MIAMI COUNTY — Look out Clark Griswold, the Miami County Park District entered an agreement with Nitescapes to purchase, install and store displays for its first-ever Christmas light event at Lost Creek Reserve this coming winter.
The board of park commissioners approved the contract, which includes storage of the LED-lights, for $102,255. The park district received a grant from the Troy Foundation for $75,000 for dozens of light displays to be featured on a loop through the park using access drives around the reserve.
The park district will own the light displays and Nitescapes will store the lights and provide set-up and tear-down services for approximately $30,000 each year following the inaugural event, according to executive director Scott Myers.
Nitescapes is owned by Larry Smith and is located in Troy.
Park officials have mapped out the light display drive-through and will charge $10 per car load to cover the cost of Nitescapes’ labor and storage costs for the new event. The event will run approximately 15 days prior to the Christmas holiday. Myers estimates approximately 500 vehicles will drive-through the event each night, although he said more visitors could be expected.
The board also approved a second memorandum of understanding for a proposed Equestrian Event Center. The board approved to entered into an agreement with Human Nature Inc. for half of the cost of a conceptual master plan at a cost of $11,500. The funds for the plan were paid out of the Lost Creek Trust Fund, not general funds, according to Myers.
Last month, the Miami County Park District board entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Dayton Horse Show Association to explore the possibility of building a new covered outdoor arena and barn at Lost Creek Reserve.
Myers said the Dayton Horse Show Association (DHSA) approached park officials last fall about the possibility of building a facility on the west side of Lost Creek Reserve.
Myers said they would be open to the possibility of building a future facility. Myers said neither party is committed to the project, but the memorandum of understanding would allow the groups to discuss the feasibility of a partnership.
The DHSA was located at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in downtown Dayton for 150 years. The DHSA did not move to the new Montgomery County Fairgrounds location on Infirmary Road, near Trotwood, instead contracting with the Clark County Fair for three years to use their facilities for their show.
In other news:
Assistant operations director Dan Weaver reported the park district will expand its patrol to include night bike path patrol from April through October. Weaver said the park’s recreational trail is used during the night by those commuting to and from work on the the trail late at night or during early morning hours. Myers said grants from state transportation sources have encouraged the park district to think of the trails as transportation links and not just exclusively recreational trails. Weaver said the park rangers will be trained to include night patrol.
Weaver also commended Miami County Park District employee Austin Brown who was awarded a Civilian Citation award along with Miami County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Chris Bobb. The two assisted an elderly man who was lost in one of the county parks and helped him to safety where he made a full recovery. Weaver said Brown noticed a vehicle that had been parked for a long time in the winter time and went to check the grounds. Brown and Bobb located the elderly man who had sustained an injury and was in the cold elements for a long time and the pair likely saved his life.
Marketing administrator Amanda Smith reported the Children’s Rx for Nature program had a great response at the Great Miami Valley Riverway Summit last week. The program — Children’s Rx for Nature — is one of the first of its kind in the region and was designed to raise awareness of the importance of outdoor, nature-based activities as a complement to disease prevention and treatment strategies already in place.
Park shelter reservations was also reported to be close to being posted online for the public.
The board of park commissioners approved the following agenda items:
• An agreement with Fun Services to provide zipline entertainment at the 2019 Hug the Earth Festival for $6,045.
• An agreement with Vehicle for Change Inc. to provide Adventure Team building entertainment at the 2019 Hug the Earth Festival for $5,500.
• An agreement with Natural Fit Outdoor Adventures to provide tree climbing entertainment at the 2019 Hug the Earth Festival for $9,200.
• An agreement with Pavement Technology Inc. to apply asphalt rejuvenator to 3 miles of the Great Miami River Recreational Trail starting at Ross Road for $16,218.40.
• An agreement with Wagner Paving Inc. to complete repairs on the existing Great Miami River Recreational Trail between Tipp City and Dye Mill Road for $26,210.