Foundation reaches out to conservancy district region
April 3, 2012
It’s been nearly 20 years since the formation of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy Foundation (MWCF).
And a lot of ground – and projects – have been covered, with a lot more to come, according to members of the MWCF Board of Trustees.
The MWCF is a publicly supported charitable organization initially organized in 1996 that is dedicated to supporting the mission of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD). While the MWCF is completely independent from the MWCD, with its own Board of Trustees, it has developed charitable funds that support improvements and programs on and around MWCD facilities.
Some of the projects it has funded or assisted in funding include development of a dog park at Atwood Lake Park, a new ranger cruiser at Charles Mill Lake Park, play equipment at various locations, safety and response equipment for a ranger cruiser at Pleasant Hill Lake Park, courtesy boat docks at Tappan Lake, an oil tank for FFA Camp Muskingum located at Leesville Lake, automated external defibrillator (AED) devices at many MWCD facilities, a multi-purpose trail plan for the Atwood Lake region, a weather warning system for the Seneca Lake Park region and ice rescue equipment for the Village of Carrollton. Since 2008, approximately $100,000 has been awarded by the MWCF for projects.
Several charitable funds have been established to assist with specific projects or lake locations, or for general projects and improvements at specific lakes.
The funds include:
MWCF Charitable Endowment Fund – the fund provides for projects throughout the MWCD region and facilities.
Atwood Lake Park Amphitheater Fund – established after the MWCD signed an agreement in 2009 to host the Alive Festival at Atwood Lake Park, the fund provides for the development of the main staging area for the festival and other family-friendly activities.
Atwood Lake Park Fund – established through an agreement between the MWCD and the Atwood Area Fall Festival Committee in 2002, the fund provides for a percentage of gate fees from the festival held in the park each fall to be contributed for improvement projects at the park.
Butch Heavilin Atwood Lake Park Dog Fund – established in memory of one of the lake area’s best-known residents after his death in an accident, the fund provides for the construction and care of a dog park located near the main entrance to the park.
Thomas W. Hudson Endowment Fund – established in 1996 in memory of the avid Atwood Lake sailor, the fund supports conservation and preservation projects at the lake.
James R. Pitney Law Enforcement Fund – established following the death of the Charles Mill Lake Park ranger after an accident in the park in 2002, the fund provides for training and education benefits for MWCD park rangers in Charles Mill and Pleasant Hill lake parks, as well as law enforcement personnel in Ashland and Richland counties.
Messerly Activity Building Fund – established through the generosity of Charles Mill Lake Park’s activities director, the fund was established for the construction of an activities center facility at the park.
Piedmont Hunting and Fishing Club Challenge – established as a challenge, the fund provides for improvements at the lake that include, but are not limited to, projects that enhance the pan fish population at the lake.
Regis Wissler Endowment Fund – established in memory of the longtime Seneca Lake Park camper who died in 2003, the fund provides for improvement projects at the park.
Members of the MWCF Board of Trustees are the following:
Jim Schoch, chairman – a resident of Tuscarawas County and a retired banker, Schoch is a member of Atwood Yacht Club and also serves as the treasurer and executive board member of the Eastern Ohio Development Alliance.
Harry Horstman, vice chairman – a resident of Harrison County, Horstman also is a member of the MWCD Board of Directors, served as a member and former chairman of the Development Advisory Committee of the MWCD, and managed Camp Aldersgate located at Leesville Lake for 30 years.
Faye Heston, secretary/treasurer – a resident of Stark County who has served on the boards of various community service organizations, Heston also is a former member of the Development Advisory Committee of the MWCD.
Allyn Adams – a resident of the Atwood Lake area, Adams also serves on the Development Advisory Committee of the MWCD.
Jim Bates – a resident of Guernsey County and former camper at Seneca Lake Park, Bates also served as a member and former chairman of the Development Advisory Committee of the MWCD.
Bob Blanke – a resident of Harrison County and a retired metropolitan parks official, Blanke also has served as a member and former chairman of the Development Advisory Committee of the MWCD.
John M. Hoopingarner – a resident of Tuscarawas County, Hoopingarner is the executive director of the MWCD.
Leslie Hudson-Carper – a resident of Summit County, Hudson-Carper is a financial advisor and has been an active sailor at Atwood Lake for many years.
David Parham – a resident of the Atwood Lake area, Parham also is a member of the MWCD Board of Directors.
Joe Sommer – a Stark County resident, Sommer was a former member of the MWCD Board of Directors and is a former director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, as well as serving as chief of staff for Ohio Gov. Richard Celeste in the 1980s.
For more details about the foundation, including donation options, visit www.muskingumfoundation.org or contact Nick Lautzenheiser toll-free at (877) 363-8500 Ext. 2256.
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