Board approves new park logo; grant for bridge replacement finalized

by Dan Holland

Feb. 26 RJRD board meeting

Richfield Joint Recreation District board members approved use of a new park logo for Richfield Heritage Preserve.

Christy Bell created the logo nearly two years ago, according to Park Director John Piepsny. “This new logo encompasses our iconic structure, the mill, and also brings forward the nature part of the park,” he said. “I think it would be wise to use this, and it can always be changed if needed.”

“Our thought was to wait until after the strategic plan was finalized before adopting the new logo,” added RJRD Chair Anita Gantner. The board approved that plan a few months ago.

The logo can be used on the RHP website and letterhead, said Piepsny. He suggested that it could be printed on various items, including coffee mugs, Christmas ornaments and koozies to be sold at special events and also printed on T-shirts and other clothing items to be worn by park personnel and volunteers.

Piepsny said he and board member Holly Price had recently tinkered with the logo lettering to adjust the font size. The coloration can also be altered, he added.

“We don’t have any alternative logo ideas, so I have no objection to going ahead with putting it on the website,” said board member Mike Lyons. “No one is proposing an alternative, and I’m not hearing any objections.”


Mike Selig reported that the fundraising/grant writing committee had recently received a final letter of approval regarding a $60,000 NatureWorks grant to replace the pedestrian bridge above the upper lake dam. The grant committee also discussed constructing an ADA-compliant all-purpose trail from The Lodge to the boat house and possibly from The Lodge to Amity House and North House.

Selig said the committee reached out to Richfield Village to discuss plans for a connector trail between RHP and Richfield Woods Park. An application for a grant to Clean Ohio Trails Fund would be submitted.

Board treasurer Dave Wehner listed a total balance of $442,000 in the park’s bank account at the end of January, including $5,000 in outstanding checks. There is $277,000 available for general purposes and $159,000 restricted for retirement of the bond fund. Cash inflow for the month totaled $17,000, while expenses were $40,000.

Piepsny provided an update on work completed in RHP over the last few months, which included removal and burning of invasive plant species, removing underbrush in certain areas, log-splitting and work on the front porch, pavilion porch and upstairs bathroom at Amity House. The Last Chance and Fernwood shelters were razed due to structural safety issues.

Lodge Coordinator Shari Green reported that 20 tours were given during February. Four weddings and four social events were booked.

Administrative Coordinator Polly Wheeler reported that she completed and mailed the February RHP newsletter, modified the park map, ordered business cards for staff and board members, responded to resident inquiries, took minutes at two governance committee meetings, performed general office and support staff tasks, made changes to the RHP website, wrote and submitted purchase orders for 2024 and set up tax-exempt accounts with vendors. She also assisted with a number of rentals, programs and events at RHP.

In other action, the board approved selling a Buffalo Turbine Blower on Piepsny said the blower is inefficient for clearing leaves and debris from roads and trails. He suggested it would be more efficient to purchase a Steiner blower attachment to be used in tandem with the industrial Steiner mower recently gifted to RHP by Richfield Township.


Volunteers during February cleaned fire circles and stocked firewood, moved two trailer loads of debris from Amity House, removed invasive plants, cleaned Lodge restrooms, cleaned the park office and assisted with snow shoveling and salting.

Friends of RHP continued to work on the second floor of Amity House. They installed green board and painted the bathroom, and installed flooring, a vanity and tub and shower fixtures. They also repaired damaged basement steps.

Public comments

Friends of RHP President Corey Ringle requested that they receive prior notice to shelters being razed because they might be projects that could be championed.


A Total Eclipse of the Park event will be held at RHP on Monday, April 8, from 1 – 4 p.m. to observe the total solar eclipse that will reach totality at around 3:14 p.m. The event will feature kids’ crafts, games and refreshments.

Photo entries for the Discover Your Outdoor Experience at RHP contest can be submitted to from April 1 – 30.

The Friends group will hold mill docent training at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Apr. 28, at Kirby’s Mill.


The chair of the board of the Richfield Recreation District asked for clarification on a report in the March Richfield Times of a committee meeting of the park district.

Gantner said that it was not clear in the article that the committee’s vote to terminate the Memorandum of Understanding with the Friends after 180 days was only a vote to recommend that to the full board.

Gantner also said that she only reminded the committee chair that the issue was on the agenda and that the board’s legal counsel advised her that her actions were not in violation of the Sunshine Law, which regulates notification to the public if a majority of board members will be participating in a meeting.

Following Gantner’s reminder, the committee did vote to recommend to the full park board to terminate the MOU with the Friends after 180 days. However, at a later meeting, the committee reversed its vote and recommended that the MOU should extend until the end of 2024, as was part of the original agreement.

Gantner said the action took place on Jan. 8. ∞

Photo: The RJRD board approved a logo for the park that Christy Bell created nearly two years ago. Photo submitted.