Elyria Township enhanced the Rowland Nature Preserve, a central location that many nearby residents can reach by foot or by bike. First, they updated their existing walking trails so that runners and walkers of all ages and abilities can now utilize the improved trail that circles their Township Lake. A new handicap accessible playground was also built to complement the handicap accessible pavilion that already existed at the Preserve. Children of all ages and abilities, and their families can now safely play outdoors.
Lorain County Metro Parks already had initial plans for the 97 acres of the Royal Oaks Park to feature a basic trail system. Their plans were able to expand to include fitness equipment suitable for all abilities, and a hydration station for Adults, children, and even pets. In its debut season, Royal Oaks saw more than 15,000 visitors, including Grafton residents and visitors from outside of Lorain County. Walkers and runners utilize both the trails and the fitness equipment, and Lorain County Metro Parks has plans to continue enhancing the park-goers experience through extended trails and additional equipment.
For quite a few years, LaGrange Community Park has been a popular place to catch a softball game. Only in recent years did the Park Board decide to complete a trail around the park to provide additional opportunity for recreation. Through the mini grant, an additional 1.25 miles of trail was added to complete the large walking loop. Since the addition trail usage has tripled. The Storybook Stroll stations installed in collaboration with the Elyria Public Library System are a big hit with families in the area.
The path at Penfield Recreation Park was rarely used. Many residents felt uncomfortable walking through the heavily wooded area. To address that issue, the Penfield Park Board added a 3/8 mile trail in a highly visible part of the park. Since the addition, trail usage has increased. Future plans include updated fitness stations and signage, as well as Storybook Stroll stations in collaboration with the Elyria Public Library System.
With the installation of hydration stations and a robust Water First for Thirst awareness campaign, students and staff decreased their sugar-sweetened beverage consumption by 23%