Local family’s land donation allows Lake Medina to expand

The Medina County Park District has unveiled a new master plan for Lake Medina that includes a third entrance to the park located at the corner of Foote and Weymouth roads in Medina Township. This future addition was made possible by an 8-acre donation by the Shotwell family.

The Shotwell family is no stranger to the park district. In 2018, the family donated an adjacent 17.5 acres to protect the west branch of the Rocky River.

“We are excited to help preserve and create a new area that will serve not only as an additional access to Lake Medina but also provide an exciting new place where friends can strum their guitars, a grandparent can identify a wildflower with a child, families can enjoy a tranquil picnic or where a child can magically transform his or her imagination while climbing through a treehouse,” Becky Shotwell said.

Shotwell said the MCPD has provided her family with places for hikes, company picnics, meetings, celebrations, education and more over the years. “We are honored to make this gift and feel fortunate to have a park district with the vision and leadership to preserve land and expand services for future generations,” she added.

In recognition of the family’s generosity, the new area will be called the Shotwell Gardens at Lake Medina. It will include an outdoor amphitheater, an indoor space for public programs, gardens featuring native plants, walking trails, treetop views and more. The park district and the Shotwells worked with Environmental Design Group last year to develop the plan. Improvements that will provide access to the water for fishing and paddlecraft and a concept to turn the former pump house into an observation platform are also included in the master plan.

MCPD Director Nathan Eppink anticipates construction will take place in phases starting in 2025.

“Visitors will be able to watch this site grow over several years,” he said.

Lake Medina was created in the early 1960s when the city of Medina was looking for a way to supplement its water supply. In 2002, due to increasing demands for water usage as the city grew, an alternate water supply from Lake Erie was developed, and Lake Medina was no longer needed as a water supply. In 2003, MCPD secured a lease agreement with the city of Medina to turn the 103-acre lake into a county park.

Currently, Lake Medina can be accessed off State Route 18 as well as from Granger Road. The park boasts two hiking trails. The all-purpose 1.4 mile Greenway Trail is an asphalt path that follows willows and sycamores along the West Branch of the Rocky River and connects to the city of Medina’s paved trail along Reagan Parkway. The other 1.08 mile gravel trail is located along the top of the dam overlooking the lake. Lake Medina is an important water source for wildlife – particularly waterfowl, bald eagles and osprey. From late February through the end of April each year, Lake Medina serves as a rest stop for migratory waterfowl such as loons, grebes, and a variety of ducks, geese, and swans.

Plans for Shotwell Gardens at Lake Medina call for the construction of an amphitheater, an indoor space for public programming, walking trails, gardens, treetop views and more. Rendering submitted by the Medina County Park District.