Fall in Sheffield Lake

Family-friendly things to do

Fall foliage is spectacular this season. I hope you will take advantage of the last months of the year to visit one of our parks or walk or bike one of our trails to take in the change of seasons.

One place I encourage you to visit – particularly with younger children – is our newly opened Storybook Trail at Ferndale Park. It officially opened October 14 and features 17 stations along a walking path, about a half mile in length. At each station, you will find the pages of a picture book for you to read to a child or have the child practice his or her skills by reading to you. It’s a great way to get a little exercise, too. Staff from Domonkas Library will place a new book at the Storybook Trail each month from April through November. The book featured this month is “Bonaparte Falls Apart,” a Halloween-themed story about a skeleton who is falling to pieces and needs help from his pals Franky Stein, Black Widow, and Mummicula pulling himself together.

The Storybook Trail is a collaboration between the city, the Lorain Public Library System, Northcoast Rotary and Friends of Domonkas Library.

For those who have not visited Ferndale Park in recent years, you may also want to take a few minutes to watch kids showing off their skills at the Ferndale Skateboard Park. Resident Ed Honse was an early supporter of the park’s creation and remains pivotal to its success. Ed has spent many, many hours coaching kids on the finer points of skateboarding and raising funds or securing donations so kids who need skateboards or other safety equipment get them.

Before it gets too cold, you may also want to visit Gary Green Park in the center of the city where new playground equipment was recently installed. During my years as Mayor, we have worked hard to make improvements at all of our parks. Playground equipment, grills and seating have been added to each park and we will continue to make additional improvements so our families can enjoy the outdoors.

One of those coming improvements is a Splashpad. It will be at Gary Green Park and, if next summer is as hot as this past summer was, young kids will have fun cooling off there. More about this in a future message to the community.

I’m equally proud of the family-focused events taking place. In my last update, the summer arts program for our school-age kids was featured. A number of our kids and families also marched in the Community Days Parade in July. Our Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Joyce Hanks Community Center will be Saturday, Dec. 10 at 5 p.m. Following the tree lighting, our popular family-friendly Christmas Party will be held inside the center. Watch the city website for details. Many also bring canned goods donations to the Christmas Party to help community members who make use of the Food Pantry at the civic center. I want to thank Julia Mohrbach and Julia Pyle for their efforts in creating the first Christmas Party in 2016. For six years, they made sure the party had plenty of fun holiday activities to entertain kids. We are grateful for their commitment to the city as they move into the next stages of higher education and careers.

Keeping our kids safe is a priority we all share. Our safety forces, in particular, do a lot without much fanfare. For example, in the morning as school buses pick kids up, officers pay special attention to bus routes making sure kids stay safe as they wait. Our police and fire departments host safety fairs to give kids and parents a chance to meet, visit their quarters and explore vehicles. This year, they met our new police dog for the first time while visiting with our police and fire chiefs and members of the safety departments. They also speak to school and youth groups and our police department participates in Safety Town every year. All of this is meant to build and maintain a positive relationship between police and firefighter/paramedics with our kids and their families.

This year seems to have flown by and 2022 will soon be in our rearview mirrors. I wish your family my very best this holiday season. Mayor Dennis Bring