Our Partners in Conservation and Recreation

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) is fortunate that it has partners on the federal, state, watershed and local levels that enhance the MWCD's work to fulfill its mission.

From stocking of fish in the MWCD lakes to operation of the dams, the conservancy district benefits from the expertise and support of trained professionals at these agencies and the dedicated volunteers at others. Officials from the organizations meet routinely with MWCD representatives for planning and discussion of shared issues.

Conservation Partners  Recreation Partners

Conservation Partners


 Buckeye Hills Resource Conservation and Development Council is a Southeast Ohio non-profit organization focused on improving water quality and clean air, sustainable agriculture, low input farming methods and rural development as it pertains to the social and economic well-being of the rural sector and is sponsored by the Board of Supervisors of the Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the county commissioners for Athens, Belmont, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry and Washington counties. The MWCD and Rush Creek Conservancy District also are sponsors.

 Crossroads RC&D is a regional not-for-profit organization that helps people care for and protect their natural resources in a way that will improve the economy, environment and quality of life in Eastern Ohio. They assist local groups in accomplishing projects that improve their communities. The MWCD has participated in numerous projects under leadership of the Crossroads RC&D staff.

 Friends of Lower Muskingum River (FLMR) is a partnership of organizations and individuals whose mission is to restore, protect and maintain the physical, chemical and biological integrity of the Muskingum River and to protect and promote its natural, cultural, historic and socioeconomic resources.

 Huff Run Watershed Restoration Partnership Inc., located in northern Tuscarawas County, is a citizen-based catalyst group formed in 1996. The ultimate goal of the Partnership is to return Huff Run to its original warm water habitat. The group conducts extensive environmental education and works closely with government agencies to accomplish their restoration mission.

 The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has worked with conservation districts and others throughout the United States to help landowners, as well as federal, state, tribal and local governments and community groups by seeking and promoting cooperative efforts to achieve conservation goals; providing information and assistance to encourage and enable locally-led, watershed-scale conservation; facilitating the growth of market-based opportunities that encourage the private sector to invest in conservation on private lands.

 The Northeast Ohio Four County Regional Planning and Development Organization (NEFCO) was formed in 1974 as a council of governments by the elected officials within Portage, Stark, Summit and Wayne counties. NEFCO's primary purpose is to serve the county, city, village and township governments, and the citizens within the four-county area. On behalf of these local units of government, NEFCO produces a series of studies or plans supporting the local plans in order to help maximize the return of federal tax dollars to the region. Through communication, planning, coordination and technical assistance, NEFCO addresses issues which cross jurisdictional boundaries. Such issues as the environment, economic development, transportation, housing and land development are regional problems which require locally conceived regional solutions.

 The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the MWCD cooperate in a number of aspects, and have since the organization of the conservancy district in 1933. The MWCD annually receives a grant from ODNR's Division of Watercraft for marine patrol operations. Grants also have been obtained from ODNR for numerous other MWCD construction and improvement projects.

The MWCD lakes and most of the surrounding land owned by the MWCD are open for public use, including boating, fishing, hunting, hiking and other activities. ODNR's Division of Wildlife annually stocks the fish in the MWCD lakes and conducts other wildlife research and development efforts at the reservoirs as part of a memorandum of understanding between the MWCD and ODNR.

The MWCD lakes are located through three separate districts of jurisdiction of the Division of Wildlife. In District 3 in the northeast portion of the state, the MWCD lakes include Atwood, Beach City, Clendening, Leesville and Tappan. District 4 handles activities at Piedmont, Seneca and Wills Creek lakes, while District 2 encompasses Charles Mill and Pleasant Hill lakes.


 The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the MWCD have cooperated since the formation of the MWCD for highway relocations, bridge construction, rights of way and maintenance and repair of roads. As part of this effort, ODOT provides an annual paving program for the MWCD to maintain access roads for the MWCD parks, launch ramps and marinas.

 Ohio State University OARDC is a premier institution committed to safe, healthy and affordable food and agricultural products; sustainable food and agricultural systems; strong rural and urban communities; stewardship of natural resources and the environment; keeping Ohio positioned favorably in a global economy.

 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) assumed flood control operations of the 14 MWCD dams under the 1939 Flood Control Act. The dams continue to be operated by the USACE's Huntington (W.Va.) District Office. The Muskingum Area Office is located off Rt. 800 just north of

MWCD's partnership with the USACE spans much of the history of the MWCD, through the construction of the system of reservoirs and dams, passage of the Federal Flood Control Act of 1939 that transferred ownership of the dams to the federal government and today as the USACE embarks on safety upgrades at the dams.

Officials of the USACE and MWCD meet twice each year in accordance with their formal partnering agreement to discuss common goals and issues. The agencies have assigne d various staff membe rs to study designated areas of interest and make recommendations to the administrations of each.


 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. Objectives of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service include: assisting in the development and application of an environmental stewardship ethic for our society, based on ecological principles, scientific knowledge of fish and wildlife, and a sense of moral responsibility; guiding the conservation, development, and management of the Nation's fish and wildlife resources; and administering a national program to provide the public opportunities to understand, appreciate, and wisely use fish and wildlife resources.

 The U.S. Forest Service is a federal agency that manages public lands in national forests and grasslands. The Forest Service is also the largest forestry research organization in the world, and provides technical and financial assistance to state and private forestry agencies through: protection and management of natural resources on National Forest System lands; research on all aspects of forestry, rangeland management, and forest resource utilization; community assistance and cooperation with state and local governments, forest industries, and private landowners to help protect and manage non-federal forest and associated range and watershed lands to improve conditions in rural areas; achieving and supporting an effective workforce that reflects the full range of diversity of the American people; international assistance in formulating policy and coordinating U.S. support for the protection and sound management of the world's forest resources.

 The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) serves the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

 The Wilderness Center, located in Stark County near Wilmot, is dedicated "To Connect our Community with Nature, Educate People of All Ages, Conserve Natural Resources and Practice Environmental Stewardship.


Recreation Partners


 Alive Christian Music Festival - Through an agreement between the MWCD and the Alive Festival organization, the event is held in a portion of Atwood Park, including in an amphitheater that serves as the main stage. The Alive Festival annually attracts thousands of fans from throughout the United States who enjoy music, entertainment, presentations and other attractions and events. Tickets for the event are available on the fesitval's website at www.alive.org.

 Ashland County Park District - With 10 park locations throughout the county, the Ashland County Park District offers numerous outdoor recreational opportunities for visitors, ranging from hiking and bird watching, to canoe, hunting and much more.

 Atwood Fall Festival - A celebration of the fall season, the festival is planned and sponsored by a committee of local residents and volunteers. Featuring constant entertainment, crafts and other items, along with food prepared by area civic, social and church organizations, the three-day festival attracts thousands of visitors each year. Held rain or shine, the festival also boasts a giant car show on the final day each year, with hundreds of entries. Other entertainment and activities include a Moccasin Trail Pow-Wow Gathering, horse and pony wagon rides, antique engine show, American Revolutionary War encampment and the Spirit of America miniature train ride. The Atwood Area Fall Festival is scheduled each year on the first full weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) in October. www.AtwoodFallFest.org

 Atwood Lake Boats features two marinas at Atwood Lake - Atwood Lake Boats West near the entrance to Atwood Lake Park and Atwood Lake Boats East located just outside the village of Dellroy. The full-service marinas offer boat sales and service, equipment, overnight docking, boat launch ramps, boat and equipment rentals and food service. Atwood Lake Boats West is the home of Lighthouse Bistro restaurant and the East Marina is home of The Dock restaurant.

 Atwood Yacht Club (AYC) has provided its members with social boating activities for all ages for more than 60 years. AYC is a private club located on property leased from the MWCD. The focal point of the club is its spacious clubhouse, offering dining, meeting and locker room facilities. From virtually any spot in the club, including a wide porch, members enjoy a panoramic view of Atwood Lake.

 Charles Mill Marina is located inside the entrance to Charles Mill Lake Park and is a full-service marina. The staff at Charles Mill Marina has more than 120 years of experience in the marine industry. Boat sales, service and rentals are available, along with overnight docking and a whole range of services to maximize a visitor's experience at the lake.
  Mohican Sailing Club, located at Charles Mill Lake, the Mohican Sailing Club is a non-profit cooperative organization built, maintained and managed entirely by club members. Founded in 1945, the purpose of the club remains to bring to the area the means and facilities for family participation in sailing and one-design sailboat racing. The club is a member of the Inter-lake Yachting Association (ILYA) and, therefore, its members are entitled to privileges at other member clubs, mostly in the Great Lakes area.

 Pleasant Hill Marina, located inside the entrance to Pleasant Hill Lake Park, is open from April through mid-October. The marina, operated by the owners of Charles Mill Marina, offers boat sales through its parent marina. It also features one of the largest and newest rental boat fleets in the state of Ohio. Overnight docking and wide range of boater services also are available.

 The Pleasant Hill Outdoor Center is a Christian camp for families located at Pleasant Hill Lake. In operation for more than 50 years, the camp offers a range of summer camp programs, as well as sessions for team building and organizations.

 The Sailing Buckeyes Yacht Club is a group of individuals sailing on Atwood Lake. The club is made up of families and friends with the goal "to promote and develop the art of sailing and good seamanship among the general public, and to promote sailing as a family sport with a balanced program of cruising and racing."

 The Seneca Lake Baptist Assembly, a camp and retreat facility at Seneca Lake, strives to provide the best possible camping environment to encourage prayer, salvation, discipleship and leadership development. The camp is used for sponsored events throughout the summer and is available in the offseason period for church or association retreats.
 Stark Parks, the Stark County Park District, was organized in 1967 and today oversees numerous facilities and locations that have won awards on the local, state and national levels. The mission of Stark Parks is "to acquire, preserve and develop natural areas for passive recreation, conservation, education and nature appreciation." The district manages more than 80 miles of walking and bicycle trails, 38 miles of equestrian trails, 13 parks, 746 educational programs for more than 36,000 participants, 46 distance learning programs, and 7,000 acres of property for public use.

 Tappan Lake Marina, located off Rt. 250 in Harrison County, is a full-service marina. Featuring boat and motor sales and service, the marina also offers boat rentals, overnight docking and wide range of boater services. A marina restaurant and family vacation cabin rentals also are available.