WILMINGTON — The 10th annual Lytle Creek Day on Saturday was the first without Lytle Creek League founder Roy Joe Stuckey, and fittingly, information on progress at Stuckey Farm Park — a part of the creek’s greenway — was among the highlights.
Stuckey founded the Lytle Creek League of Conservators (LCLC) in 2003, with a goal of conserving the natural greenway that borders the waterway that winds east to west through Wilmington. Stuckey died in November 2014 at the age of 87.
Lori Kersey Williams hosted the Saturday event, held at the Lytle Creek Trailhead Pavilion just off Davids Drive. She announced Ruth Stuckey, Roy Joe’s wife, has made a donation to Stuckey Farm Park and work has begun to develop the frontage of the U.S. 22 West site.
A split-rail fence was installed in September with the help of students in the Wilmington High School FFA chapter at Stuckey Farm Park.
And Wilmington College students who are participating in the Wilmington Institute for Stewardship and Engagement (WISE) certificate program will do design work for the park site, said Williams. WISE is a co-curricular program available to WC students interested in leadership in social change or institutional change.
Williams said the idea is for the farm park to include a “playscape,” which is defined as a playground with an integrated design of equipment, especially with components made from wood and other natural materials.
She anticipates an amphibian pond will be a part of the farm park, too.
During her report of the year in review, Williams said new access points to Lytle Creek have been created to accommodate residents who want to see the stream views, trees and wildlife.
The trailhead pavilion likely will come under the auspices of Wilmington Parks & Recreation, providing another shelter for family reunions and the like, according to Williams, director of the Wilmington parks system. When that happens, interested parties can reserve use of the pavilion and its multiple round tables.
Bob Thobaben, a member of the Clinton County Parks Board, attended the Lytle Creek event and said the county parks system will be adding a wooded area in Jefferson Township in the vicinity of Chaney and Lynchburg roads.
The event’s program included honoring the work of two local individuals who have made the natural environment in Clinton County a better place, said Williams.
Rick Kneisel, a retired educator, recently returned to Clinton County and is active as an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist and leader of programming for the LCLC’s No Child Left Indoors efforts.
And Rick Stanforth’s accomplishments include leadership roles at the Cox Arboretum, the Wilmington Tree Commission, the Sugar Grove Cemetery in Wilmington and at the Ohio Governor’s Mansion as horticulturalist.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.