The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

October 24, 2013

Lampson Reservoir property transferred to Ashtabula County Metroparks

JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP — Several years of collaboration came to fruition Wednesday as the Lampson Reservoir property on Route 307 was transferred to the Ashtabula County Metroparks.

The 95-acre property was reportedly given to Ashtabula County commissioners in 1990. In 2010, the county sold the property to the Western Reserve Land Conservancy for $150,000. The conservancy paid $80,000 in June 2010, when the sale was executed and the remainder was due within two years.

The initial $80,000 was a split from the Significant Area Fund and the Ashtabula County Sportsman’s Association. The balance came from the conservancy in the form of grants and donations. The land was to be transferred to the Ashtabula County Metroparks Board once funding was complete.

Several improvements have been made to the reservoir over the past few years. The dam was cut down so the water level cannot go any higher and an area of the dam was made deeper to accommodate a fishing pond. The wetlands have also been restored to keep with the wetlands in the area, said Terry Burkey, of the Ashtabula County Metroparks Board.

The area will receive a parking lot in the spring, he said. The parking lot designs are complete and funding is in place. Long-term goals include nature trails and hunting access, Burkey said.

“We appreciate the Western Reserve Land Conservancy taking the land under their control,” he said. “Without them this would not have happened.”

Several other groups also made the project possible including the County Commissioners; the Ohio Division of Wildlife, for restocking the fish; the Ashtabula Foundation, for its $25,000 donation; the Robert S. Morrison Foundation, for its $10,000 donation; the Herzog Family Foundation, for its $5,000 donation; the Conneaut Foundation, for its $2,500 donation; the Nature Conservancy, for its in-kind invasive plant treatment; and the Ashtabula County Engineer’s Office for its in-kind design of the parking lot, Burkey said.

“The biggest money came from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency grant,” he said.

The OEPA grant was in the amount of $85,457. The Metroparks Board has also received an Ohio Department of Transportation grant for $29,000 to fund the parking lot project, he said.

Burkey said the collective effort of all the groups made it possible to bring another 95 acres to the Ashtabula County Metroparks Board. Burkey said the property will be an asset to the board along with its other holdings, the Harpersfield Covered Bridge Park and the Western Reserve Greenway Trail.

He said the board will allow hunting at the reservoir and will possibly do a lottery to assign people dates that they can hunt.

The Ashtabula County Metroparks Board only operates on a $16,000 budget each year. Burkey said the board will likely put a levy on the ballot next year.

County Commissioner Joe Moroski said the Lampson Reservoir project was a great collaborative project.

“The result is self-evident,” he said.

Keith McClintock, of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, said the Conservancy was happy to be able to participate in the project.

“This is where our strength lies, being able to help parks be successful,” he said. “Looking out at the property, I’m able to see why the effort was so important.”

Burkey said the Ashtabula County Metroparks Board would like to form a Friends of the Lampson Reservoir group as it has done with the Western Reserve Greenway Trail to help with the mowing and upkeep of the property.

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