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Published: Wednesday, 9/28/2005

Sylvania: Poll respondents want swimming at Orlander

BY MIKE JONES
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Swimmers using the lake in Sylvania's Olander Park increased this year - and community interest is high in keeping the southwest portion of the lake reserved for swimming.

About 40 percent of respondents to a poll taken by the park system said they wanted the swimming beach to remain a feature of the Sylvania Avenue park, and another 40 percent wanted the beach to include an area with play apparatus featuring the use of water.

But for all of that interest, almost 65 percent of those responding said they never use the swimming area at Olander.

The figures were presented at the most recent meeting of the trustees of the Olander Park System.

Gary Madrzykowski, director of the park system, said the apparent dichotomy is understandable because swimming has been historically available at the park and people want to know it's available when and if they want to use the facility.

Although there had been no serious discussion about ending swimming at Olander, trustees of the system had voiced some concern about a continuing downward trend in its use and the decrease in revenue it caused. There had been some consideration to reducing the number of days it would be open.

Mr. Madrzykowski said there is competition in the area, with many families with small children using the pool at the Jewish Community Center or Sylvania's Plummer Pool; and with Centennial Terrace and Quarry, which has always been popular with teenagers.

Nevertheless, Olander offers an alternative because of its sand beach, and this past season the lake had more than 17,000 swimmers compared to about 9,100 the previous season.

The loss this season was about $7,000, compared to a deficit of about $11,000 in 2004.

During the meeting, trustees approved the purchase of a 5-acre parcel of land on Herr Road for $165,000, which has Ten Mile Creek as a northern border.

Although there are no immediate plans to begin development, Mr. Madrzykowski said the property would be ideal as a terminus for an extended University/Parks bike trail. The $7,000, compared to a deficit of about $11,000 in 2004.

During the meeting, trustees approved the purchase of a 5-acre parcel of land on Herr Road for $165,000, which has Ten Mile Creek as a northern border.

Although there are no immediate plans to begin development, Mr. Madrzykowski said the property would be ideal as a terminus for an extended University/Parks bike trail. The

site could also be used as a hub for trail spurs running north and south.

A future possibility of having a canoe livery at Ten Mile Creek may also be considered, he said.

The northern half of the property is heavily forested and will likely stay almost as it is. The southern portion eventually will be changed with the eradication of invasive plants and an expanded use of plants native to the Oak Openings habitat.



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