by Robert Blair
Long before Liberty Park was formed, humans in prehistory camped here, drank the clean, cold springs and hunted game. Upon European settlement, trees were cleared for farming, but maples were spared for their sweet sap.
Today, the 1,908-acre Liberty Park is a unique partnership between the City of Twinsburg and the park district. The city manages the park’s 100-acre recreation area, including the play fields and playground. Metro Parks manages the remaining acreage, including three trails and the Pond Brook Conservation Area. Both areas are open 6 a.m. to sunset.
Large trees exist on rock ledges and in wetlands within the conservation area, where fens and bogs are “protected” by poison sumac and swamp rose. Metro Parks has designated this a Low Impact Area, meaning mowing, trails and other park improvements will be kept to a minimum. This protects the various species that live in the area’s wetlands and vernal pools.
Liberty Park harbors countless rare and endangered species, including Indiana bats, marsh wrens, ospreys and bald eagles. Other creatures seen here include beavers, long-tailed weasels, dragonflies, butterflies, red-backed salamanders, wood frogs and turtles. In July 2006, Audubon Ohio named Liberty Park an Important Bird Area.