Located on Oak Hill Rd, this park was officially dedicated on October 15th, 2011. It has many wonderful features, including a 1.7 mile long trail, named in honor of Donald and Alice Noble. The 10-feet wide paved section is for walking, jogging, or biking and the adjacent grass berm is wide enough for cross country skiing. Included in the park is the City's first official sledding hill, intended to bring more families together for winter recreation. The park's path can be linked into the other paths along the city's northern corridor, creating nearly eight miles of walking and biking trails. Situated about 100-yards from the park's entrance is a large pavilion donated by the Rotary Club of Wooster for community and educational gatherings. Near the pavilion, an eighth-mile trail geared for people who may not have the time or ability to use the longer and hillier terrain was donated by Joan and Gene Buehler. Named in their honor, this gradual path will help handicapped individuals safely use wheelchairs and walkers to enjoy the surrounding flora.
Several years ago, the Donald and Alice Noble Foundation purchased 100 acres of farmland on the crest of Oak Hill to preserve it from further residential development. Using an Ohio Public Works Commission Clean Ohio grant, the land was acquired by the City of Wooster and the Noble Foundation donated the receipts of that acquisition to the Wayne County Community Foundation to establish the Oak Hill Park Fund. This designated fund was created to be used solely for the design, construction, and maintenance of the park.
In late August of 2011, the College of Wooster freshman class helped landscape the area by adding over 150 trees and 7,000 native Ohio prairie plants as part of their orientation week. The goal is to return the park back to much of it native prairie landscape, adding a detention pond to catch runoff, and include rain gardens. In addition to that work 150 volunteers from the Church of the Nazarene worked October 8th, planting trees, seeding a section of Ohio Prairie and installing lawn areas.
Invasive Vegetation Removal at Oak Hill Park:
If you have visited Oak Hill Park within the last week you may have noticed, and perhaps questioned, your city’s Park/Urban Forestry crews presence performing tree removal work. We are NOT removing native trees but are in the process of controlling invasive vegetation throughout the park. In particular, last week crews were removing a hardwood identified as the Callery Pear. As of 2018, the Callery Pear was categorized by the State of Ohio Department of Natural Resources as being invasive. As of January 2023, it is illegal to sell and plant Callery Pear in Ohio.
The Callery Pear is native to Asia and was introduced to the United States in the early 1900s. One of many concerning attributes of this invasive tree is its ability of self-seeding which, in turn, can quickly establish dense thickets impacting wildlife movement in invaded areas. With the assistance of volunteer personnel and your City of Wooster’s Park/Urban Forestry crew, our hopes are to remediate these non-native species to allow for the full potential of native vegetation, as well as a safe means for wildlife habitat throughout the park.
A few eager and passionate volunteers are in the planning stages of forming an organized committee to better help establish and coordinate a management plan for our beloved Oak Hill Park. If you’re interested in assisting our efforts, please contact the City of Wooster Public Properties Maintenance Division at 330.263.5275 and provide your contact information.
For more information regarding the Callery Pear click link below: