Land purchase will provide another entrance to Schwartz Road Park
AVON -- Avon City Council members have approved an ordinance authorizing the mayor to buy more property to
NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram, 7-20-07, by Rania Shakkour
Route 254 gets push for 'scenic byway' title
``AVON -- Almost 200 years of historical settlements and houses still stand on Detroit Road, and two local historical societies are pushing to designate state Route 254 in Lorain County as an Ohio scenic byway.
The Sheffield Village Historical Society and Cultural Center and the Avon Historical Society submitted a request to the Ohio Department of Transportation to designate the 10-mile highway in Sheffield Township, Sheffield and Avon as a [scenic] byway and hope to hear a final answer within two weeks.
"We'll probably be one of the shortest, but one of the most spectacular," Ed Herdendorf said, president of Sheffield Village historical society. Herdendorf lives in the house his great-great-grandfather built in 1839 on Detroit Road. The Milton Garfield House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is recognized with a heritage plaque from the county.
"The reason we thought it (the road) was important is because we have well over a hundred historic homes on the byway," Herdendorf said, adding that the houses date back to the 1830s and the settlements to 1815.
To become a scenic byway, the road must be at least two lanes and five miles long, promise the management and growth of businesses and provide scenic, historical, recreational and agricultural sites -- all documented in a 200-page proposal, mostly of pictures, which was submitted.
The road also cannot have any billboards -- the easiest to verify since Sheffield and Avon have ordinances that ban them. The Metro Parks, Garfield farm, Victorian-style homes, historical cemeteries dating to the War of 1812 and [archeological] sites dating back 3,500 years contribute to the rich heritage of the road.
The most astonishing detail is that 12,400 years ago, when Lake Erie was bigger and deeper, Detroit Road was the lake's shoreline, according to the request.
There are 25 designated scenic byways in Ohio, including four national byways and one All-American road. The Lake Erie Coastal Trail, a national byway, is the only other byway in Lorain County. If approved, the road, between state Route 57 and the end of the county line at Westlake, would be listed as the North Ridge Scenic Byway in Ohio tourist maps.''
See Scenic Byways Tour
Contact Rania Shakkour at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Grant for Guides to the North Ridge Scenic Byway]
EDITORIAL from The Morning Journal, 12-2-08,
``North Ridge Scenic Byway is a much appreciated effort
A much traveled route will soon be promoted as the North Ridge Scenic Byway.
Two illustrated guides are being funded by $16,000 in a federal highway grant to promote SR 254, also known as North Ridge Road and Detroit Road, from its intersection with SR 57 in Sheffield Township eastward through Sheffield Village and Avon.
These nine miles traverse the northernmost ancient beach ridge of Lorain County and show off many cultural and natural features, including historic homes, Revolutionary War-era cemeteries and exquisite park land.
It took a year and a half of combined efforts by the Sheffield Village and Avon historical societies to get the North Ridge Scenic Byway designation approved in August . The societies must now put together a mile-by-mile color guidebook and a trifold brochure by next August  ...
The publications will be based on the 175-page scenic byway application submitted by the local groups to the federal government, which can be viewed at
We applaud the cooperative efforts of the historical societies and local, county and state officials that are making the North Ridge Scenic Byway a new attraction for visitors to this area.''
In December 2005, the Sheffield Village Historical Society and the Avon Historical Society joined forces to prepare a proposal to establish a North Ridge Scenic Byway along the entire reach of State Route 254 in Lorain County, Ohio. The proposal was prepared on behalf of and endorsed by the Village of Sheffield and the City of Avon.
In August 2007, the Ohio Department of Transportation officially designated this highway corridor as the North Ridge Scenic Byway. This 9-mile segment of SR 254 in Lorain County passes through a diverse assemblage of agricultural, residential, commercial, and natural settings as it traverses the northernmost ancient beach ridge of a glacial-lake predecessor to Lake Erie. Travelers along this stretch of highway are treated to pleasing views of many cultural and natural features.
In March 2008 the Sheffield Village Historical Society and the Avon Historical Society again joined forces to propose a project to the US Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration, through the Ohio Department of Transportation to Produce and Publish Guides to the North Ridge Scenic Byway, Lorain, Ohio on behalf of the Village of Sheffield and the City of Avon, Ohio.
Dr. Charles E. Herdendorf, President of the Sheffield Village Historical Society and Taylor J. Smith, President of Avon Historical Society are pleased to announce that the grant application has been approved for $20,000 ($16,000 Federal and $4,000 Local in-kind match).
The proposal sought funds to enhance the travelers' experiences as they journey along the North Ridge Scenic Byway and to promote the natural and cultural attributes of the byway corridor by producing and publishing two types of high-quality guides.
The first will be a full-color guidebook, which describes in detail the fascinating natural setting and cultural history of the corridor as well as presents a mile point-by-mile point log of noteworthy attributes and vistas of the North Ridge Scenic Byway. Topics to be covered include scenic, geological, botanical, native wildlife, archaeological, historical, agricultural, recreational, and cultural features of the corridor.
The guidebook is envisioned to be approximately 180 pages in length and richly illustrated with new color images, historic photographs, explanatory diagrams, and easily-followed maps. This guidebook will be made available at a modest price to travelers and residents of the region.
The second will be a full-color, tri-fold brochure, which outlines the natural and cultural attributes of the North Ridge Scenic Byway. The brochure is intended to be distributed, free of charge, by commercial establishments and public facilities along the byway corridor. Dr. Herdendorf will serve as the project director and senior author of the guides.
NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 11-26-08, By the MORNING JOURNAL STAFF
``North Ridge byway will receive illustrated guide
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Ohio Department of Transportation has been given $16,000 to produce two illustrated guides to the North Ridge Scenic Byway.
The money is coming from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration, according to Senator Sherrod Brown.
"This is great news for the northern Lorain County area," Brown said. "These funds will help advertise the North Ridge area and its unique culture. This is a win-win for the region. An increase in tourism boosts the local economy while also expanding knowledge of this important region and its history."
The richly illustrated guides will explain the diverse geology, native wildlife and botanical, archaeological, historical, agricultural, recreational and cultural features of the North Ridge Scenic Byway Corridor.
The North Ridge Scenic Byway is part of a system of national byways created to provide a unique travel experience with stops at historic railroads, bridges, barns and homes, among other points of interest.
The North Ridge Scenic Byway begins at the intersection of SR 254 and SR 57 in Sheffield Township and runs in an east-northeasterly direction to the Cuyahoga County line.''
NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 12-12-11, By Rebecca Turman
[The Schwartz Barn is Saved]
Land purchase will provide another entrance to Schwartz Road Park
AVON -- Avon City Council members have approved an ordinance authorizing the mayor to buy more property to add onto Schwartz Road Park.
In November , City Council agreed to allow the mayor to enter into a purchase agreement with Williams Way of Avon LLC, adding 19 acres of land located behind 34193 Schwartz Road, onto the park. Prior to that $470,000 land purchase, the park consisted of approximately 49 acres.
During the Monday night meeting, council approved of entering into a purchase agreement with Sharon Strebig for 1.2 acres located between 34745 and 34701 Schwartz Road. The city will pay $125,000Â for the property.
Avon Parks and Recreation Director Diane Corrao is looking into an $80,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to help contribute to the cost, according to Avon Finance Director Bill Logan.
Avon Councilman Bryan Jensen noted that the "big, red barn" is located on the property currently. The 1.2 acres will be used to provide another entrance and exit for the park ...
Avon Mayor Jim Smith said the hope is to keep the 100-year-old barn, which was the Schwartz family's, intact while providing a new entrance into the park.
NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 11-11-11, By Rebecca Turman
City to buy close to 20 acres to add onto Schwartz Road Park
AVON -- During a special meeting Monday night, Avon City Council approved an ordinance authorizing the mayor of Avon to enter into a land purchase agreement with Williams Way of Avon LLC.
Per the agreement, the city will buy approximately 19 acres of land for $470,000.
According to the ordinance, the property is located behind 34193 Schwartz Road.
Avon Mayor Jim Smith said the fact that the property is located just east of Schwartz Road Park, which already consists of 49 acres, makes it easier for the city.
"We don't have to build $250,000 restrooms," he said. "We have all the infrastructure there already."
Schwartz Road Park is also already equipped with a concession stand, Smith said.
While the city may have to add more parking, Smith said, "It's a huge cost savings for us. This is something we don't have to redo."
The city has been in talks with the owner about purchasing the property for seven to eight years, according to Smith.
"We have 2,000 kids in soccer," Smith said, adding during soccer season, the park is full.
The plan is to provide more soccer fields on the property, according to Smith.
"We are a family oriented community," he said. "We've gotta do what we've gotta do."
During the City Council work session prior to the special meeting, Smith said, "For the size of the city of Avon, we should have a little more park land."
According to the Avon Parks and Recreation Department's page on the city of Avon website, the city's seven parks consist of more than 300 acres.
Avon Parks and Recreation Director Diane Corrao said the department had placed a car counter at Veterans Memorial Park and Schwartz Road Park. From the second week of April until the end of October, she said 45,619 cars visited Veterans Park, while 63,291 visited Schwartz Road Park.
Corrao pointed out that the numbers don't include walkers and bicyclists who visited the parks.
"(We have) several, several teams and we are always low on space," she said.
Corrao said it would be a good idea for the city to invest in more parkland.
"When we bought Veterans Park, I heard people say we will never use it. Now it's full," Smith said.
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