In the 1940s, James Metzenbaum discovered a 100-acre parcel of land in Chester Township which he purchased as a memorial to his late wife, Bessie Benner Metzenbaum. James deeded this land to the Bessie Benner Metzenbaum Foundation and it was used by various children’s organizations, including the YMCA and the Girl Scouts. In 1965, Metzenbaum School was constructed. This school is focused on enhancing the lives of people with developmental disabilities.
Bessie Benner Metzenbaum Park is designed to be enjoyed by visitors of all abilities. There is a playground, restrooms, accessible trails, and a picnic shelter, which can be reserved HERE. Follow this link to see a map and brochure of the park.
As far as wildlife goes, you are sure to see a variety of birds and may even catch a glimpse of the beavers near the dam that they have built in the surrounding wetlands. Dense thicket near the creek provides cover to the birds and other small animals. The majority of the property is covered with a mature beech-maple woods as well as two conifer plantations. Many beautiful wildflowers scatter the hillside in the spring.
The Summit Trail ascends the sandstone knoll to an overlook that offers a canopy view of the surrounding forest. The paved Evergreen Trail loops through the beech woods and conifer plantation, while the boardwalk on the Griswold Creek Trail takes visitors across the stream and through the wetlands. If you want to take a relaxing stroll through the woods, this park is perfect any time of the year.
With winter upon us, I thought I would share this video about why winter and the snow are so important. This is the winter adventure video filmed last winter, so the part at the end of the video about the Snowbelted exhibit going on at the West Woods is not current. But, John does provide us with lots of great information. He has such a fun job!
[This video was provided by the Geauga Park District. Check out more videos by the Geauga Park District HERE]
So, if you are looking for just a short walk with your dogs, like this guy we met last week when we visited the park, or somewhere to have a nice picnic, consider visiting Bessie Benner Metzenbaum Park.
Take a hike, bring your binoculars and your camera, and enjoy what nature has to offer.
Bessie Benner Metzenbaum Park
7940 Cedar Rd
The online home for Bessie Benner Metzenbaum Park, from which information for this article was obtained, can be found HERE.