We, at Ashland County Park District, are pleased to welcome Eric Schneider as our new park director. Taking office March 27, he states, “I’ve enjoyed coming on board at Ashland County Park District.” He believes his “experience and background can translate well to ACPD. It is the perfect opportunity for himself and Ashland County Park District to move forward.”
Eric comes to Ashland from Medina County, where he grew up. With him are his family, wife, Lindsay, and children, Daisy (8 years old) and Cooper (5 years old). They presently live in Medina County, but are searching for a home in Ashland County.
We are blessed to have a new visionary join us to help guide us with the future growth and planning for park improvements. Eric comes to us with 21 years of experience with Cleveland Metroparks. He began as a seasonal worker in high school with entry level jobs such as cleaning the restrooms, trash collection, and working on golf courses. He feels fortunate to have begun at the entry level, learning basic skills and building on those.
Eric is a humble man, not overly stating his accomplishments as he advanced professionally. He is down to earth and approachable. To determine where the future of our park district lies, it is important to him to gain as much historical knowledge about our parks’ beginnings, physically visiting each park and meeting the managers.
Welcomes, encourages park input from uses and nonusers
His approach to managing and planning is straight forward; communication and recognition. Obtaining input and suggestions from the public in order to hear their desires for park improvements is extremely important.
“We, the park district, need and want to know whether we are meeting the public’s needs,” he said, noting he wants to know why the public is visiting or not visiting parks. Avenues for this community engagement are being developed and should be available in the near future.
Meanwhile, the public is encouraged to continue communication to the park by email, email@example.com, phone 419-289-3524 or social media. ACPD Administration Offices, 1301 Park St. Ashland, are open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-noon.
Working with maintenance Supervisor John Featheringill, Eric looks to improve communication with the dedicated park managers and seasonal employees implementing park standards, consistency, and enhancements. Teamwork is being put at a higher level of importance, as well. More frequent meetings to gain their input for changes and improvement will give the director and park commissioners a clearer vision of how to move forward with planning and implementation. Eric is a firm believer in awards and recognition while giving credit where credit is due.
Eric’s vision includes having clean, green, safe parks while completing things the right way the first time. He believes it is important to protect the land and waterways, making sure we maintain stewardship of the land. Developing a five-year masterplan with public input for every park is critical.
Consideration must be given the fact the park district has but only three full time staff and the need to stay within budget, but Eric’s experience doing more with less should shine throughout the Ashland community.
Check out what's happening at the parks
Cooke Family Wildlife Conservation Park (grant funded), 4774 State Route 13 N., Shiloh.
Improved parking lots
Completed April 2023
Freer Field Barn (grant funded), 1264 S. Center St. (Ashland)
Parking lot improvements
Estimated completion early Summer 2023
Hurdle Waterfowl Park (grant funded), 297 Township Road 581, Sullivan
A paved loop trail around the pond
Improved parking lots
Estimated completion mid/late Summer 2023
Byers Woods (grant funded), 675 County Road 1754, Ashland
Storybook Trail – Bird Watch
Completed May 2023
Tom Kruse Wildlife Conservation Park (donor runded), intersection of state Route. 60 and County Road 1754, Ashland
Gospel sing, birds and butterflies, park walks
Independence Celebration Gospel Sing
Sauers Farm Park, 260 Township Road 1601, Greenwich
June 23 at 6 p.m. and June 24 at 3 p.m.
Take a lawn chair and enjoy an evening of southern/bluegrass gospel singing. Twenty-five plus groups will perform over the two-day event held in the main barn. There is ample parking and admission is free. Food available by donation.
Bobolinks & Butterflies Festival
Byers Woods Park, June 24, 675 County Road 1754, Ohio 60 south of Ashland
9-10:30 a.m. — Bird and Butterfly walk
10:30 a.m.-noon — Bookmobile & Refreshments
10:45-11:15 a.m. — Planting for Pollinators and Butterflies
11:30 a.m.-01 p.m. — Butterfly Walk
Park Walks with volunteer guide Denise
Hosted by the Greater Mohican Audubon Society and Ashland County Park District.
Weekly Walks — Freer Field Visitor Center 1301 Park St., Ashland; Wednesdays at 9 a.m.
July 1 at 10 a.m. Sauers Farm Park, 260 Township Road 1601, Greenwich
Aug. 5 at 10 a.m. Black Fork Bottoms Hunting Area, 1457 US-42, Ashland
Length of walk will vary depending on the trails available,
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more updates, and we look forward to seeing you in our parks.
Karen Leonetti is the event coordinator for Ashland County Park District. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Ashland Times Gazette: Eric Schneider is the new Ashland County Park District Director