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Month: May 2023

MWCD Invites You to Capture the Canvas for a Chance to Win $1,000!


The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) invites you to hit the trails this summer for a chance to win fabulous prizes while having a great time outdoors with your family and friends!

The MWCD has partnered with five local schools in a promotion that encourages residents to get outdoors and explore the trails at MWCD parks. With materials given by MWCD, students painted canvases that will be on display on MWCD trails throughout the district. Participating schools and the locations of their artwork are:

  • Conotton Valley High School: Atwood Lake Park
  • Lucas High School: Charles Mill Lake Park
  • New Philadelphia High School: Pleasant Hill Lake Park
  • Caldwell High School: Seneca Lake Park
  • Starlight School: Tappan Lake Park

Guests are encouraged to try and find all five canvases at each of the MWCD parks and can have a maximum of three entries. First prize is $1,000 cash sponsored by Encino Energy, second prize is a weekend stay at the deluxe log cabin at Pleasant Hill Lake Park, and third prize is a one-day boat rental from a MWCD-operated marina.

“We are extremely excited to collaborate with local school districts to encourage people to explore our trails and experience nature at one of our parks,” said Ryan McCleaster, MWCD Chief of Recreation. “These students are so talented, so to also have an opportunity to display their artwork in such a unique way is an honor.”

The artwork will be on display, and the contest will run from Memorial Day through Labor Day. To enter, visit one of the MWCD park locations and search for the canvas on the trail. Once found, take a “selfie”, or have someone take your photograph. The photo must include yourself, along with the canvas in the background to prove you found the canvas. Visit to enter your information, upload your photo, for contest rules and trail maps. Must be 18 years of age to participate.

May is American Wetlands Month

Wetlands are defined by areas of land that are saturated with water for most of the year. They often occur at the mouths of rivers, around lakes and streams, as well as alongside coastlines. There are four types of wetlands that occur in Ohio: Marshes, bogs, fens and swamps (source from Ohio DNR website). One of the most significant wetlands in the Muskingum Watershed is the Killbuck Marsh in Holmes County. Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area is a protected area that covers 5,703 acres located 2 miles east of Shreve.

Marshes are formed when a water body starts to fill up with peat (decaying plant debris). As the bottom of the pond fills with peat, woody and herbaceous plants will grow. The peat, along with the plants growing on the bottom of the pond, help to create a water supply table that acts as a filter for incoming water, as well as flood control, soaking up excess water like a sponge.

In 2015, with assistance from MWCD’s Partners in Watershed Management Program funds, the Holmes County Park District acquired 63 acres of land surrounding Killbuck Marsh, and another 35 acres in 2017. The acquisition of this property helps to ensure continued protection of this resource, which includes maintaining good water quality and wildlife habitat. This also allows for the area to be used for educational programming.

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District recognizes the valuable role wetlands play in the environment to maintain clean water, protect biodiversity, and to provide unique recreational opportunities for the public. Collaboration with other organizations to manage, protect and enhance the value of wetlands found in the Muskingum Watershed is important to MWCD and is part of the 5-year strategic plan for the Conservation Department.

It’s a Dog’s Life at MWCD Lakes!

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) is pleased to announce that all MWCD campsites are now officially 100% pet friendly! In addition, select cabins at each lake will now allow pets.

“We love our pets and know our guests do too.  Over the last few years, we have seen an increase in popularity of families traveling and camping with pets,” said Adria Bergeron, Director of Marketing and Communications. “Our camp areas have been mostly pet-friendly for many years, but demand has caused us to review our rules, and as a result pet restricted areas are a thing of the past.”

Some tips on camping with your well-behaved pet include ensuring they are up to date on required vaccinations, registration, and identification. In addition, don’t forget to pack a dog bowl and food, dog water dish, outdoor toys, and most importantly, a leash!

The MWCD lakes offer hiking trails, marinas with boat rentals, and plenty of green space to allow your furry family member to enjoy nature. While Atwood Lake Park is currently the only location with a dog park, more locations are under consideration in the future.

While pets will be permitted in all areas, they must be on a leash and owners must clean up after their pets.  Those not following our rules will be asked to leave our parks.  And for cabins, a non-refundable $50 per pet fee will also be applied for cabin guests.


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