LEWIS CENTER — Preservation Parks of Delaware County is inviting the public to an open house next week to see the concept plan for a new property.
The open house is from 4-7 p.m. on June 8 in Orange Friends Church, 3467 E. Orange Road, Lewis Center. The church is near the new park. Attendees may see the plans and speak to Preservation Parks staff. There will be exhibits on habitat restoration projects and planned facilities as well.
“The new park site consists of gently rolling topography, mature woods, prairies, streams, and access to Alum Creek,” Preservation Parks posted on Facebook. “Proposed amenities include a trail system, restored forests, renovated Bicentennial barn for year-round rental, farm-themed playground, fishing access and an adventure exercise area.”
McCammon Creek Park, home to the county’s Bicentennial Barn, is a 234-acre site on Bale-Kenyon Road. The barn can be seen from Interstate 71.
“The McCammon family has owned this land, which contains woodland, farmland, creeks, and frontage along Alum Creek, for more than four generations,” said Parks Deputy Director Mary VanHaaften in a Gazette story from 2020. “Several years ago, the McCammon family approached Preservation Parks of Delaware County about its desire to protect this land in perpetuity for public benefit, and in 2016, Preservation Parks began acquiring portions of the property.”
That included the barn, which Robert and Sue (McCammon) Postle donated to Preservation Parks in 2019.
“Several family members still live close by,” read a Preservation Parks proposal to name a creek on the park property. “In honor of the family’s long history in the area and its commitment to land preservation for public enjoyment, the Park District is requesting to name an unnamed tributary to Alum Creek after the McCammon family: McCammon Creek. The Park District further intends to name the park McCammon Creek Park, in honor of the family and beauty of the protected creek.”
The parks board approved the name change.
Subdivisions near the park along East Orange Road also bear the McCammon name.
According to Preservation Parks, Zelma Bale’s ancestor, Lee Hurlburt, built a log cabin above the creek in 1812. Zelma married John McCammon (1875-1955) and owned the land at Bale Kenyon and Orange roads. They had five children who lived on three farms at Bale Kenyon and Orange roads. Preservation Parks is a member of the Delaware County History Network, and the Delaware County Historical Society supported the creek name change as well.
For those individuals unable to attend the open house, the district said the plans will be available on its website at preservationparks.com.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.