It’s hung in there for almost 200 years, and the Bellefontaine Joint Recreation District (BJRD) along with the Logan County Land Trust aren’t ready to give up on it yet. We’re talking about the old log cabin at Myeerah Preserve, which was a topic of note at the BJRD regular board meeting Tuesday night.
Kris Myers, parks superintendent, updated the board on efforts to repair and strengthen the cabin. Once a part of the Apple Seed Girl Scout Camp, it was moved to its current site in 1968. But since becoming part of the preserve, it’s seen little, if any use.
To begin to remedy that, a group of volunteers went to work on the cabin last week, Oct. 27-29. Their efforts were based on a report from timber framer expert Rudy Christian and his wife, Laura, along with Charles Bultman, a cabin architect from Michigan.
The volunteers removed the unnecessary chimney, which let in too much moisture, and replaced some of the rotted boards. Other repairs will include a coating to protect the cabin from bugs and moisture and updating the chink between the logs.
Much of this work is possible thanks to a $1,000 grant from the Logan County Land Trust. According to Bob Stoll, president of the trust, the 1840s log cabin is “well worth saving.”
The plan is to turn this facility back into a nature center for groups and individuals. They hope it will be a place for the community to learn and experience the many wonders of the outdoors and all the preserve has to offer.
“We want to protect it, but we don’t know what to use it for,” Myers admitted. “Still, it’s a cool project.”
With youth basketball registrations now complete, Myers told the board this season will feature travel games for fourth- through sixth-graders — boys and girls teams, as well as recreational competitions. They’ll also have Little Dribblers (kindergarten and first-grade) along with a league for second- and third-graders.
In their fundamentals of wrestling program, the district has 41 registrants, up from 35 last year. Youth wrestling is offered to students in kindergarten through sixth-grade.
The district has nine youngsters registered for their adaptive bowling program, which is offered to any child between 5 and 20 years old with a physical or mental disability. For more information, visit their website at bellefontaineoh.myrec.com.
Once again the district will launch the Winter Walking program on Jan. 2, 2023. Offered from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays, the program invites residents to stroll the halls of the Bellefontaine Elementary School on nights when it’s too chilly to exercise outdoors. They’ll lock the door at 7 p.m. so the volunteer checking people in can also go for a walk. This program is offered through February. An announcement regarding other participating schools in Logan County will be made soon.
An issue with the disc golf course at Mary Rutan Park was also a topic of discussion Tuesday. The owner of a property that abuts the course has approached Myers regarding the matter of golfers climbing over the fence to retrieve discs.
“We had a problem with this last year,” Myers admitted, “but I lost track of it.”
Though there’s currently a five-foot, livestock-type fence, which is supposed to be “climbless,” it can be scaled. Signs have been ordered to indicate the private property on the other side, plus Myers is looking into adding netting to the top of the fence. In addition, he’s working with the disc golf club to readjust the course in a way that hopefully sends discs flying in other directions.
“We’re dealing with it and will do our best to get it taken care of,” Myers said.
In other board news:
• Myers announced their best attendance to the Ring of Lights event to date, with about 400 children plus family and friends taking the three-quarter of a mile walk. Twenty businesses greeted the costumed kids with treats and info packs.
• “The fields are in a good place as we head into winter,” Myers let the board know.
• The parks department will plant 15 shade trees over the next few weeks at the dog park, near the tennis courts—but not too near, and along several streets. Some will act as memorials.
• Finances are where they’re expected at this time of year.
• Work to remove the old playground at Ratliff Park started Wednesday and prepping for the new one will begin next week.
• Myers encouraged board members to attend the First Friday Best Hometown event Friday, Nov. 4, at 5:30 p.m. at the Logan County Courthouse. The downtown celebration will include special guests, music, retail sales and food trucks.
• In new business, Myers announced the departure of long-term board member, Karen Brady. When Brady first accepted a position on the BJRD board, two things weren’t true: the Myeerah Preserve wasn’t part of the district, and the area didn’t have a dog park. Now that Brady, who currently serves as board vice president, is retiring after 22 years, she looks back on both as her top accomplishments.
Still, Brady told the board, “It’s time to bring in new people.” However, she said she will continue to be a member of the shade tree commission.
The next BJRD meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6.