tiffin parks

City of Tiffin applies for funds to improve Nature Trails Park

Project projected to be complete in 2021

TIFFIN, OHIO – July 7, 2020 – The City of Tiffin recently completed and submitted its application to the State of Ohio for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, with the funds to primarily be used for improvements to Nature Trails Park. If approved, the project would include adding paved walking trails, benches, a barbecue grill and a new playground by fall of 2021. The playground that had been at the park has been removed due to disrepair.

Every two years, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development allocates up to $150,000 for the City of Tiffin for specific activities that benefit areas of low-income residents, benefit specific populations or to make improvements in areas of slum and blight. The total amount requested for this round of funding was $147,800, of which $117,800 is for improvements at Nature Trails Park, $25,000 is for grant administration costs and $5,000 is allocated for the required fair housing program.

Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership administered the program for the City of Tiffin during this round of funding, and facilitated the selection of the project with the coordination of municipal elected officials and staff, Tiffin City Council members, the Tiffin Community Development Committee and other stakeholders. Seneca County has its own allocation amount, separate from the City of Tiffin, which is administered by Seneca Regional Planning Commission.

City of Tiffin Engineer’s Office provided the preliminary design services and will provide additional engineering services throughout the project that will save significant costs and allow more funds to be used for construction.

The application was submitted June 17, 2020, to the State of Ohio Office of Community Development, following authorization from Tiffin City Council on June 15, 2020.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented, “Nature Trails is a great asset to citizens it serves, but this funding will provide for a much needed update at the park. I’m grateful that we have the opportunity to invest in our community without having to put the expense on the city’s budget.”

Leadership Park, historic marker dedicated

IMG_20180626_112013.jpgToday, the City of Tiffin dedicated Clouse-Kirian Leadership Park in conjunction with the unveiling of a State historical marker for the founding of Tiffin.

Leadership Park began as the community project of the 2014 Leadership Seneca County class. As part of the nine month course in leadership and civic participation, the class raised $25,000 to create a community park in downtown Tiffin. The city matched $20,000, creating a fund of $55,000 for the park. The park was designed but put on hold due to potential development on the chosen site.

In late 2015, the project was revived when Lenny Clouse purchased the building at 22 S. Washington St., demolished it, and sold the land to the city at cost. From there, two more grants were secured from the National Machinery and Meschech Frost Charitable Trust to cover the funding gap created by the change in location, and the construction of Clouse-Kirian Leadership Park began.

Also dedicated at the Leadership Park site was Seneca County’s twelfth historical marker. The Seneca County Historical Society worked with the Ohio History Connection to place an Ohio Historical Marker denoting 1822 as the founding year of the town.

The text of the marker reads: “In 1822 Josiah Hedges purchased the land that would become Tiffin from the Delaware Land Office. By March, this land, situated across the Sandusky River from old Fort Ball (War of 1812) was surveyed and platted by General James Hedges, the brother of Josiah. These events marked the founding year for the city of Tiffin, which was named after Edward Tiffin, Ohio’s first governor and a friend of Josiah Hedges. The legislature commissioned Thomas Henford, Isaac Minor and Cyrus Spink to establish Tiffin as the permanent seat of justice for Seneca County on March 25, 1822.”

You can find a complete list of Ohio Historical Markers at Remarkable Ohio.

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Tiffin receives Tree City USA awards

TreeCityLogoCity celebrates 37 years in program, Growth Award

TIFFIN, OHIO – January 8, 2018 – For the 37th consecutive year, Tiffin has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA community and will receive a Growth Award for the fifth year since joining the program. The awards will be presented April 18 at the annual Tree City USA meeting.

Tiffin Parks Director Bryce Kuhn said the awards reflect the city’s long-term commitment to preserving and enhancing its public landscape. “For nearly 40 years, the Tiffin community has made a conscious effort to support sustainable tree programs and educate residents on the importance of such programs,” he said.

Each year the Tiffin Shade Tree and Beautification Commission applies for membership in Tree City USA on behalf of the City of Tiffin. Cities are eligible for the program if they meet four standards of sound urban forestry management: maintaining a tree board or department, having a tree care ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry, and observing Arbor Day with a proclamation.

This year, Tiffin will also receive a Growth Award in recognition of a higher level of tree care. The award highlights innovative programs and projects, and provides an opportunity for communities to share ideas. Tiffin will receive the award for its Christmas tree recycling program and further education of Tree Commission members.

The Tiffin Shade Tree and Beautification Commission is a committee that meets monthly to discuss tree plantings for Tiffin’s boulevards, flower plantings in baskets downtown, tree educational information and beautification.  The committee has been part of Tree City USA for 36 years.

About Tree City USA
The Tree City USA program has been greening up cities and towns across America since 1976. It is a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees. More than 3,400 communities have made the commitment to becoming a Tree City USA. Learn more here.

Explore 900 acres of nature preserves

2014_03_18 - Steyer - Sandusky River Bridge

Sandusky River at Steyer Nature Preserve towards sunset

Snow-covered rock formations at Steyer

Snow-covered rock formations at Steyer

OK, I admit it. I’m fan of parks, and this county has a bunch — 30 at my last count (future post.) What isn’t as well known, though, is that it also has ten gorgeous nature preserves, a nature preserve being (according to wikipedia) “a protected area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest.”

People here care about quality of life and made a deliberate push almost 20 years ago to create the Seneca County Parks District (SCPD)–which manages eight of the ten preserves– to protect and enhance the outdoors here. These eight compliment the two local state nature preserves, providing almost 900 acres of pristine outdoor woodland, wetland, grassland, and waterway.

Activities you can pursue at the preserves include:

  • Walking trails (almost all)
  • Equestrian trails (Springville Marsh and Bowen)
  • Canoeing and water access (Steyer and Clinton)
  • Fishing (Garlo, Steyer, Clinton, Forrest, Tiffin, Mercy)
  • Hunting (Steyer)
  • Picnicking (almost all)

In addition, each preserve has its own unique assets. For example, Garlo Heritage Nature Preserve has a nature center, observation decks, bluebird trails, a butterfly garden, a restored blacksmith shop, and a 37-acre lake. Steyer Nature Preserve, on the other hand, has oak trees more than 300 years old, was a site where Native Americans lived, and offers one mile of view and access to the state scenic Sandusky River. Here are the ten preserves:

Seneca County Nature Preserves Location Acres  
Garlo Heritage Nature Preserve County – SW 292  
Springville Marsh State Nature Preserve County – SE 161  
Steyer Nature Preserve County – N 141  
Collier State Nature Preserve County – S 115  
Bowen Nature Preserve County – NE 65  
Clinton Nature Preserve Tiffin 33  
Forrest Nature Preserve County – S 33  
Tiffin University Nature Preserve Tiffin 30  
Mercy Community Nature Preserve Tiffin 22  
Zimmerman Nature Preserve Tiffin 5  
 Totals   897  

So, based on my experience so far at three of them (Steyer, Mercy, Tiffin), I heartily recommend checking them out if you’re not familiar with them or exploring one you haven’t yet. Let me also share a few pictures of my visit to Steyer this month: