002. Those first three commissioners were Thomas Kruse, Ronald Dickerhoof, and Samuel Weyrick.

From 2002 through 2016, Ashland County Park District existed through the generosity of Ashland County residents and grants awarded by various agencies. The local chapter of Pheasants Forever played a key roll in assisting the park district during this time by providing funding for equipment and grant assistance. A strong corps of volunteers guided the park district through a remarkable expansion of land holdings and the creation of trails, parking lots, an accessible playground and trail. All this was accomplished without a dedicated source of funding. The loss of open space to development motivated this dedicated group of volunteers to push the district forward as it studied ways to establish a source of funding.

In 2016, the board of park commissioners placed a one-half mill levy before the voters of Ashland County to support the continued operation and future improvements of the park district. Through the hard work of the levy committee, the five-year issue was approved and will provide funding for the park district through 2021. During this time, the ACPD created new opportunitites for the public. Guided and self-guided programs became even more frequent and annual events such as Cider Days, Syrup Days, and Books in the Park became family traditions.  

Today (2020-2026)

In 2020, Ashland County voters approved the renewal of a one-half mill levy continuing funding for operations and improvements through 2026. 

Today, the Ashland County Park District proudly manages several beautiful parks, 17 ponds, over 30 miles of hiking trails, totalling over 2,400 acres of land. The ACPD prides itself on almost 20 years of serving the community with the best parks and trails. From the modest beginnings to the recent times of rapid growth, the goal remains to offer places and opportunities for the entire family to enjoy. 

ACPD Board of Commissioners and Staff

The Ashland County Park District is an independent political subdivision. A volunteer three-member Park Commission is appointed by the Probate Court and helps govern the Park District. 

Board of Commissioners

Robert DeSanto
Tom Kruse
Shane Kremser

Ashland County Park District Board of Commissioners are appointed by the Ashland County probate judge per OH Rev Code § 1545.05. Each person is elected to three-year terms as public officials and serve without pay.

Eric Schneider, Director
Rebecca Grant, Office & Finance Manager

John Featheringill, Maintenance Supervisor

Park Board Meetings

ACPD Park Board Meetings are held on the second Monday of every month at 5:30 PM

Freer Field Community Center
1301 Park Street, Ashland, OH 44805 

2024 Schedule:

  • January 8, 2024
  • February 12, 2024
  • March 7, 2024 (at Fire Cabin)
  • April 4, 2024 (at Fire Cabin)
  • May 13, 2024
  • May 24, 2024, 9:30 am (Special Park Board Meeting)
  • June 10, 2024
  • July 8, 2024
  • August 12, 2024
  • September 9, 2024
  • October 14, 2024
  • November 11, 2024
  • December 9, 2024

Rules and Regulations

Strategic Plan

Hunting Rules & Regulations