What better way would there be to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Clermont County Park District than with the dedication of its latest park?
A 56-acre tract of land on Tealtown Road is the latest addition to the Clermont County Park District open to the public following a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday.
“Over the last 40 years the county has benefited greatly from the generosity of individuals,” Clermont Parks Director Chris Clingman said.
"My husband had a special relationship with this land and I am pleased that the community will now be able to enjoy it for generations to come," Shor said.
David Shor was a horse trainer and in the 1970's he began work on the farm owned by the Baker family. They were heavily involved in Ohio's effort to raise quality racehorses born and bred within the state. Shor later purchased the property and in December 2003, his wife decided to sell the property to the Clermont County Park District in an effort to preserve the natural beauty she has enjoyed over the years.
"I didn't want to develop it. I wanted to ensure it remains a special place," Short said. "I would like the community to enjoy the beauty of nature, and for all the creatures that inhabit this land to continue to benefit from its life giving forces."
Clingman said Shor's dream could not be realized without financial backing and support from the community. He thanked the Union Township trustees for their efforts beginning in 2006. County Engineer Pat Manger also worked with the park district to redesign the intersection of Tealtown Road and Schoolhouse Road to ensure park patrons could safely enter and exit the park. A grant through the Ohio Department of Transportation finances the purchase of gravel and asphalt for the project.
"This has all come together through many partnerships," trustee Tim Donnellon said. "This is an outstanding contribution to the entire community. We are very proud to have this beautiful county park in our township."
Part of the agreement with Sylvia Shor includes limiting development in the park to the five acres closest to Schoolhouse Road. That development will include an ADA accessible playground and paved walking trail, restrooms, picnic shelters, and exercise trails. Unpaved hiking trails extending into the undeveloped portion of the property are already in place. The parking lot was designed without storm drains. Runoff water is instead filtered through a series of grassy areas planted with local marsh plants and trees, which will filter the water before it enters a creek on the property. A similar so-called "rain garden" will be built where the creek enters the property to slow erosion along the creek in both Shor Park and the Cincinnati Nature Center, which borders the park on two sides.
Clermont Commissioner Bob Proud thanked the Clermont County Park District board for their vision and dedication in taking on the new park project. He then thanked Shor for her donation.
"Today we dedicate this park in honor of David and to honor you Sylvia," Proud said. "Everyone that walks these trails will enjoy the legacy that you and David have left us."
David and Sylvia Shor's nephew, Stuart Hodesh, attended the ceremony with other members of the Shor family. He said he had fond memories of coming to the farm with his uncle.
"He loved to ride horses," Hodesh said. "He was a businessman but he loved the outdoors. He was a true outdoorsman. A man's man."
Thanks to Sylvia Shor's kindness residents of Union Township and Clermont County will be able to enjoy the natural beauty of the farm her husband once worked hard to maintain. They will not be able to enjoy Shor's favorite part of the property. She said her favorite part of the farm was the well water the Bakers pumped from the high water table.
"I used to come out every couple of weeks to get the well water," Shor said. "I would bring a few plastic jugs and fill them up to take home."