Park Management & Operations
The Ashtabula Township Park Commission is a three-member, judicially appointed voluntary board, responsible for Indian Trails and Lake Shore Park, a 52-acre park on the shores of Lake Erie. The Park Commission is financially supported by two levies: (a .5 millage renewal passed in 1999 for 5 years and a .5 millage replacement levy passed in 2002) by voters in Ashtabula Township and portions of Ashtabula City. Inside millage of .18 mils provides additional funding. The Park Commission receives an estimated $434,000 in annual revenue. This money is used for park operations and maintenance, staff salaries and capital improvement projects.
While improvement and management expenses have been minimal for Indian Trails, the Park Commission has undertaken a number of important capital improvement projects within Lake Shore Park in recent years. Notable improvements include: construction of a new maintenance building ($309,000), rehabilitation of the duck pond ($225,000) and construction of a new breakwall in partnership with a $250,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources ($333,000), scheduled for completion in 2003.
This activity demonstrates the leadership and resolve of the Park Commission to rehabilitate, improve and maintain Lake Shore Park for the public benefit. Successful passage of the levies indicates strong public support for this popular park that includes a swimming beach, picnic pavilions and a public boat-launching facility. Visitation during the summer months averages 2,000 daily.
Cedarquist Park, containing 8 ball fields, is largely used for Little League activities and is leased to the organization for 1 dollar per year. The Ashtabula County Community Development Corporation has funded significant improvements to the ballpark for this popular activity.
Historical and Present-day Use
Indian Trails has been a popular recreational destination for local citizens since the first parkland was acquired in 1908. The Gulf was popular for fishing, swimming, hiking and camping. A horse livery existed on West 58th Street and bridle paths for riding were found throughout the Park. Families would picnic at various locations and automobile access to the Park and river was popular.