A Day Out at Schoepfle Gardens

The Westlake Garden Club took a field trip to Schoepfle Gardens, part of the Lorain County Metro Parks, in Wakeman, Ohio. Otto Schoepfle purchased the house and 80 acres of land once owned by his grandparents in 1936. He did not start out to create a botanical garden, in fact he referred to it sometimes as “the garden that grew.” He traveled Europe and North America learning about different botanical varieties and methods, coming home after each trip with new ideas. This continual pursuit of learning became a dominant force in his philosophy of life. In 1969 Otto arranged to leave the garden to Lorain County Metro Parks but continued to live in the house and manage and maintain the gardens until his death in 1992. The garden now stands as a monument to his values of continual learning and appreciation of both cultivated and natural beauty. In addition to a large variety of trees, the gardens are seasonal with the star being the Rhododendrons in June. June also brings a beautiful palette of colors in the Iris garden. The park offers tram rides throughout the gardens and tours of the house. There is a children’s area with a carousel. We had a wonderful day at the park with box lunches and good companionship.


The Cuyahoga Valley National Park in our Backyard

Karen Patterson talked to our garden club about National Parks in general, and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in particular.  Karen is a retired history teacher, former seasonal park ranger and currently a volunteer with the CVNP.  The park has so much to offer and is just a short drive from anywhere in the greater Cleveland area.  The CVNP encompasses 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron, OH.  Managed by the National Park Service, it combines cultural, historical, recreational and natural  activities in one setting.  The Ohio and Erie Canal is located within the park along which the Towpath trail is located.  The Towpath is used for hiking, running and biking.  Also located within the park is the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Visitors can ride the excursion railroad from Rockside Road to Akron with many stops in between.  The railroad offers a Bike Aboard option where bikers can board the train at any station with their bike and ride as far as they want for $3. There are many hiking and bridle trails in the park as well as historic buildings and the historic canal locks.  The Countryside Conservancy has reestablished working family farms in CVNP through the Countryside Initiative program.  If you have not visited the national park in our backyard, please put it on your bucket list.  We have a real gem just a short drive away that offers something for everyone to learn from and enjoy.


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