Wahkeena Nature Preserve Potentially Transitioning to Management by Fairfield County Historical Park District

Public Meeting 7:00 PM, Jan. 23, Ohio Glass Museum, Lancaster, OH

  • An enchanting view of the Wahkeena Nature Preserve. It is located south of LAncaster OH and is one of the historic sites in the Ohio Historical Society network. (C) Ohio historical Society, 2011.
    An enchanting view of the Wahkeena Nature Preserve. It is located south of LAncaster OH and is one of the historic sites in the Ohio Historical Society network. (C) Ohio historical Society, 2011.
    An enchanting view of the Wahkeena Nature Preserve. It is located south of LAncaster OH and is one of the historic sites in the Ohio Historical Society network. (C) Ohio historical Society, 2011.
    An enchanting view of the Wahkeena Nature Preserve. It is located south of LAncaster OH and is one of the historic sites in the Ohio Historical Society network. (C) Ohio historical Society, 2011.

The Ohio Historical Society is soliciting public input on the transition of the management of the Wahkeena Nature Preserve to the Fairfield County Historical Park District. One of five natural areas in the Society’s network of historic sites in Ohio, the move would allow a local organization to oversee the day-to-day activities at the site, which is a dedicated state nature preserve.  

 The transition would be effective at the end of January 2012. A public meeting is scheduled for 7:00 PM, Jan. 23, 2012, Ohio Glass Museum, 124 West Main Street, Lancaster, OH 43130.

 

“Wahkeena is a truly beautiful nature preserve at the edge of Hocking Hills. It is a quiet respite and is ideal for nature photography and hiking,” said George Kane, director of historic sites and facilities at the Ohio Historical Society. “We are very pleased with the opportunity to work with the Fairfield County Historical Park District as the management group for the site. Entering into a management agreement allows the site to be managed by a local partner. We have seen that contracting with a local partner provides more local support and involvement in the site.  We are pleased that last fall the voters of Fairfield County approved the levy supporting the operations of the park district.  This provided the resources to take on this new opportunity.”

 

The Society has a great depth of experience in working with a number of local management groups to open and operate the historic sites in the OHS network. These groups, from friends groups to other historical societies, contract with OHS to manage the day to day operations of the historic sites. The sites continue to remain within OHS’s network and OHS provides some operating funds, major maintenance and capital improvements, collections care, and other support.  

David Fey, director of the park district, said, “We are honored that the Ohio Historical Society is willing to entrust the operation of the site to us.  We are also pleased that Tom Shisler, long time manager of the site, will join the park district.  We look forward to Tom continuing the educational programs for schools, for which the site is so well known, and expanding opportunities for the public.” 

Representatives from OHS will attend the meeting, January 23, as will representatives from the Fairfield County Historical Park District. For more information on the meeting, contact Karen Hassel 614-297-2652 or at khassel@ohiohistory.org. 

 

About the Ohio Historical Society

Founded in 1885, the non-profit Ohio Historical Society provides a wide array of statewide services and programs related to collecting, preserving and interpreting Ohio’s rich archaeological and natural history The Society has about 1.6 million items in its collections throughout its 58 sites statewide and within its 283,000-square-feet Ohio History Center at 800 E 17th Ave. (Exit 111 off Highway I-71), Columbus, Ohio, 43211. The Center is home to a world class museum, the state archives, Echoes in Time Theater, Ohio Historic Preservation Office, and the administrative offices of the Society. The Society receives a portion of its funding from the state, but relies on admission fees, memberships, grants, donations, individual state-tax check-off contributions, and other forms of revenue to continue to serve Ohioans across the state and into the future. For general information about the Ohio Historical Society, visit www.ohiohistory.org or contact: jmason@ohiohistory.org.

 

About the Fairfield County Historical Park District

The Park District was created in 1981 by the Fairfield County Probate Court under Chapter 1545 of the Ohio Revised Code. The District is an independent political subdivision of Park Commissioners. The purpose of the Commission is to procure unique natural resources, historical setting and open space for education, preservation, conservation management, and passive leisure activities for the people of Fairfield County.  It is supported by a .4 mil levy passed in 2011 as well as gifts, grants, and other revenues. It currently has 12 historic sites and parks under its management.  For more information about the Fairfield County Historical Park District, visit www.historicalparks.org  or contact director@historicalparks.org