Buckeye Lake dam is a rare place where state officials have allowed homes on a publicly owned dam. In the 1890’s, Ohio officials encouraged people to build fishing cottages on the North and West Banks to help convert it from a canal feeder pond to a recreational lake. That eventually led to the large modern homes we have today and residents investing considerable time, money and creativity in landscaping public property and maintaining it.
The result was a wonderful, unique ambiance where people from around the area enjoyed walking the tow path, looking at the latest improvements, talking to residents and enjoying the wildlife. It was a rich, community asset enjoyed by people from all walks of life. ODNR destroyed that asset and plans to turn the towpath into a sterile strip of grass and concrete. The dam absolutely has to be brought up to modern safety standards and ODNR is building a dam that will be abundantly safe.
Afterwards, there would be NO danger in allowing residents to reinvest in landscaping the old, abandoned dam to recreate the historical ambiance. It’s possible a significant portion of the local community liked the towpath the way it was and would prefer that ambiance over a sterilized strip of grass and concrete. ODNR says it wants community input, perhaps a formal community survey is in order. Trees, shrubs, flowers and landscaping or concrete and grass?