Chippewa Lake, a part of Medina County Park District (MCPD), is a recreational and ecological resource of historic and environmental significance to citizens of Medina County. Unfortunately, the lake has been experiencing harmful algal blooms (HAB) posing public health risks and threats to the recreational use of the lake.
The Save the Lake Coalition (STL), a citizen-led group of local volunteers, is partnering with MCPD and Medina Soil and Water Conservation District to develop an HAB mitigation plan.
The initial phase of the plan was a lake sediment and watershed water quality monitoring project to baseline nutrient loadings, the cause of HABs, from both in-lake and stream-fed sources. The study confirmed speculation that high phosphorus and nitrogen and low oxygen levels existed in the lake and sediment. STL fundraising paid for a portion of the study.
In the summer of 2019, Blue Green Technologies’ Lake Guard™ was successfully deployed and kept HABs in check. The park will continue to fund the project in 2021 to further prove the efficacy of the product. STL has and will continue to provide volunteer support to MCPD during this phase.
Keeping Chippewa Lake Open
In previous years, Chippewa Lake has been closed to boaters and swimmers on numerous occasions. This issue cannot be reversed quickly. Nutrient-laden sediment combines with nutrients washing into the lake with stormwater to produce harmful algal blooms that limit the use of the lake for villagers and other park users.
But the problem is farther-reaching than just Chippewa Lake. The conditions at the lake are a result of the stormwater pollution from the entire Upper Chippewa Lake Watershed. This is a problem we can only solve if we work together. That’s why we formed the Save the Lake Coalition — to be a driving force to find creative solutions to the situation.
Make your donation to
Save the Lake Coalition, c/o
Friends of Medina County Parks (501(c)(3))
Chippewa Lake recreational improvements have already been demonstrated through the efforts of the Save the Lake and Medina County Parks District partnership. The Lake experienced less closures in 2019 and 2020. More work needs to be done and you can help with your time and donations.
The entire Upper Chippewa Lake Watershed — including Chippewa Lake, the focus of the Save the Lake Coalition — will be helped by this cooperative environmental fact-finding project involving Save the Lake, Medina County Park District and the Medina Soil and Water Conservation District.
Donations can be sent to the Save the Lake Coalition c/o Friends of Medina County Parks.
Friends of Medina County Parks is a 501(c)(3) focused on environmental quality and protection. The treasurer is Thomas K. James, former director of Medina County Park District, 6364 Deerview Lane, Medina, Ohio 44256.
You can also donate via our Give Lively page.
A Brief History
Formed by natural processes as glaciers receded from the landscape some 14,000 years ago, this 330-acre body of water briefly lost its title as the state’s largest inland lake to Aurora Lake in Portage County. However, MCPD research showed Aurora Lake had been significantly expanded by man-made impoundments, while Chippewa Lake had been slightly reduced over the past 150 years.
Extensive wetlands that once spread out of the north and south of Chippewa Lake had been laboriously drained to expose new ground for agricultural activities. These activities have certainly increased nutrient-loading, as have new building projects and stormwater pollution.
This is where Chippewa Lake stands today. Will the lake remain a viable recreation asset to the community in the future? Is there enough concern for the entire Upper Chippewa Lake Watershed to make a real difference?