The Beginning

The beginning of the Park District was marked with promise and hope for a more vibrant and healthier Allen County.  Anne Lauer, one of the founding visionaries (and commissioner) for the Park District really set forth to create a system that would stand the test of time. Four areas were acquired or leased during the 1970’s with two of them being open and accessible to the public during that time. Heritage Park and McLean Teddy Bear Park were the staples of the infancy of the Park District and remain vital to our success today.

  • 1969    The Ohio Department of Natural Resources published a study on recreation and open space throughout Ohio, brought to the attention of the Allen County Commissioners by the Allen Soil Conservation District.
  • 1970    The Allen County Commissioners appointed a group of concerned citizens to a Park Advisory Board.
  • 1972    A three-month feasibility study of a Metropolitan Park District by James M. Jennings Associates, Columbus, Ohio.
  • 1972    Application for a Park District made to the Probate Court. Park District established June 30, 1972.
  • 1972    McLean Teddy Bear Park established through long term lease by Allen County     Commissioners-20 acres, then increased to 42.5 acres.
  • 1973    Heritage Park (162 acres) established via deed from U.S. Government
  • 1974    Park District logo designed by Orvis Skolos.
  • 1975    Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) permitted the Park Board to employ key personnel.
  • 1976   June: First attempt to pass a ½ mill levy for the Park District: Failed
  • 1977   45 acres at Allen County Farm Park acquired with long term lease by the Allen County Commissioners
  • 1977   Kendrick Woods original land (182 acres)  purchase through $211,000 bequest and $111,500 LWCF Grant along with conservation easements of 20, 5, and 7.1 acres.
  • 1978   June: Second attempt to pass a ½ mill levy for the Park District: Failed
  • 1978   81 acres of Heritage Metro Park was re-conveyed to the Federal government for the Lima Army Tank Plant test track
  • 1979    Access to Auglaize River at Agerter Road established.
  • 1979   November: Third attempt to pass a ½ mill levy for the Park District: Failed

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