News and Events

New Park Board Commissioner Joins in 2023

The Pickaway County Park District is excited to welcome Jeff Phillips as our newest Pickaway County Park Board of Commissioners!

Jeff Phillips and wife, Kari Hammer-Phillips, have been residents of Pickaway County for 30 years. He has served as the executive director of the Pickaway County Family YMCA since April 2013.

He worked for the Pickaway County Educational Service Center from 2009-2013, providing marketing, public relations and communication services to the ESC and Circleville City and Westfall Local school districts and Pickaway-Ross Career & Technology Center. Prior to working with school districts, Jeff owned and operated Mencken Communications Group, LLC, a Columbus-based marketing and communications company. He began his professional life as a newspaper reporter and editor, working for newspapers in Medina, Ohio; Bay City, Michigan; and Columbus.

A Grand Rapids, Michigan native, Phillips and his three brothers were raised by parents who were avid outdoor enthusiasts. Family activities included camping, hiking, ice skating, snow skiing, fishing and hunting. In fact, Jeff learned to ice skate and ski at age 3. Jeff and Kari have been avid campers and hikers over their 36-year marriage.

Boxer dogs are another passion for Jeff and Kari. They have been breeders and exhibitors of champion Boxers under the Logan Elm Boxers kennel name since 1991. They are members of the Miami Valley Boxer Club and American Boxer Club.

A shared love among Jeff and his brothers is athletics, as they participated in ice hockey, ski racing, baseball, football, track and rugby. Jeff has served as a high school football coach for 21 years.

In addition to the parks commission, Jeff serves on the boards of Pickaway County Community Action (PICCA) and Foundations4Youth. He is a member of the Pumpkin Show Parade Committee and Circleville Sunrise Rotary.

 2023 Park Program Schedule

Rain Barrel Workshop

Register Today for this hands on Workshop!

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Pickaway County Park District Acquire New Park

The Pickaway County Park District is excited to announce our partnership with Appalachia Ohio Alliance (AOA) on the purchase of the former Cooks Creek Golf Course.  In April of 2022, AOA purchased the 324 acre golf course from the James Cook family to conserve, protect and restore the property.  The Park District is very thankful that the Cook family wanted their property to be retained as a natural preserve and park, given how quickly farmland and green spaces are disappearing in Pickaway County, especially in Harrison and Scioto Townships. This new preserve will provide a place for the flora and fauna of the property to thrive, and for the public to experience some exceptional passive outdoor recreational opportunities in the future.

In one of the first such partnerships, the Park District has purchased 25 acres of the former golf club, including the clubhouse, associated maintenance buildings, paved parking lots and the entry road from AOA.  The Park District will utilize the site for a passive nature park for the Pickaway County community and will utilize the clubhouse as our new Park District headquarters and a future nature center. Many of the existing golf cart paths on AOA’s neighboring property will be retained for public walking and nature observation.

The new preserve provides exceptional habitat for many species of breeding and migratory birds.  Travel paths such as the Scioto River Flyway Corridor are especially important for migrating neotropical birds and waterfowl.  The site also provides excellent habitat for other migrating species such as bats and butterflies.

In 2023 the Park District will concentrate on moving its headquarters to this new location and completing a master plan for the clubhouse and the surrounding 25 acres. Once plans are completed and necessary improvements are made, the District is hopeful to open its new park to the public sometime in 2024.

The District will be selling various surplus items from Cooks Creek Golf Course on GovDeals.com . Items for auction will be posted at various times. If you have questions about items for sale or the process please give our office a call at 740-420-5451

New StoryWalk Trail!

Learn More Here

New Park Board Commissioner Joins in 2022

The Pickaway County Park District is excited to welcome Cindy Whited as our newest Pickaway County Park Board of Commissioners!

In the late 1990’s my family took our first vacation to specifically explore the National Parks of Utah and Arizona. Up to this point we had never explored any national, state or local parks. This trip was a life changing experience for our whole family. We have become keenly interested in the natural world and how we can enjoy, promote and protect all aspects of the world around us. We frequent parks on a regular basis to hike, bird watch and attend and assist with programs.

These great park experiences led me to take the training to become a certified volunteer naturalist. Since 2009, I have been an active member of the Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist organization, assisting park rangers and naturalists with a variety of programs and hikes for a wide age range. I have also completed various orientations and training sessions with the Columbus Metro Parks and the Fairfield County Parks System. For several years I have served as an environmental educator for the Department of Natural Areas and Preserves and with Big Brothers and Big Sisters at their environmental camp, Camp OtyOkwa in Hocking County. I am an active member of the Pickaway County Historical Society and help plan and instruct at their nature and pioneer summer day camps. I have also volunteered to help prepare for and teach sessions for the Pickaway County Soil and Water summer park programs in conjunction with the Pickaway County Park District.

I think it is extremely important that people have a great local park system to utilize in a variety of ways and one that provides experiences that are available to all people of all ages. Serving on the County Parks Board fulfills my desire to be involved locally and an gives me an opportunity to give back to the community.

Past Park Board Commissioner Becomes First Emeritus Board Member

The District celebrated our longest standing board member, Robert “Pete” Hartinger, as he stepped down from serving as a Pickaway County Park District Board Commissioner. Pete served as a Park Board Commissioner for the District from 2006 – 2021 and in that time provided an invaluable contribution to Pickaway County’s parks and trails. We are grateful for Pete’s passion for outdoor recreation and were honored to designate him as a Emeritus Board Member to the District.

Pete, thank you for your dedication to bettering parks and recreation in Pickaway County and for reminding us all to ENJOY LIFE!

Pickleball in Pickaway County

Looking for something new to do? Join the group of pickleball enthusiasts of various ages (grandkids to seniors) who are focused on bringing people of all ages together to discover and experience the health and wellness benefits found on all Pickleball courts. They have a wide range of experience, from 6 months – 10 years so don’t be shy about joining in!

Click Below to Learn More!

2021 Year In Review

The District is proud to share our accomplishments from 2021! Click HERE to read more about what the District has done this past year and is planning on for 2022!


Subscribe to our YouTube Channel and enjoy our New Virtual Programs!

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New Park Board Commissioner’s Join in 2020

The Pickaway County Park District is excited to welcome Gregory D. Bigam and Susan R. Metzger as our newest Pickaway County Park Board of Commissioners! 

Susan Radachi Metzger  

Susan Metzger has always enjoyed the people and community, since moving to Pickaway county with her husband and sons in 1994, working in areas of education, particularly agriculture. She is the Project Coordinator for the Pickaway County Community Foundation since February, 2019. The administrative aspect with the Foundation allows her to interact with the public, donors, volunteers, and community organizations providing general information about the Foundation and how philanthropy and people can make a difference in our communities and county. Susan works with the Executive Director, Board of Directors, and the Pickaway Competitive Network Advisory Committees, providing staff support in organizing, arranging, marketing and conducting special events. Susan is also one of the Youth Advisory Council Advisors assisting with teaching students from the four county schools about philanthropy, how it can make a difference in their community, and coordinating philanthropic events for the students to participate in. 

A two-time graduate from The Ohio State University, College of Food, Agriculture & Environmental Sciences, Susan is also an Adjunct Plant and Biology Professor at Ohio University – Lancaster teaching students how agriculture has played a significant role in developing our civilizations. 

Her passions beside her career include her family, gardening, being an active member of St. Joseph’s Catholic church and definitely cheering for the Ohio State University Buckeye football team and Cleveland Indians. 


Gregory D. Bigam 

Gregory Bigam is a lifelong resident of Pickaway County and a Graduate of Westfall High School. Gregory previously worked as a clerk/administrator for the Pickaway County Board of Commissioners and has assisted with many federal grants, including using CDBG funds to begin Barthelmas Park. More recently Gregory was the Executive Director for the Pickaway Metropolitan Housing Authority. Gregory is now retired, but still enjoys sports broadcasting, which he has done part time for 45 years. He also enjoys his five grandchildren and their activities. Gregory believes It is an exciting time to join the Pickaway County Park Board. He looks forward to carrying on the great work that has been accomplished as well as the exciting future plans for the residents of Pickaway County.”

Pickaway County Park Director Asks Taxpayers to Take a Hike

Thanks to your support for the Pickaway County Parks Levy, now you can.

I am proud to announce that area State Representatives Gary Scherer and Ron Hood helped us secure a $295,000 Green Space Grant that will allow us to purchase a property outside of Williamsport that will be named Metzger Preserve Park.


Metzger Preserve Park will sit next to Ballard Avenue Park in Williamsport and will feature walking trails, tall grass prairies, canoe, and kayak boat access.

In 2017, Pickaway County voters entrusted the Pickaway County Park District with funding for the first time in our history. That trust is a gift and one we don’t take for granted. That’s why we’re hard at work delivering on our promises.

Plans for 2019 include clearing, building, paving, and enhancing trails so you can take a hike with the family or go for a bike ride on some of the region’s best kept trails.   Also, thanks to the gracious support of the Pickaway County Engineer’s office and an easement with the Jim Cook family, by this summer, paddlers should be able to put their canoes/kayaks in Little Walnut Creek and float to the Scioto River and on down to Circleville.

As promised, we’re also using this funding source to increase our investment in the county’s existing park systems. Ten Pickaway County communities near you have been awarded a total of $125,000 to improve their local parks and trails in 2019.

The Pickaway County Park Board of Commissioners and I understand our responsibility to manage staff, deliver on promises to Pickaway County residents, and help reach our goal of increasing and improving outdoor recreation.

I encourage every Pickaway County resident to check out what our parks have to offer and (once the cold breaks) get outside! You can visit our “new” website to read about all of these projects and more at here .

With strong public and private schools, new job opportunities, increasing recreational options and what will soon be Ohio’s greatest county fairgrounds, Pickaway County will move into the next decade as Central Ohio’s best community to live, work, and play!

Tom Davis is the Director of the Pickaway County Park District and can be reached by phone at 740-420-5451, or via email at [email protected] The Pickaway County Park District Board meets the 4th Tuesday of each month at the Pickaway County Library and they encourage your participation.