OHIO 6 state parks recognized for excellence in service

Lake Milton State Park takes top honors for beaches, boating facilities and trails.
COLUMBUS -- Lake Milton and West Branch state parks are among six Ohio State Parks that received Service Excellence Awards for 2004 from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The awards are based on customer satisfaction surveys and are given annually to individual parks in recognition of outstanding facilities.
Lake Milton State Park in Mahoning County was honored for its outstanding beach, boating facilities and hiking trails.
Additionally, the Walking Path Development Team of Lake Milton State Park has received the Team Of The Year Award from Ohio State Parks for planning and constructing a 1.75-mile handicap-accessible recreational trail at the park. The development team was made up of park system employees, volunteers and members of the Lake Milton Association.
In 2002, the park received a recreational trail grant for $47,000, while the Lake Milton Association received a recycling grant for $26,800. In addition to the grants, the team solicited $34,200 in community donations. With those funds, the team planned and built the trail, which was dedicated in May 2003. The trail encompasses three boardwalks, which are 35, 85 and 225 feet long.
"From planning to dedication ceremony, this team's leadership and hard work proved successful for the visitors to Lake Milton," said Dan West, chief of Ohio State Parks.
State parks
There are 74 Ohio State Parks with nine resort lodges, more than 500 cottages, six golf courses and 56 family campgrounds with more than 9,000 camp sites. For additional information, visit www.ohiodnr.com on the Internet and click on Ohio State Parks.
Others parks receiving Service Excellence Awards were: Malabar Farm State Park in Richland County, Mohican State Park in Ashland County, Deer Creek State Park in Pickaway County, Maumee Bay State Park in Lucas County and West Branch State Park in Portage County. "State parks singled out for the Service Excellence Awards have received the highest praise from the people who matter most - the visitors," said Dan West, chief of Ohio State Parks.
"They set the standards for customer service and we are pleased to recognize their accomplishments."
On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest possible score, the facilities and parks receiving the highest scores were:
UMalabar Farm State Park for its picnic areas and visitor center. The picnic areas received an overall score of 4.5 and the visitor center was rated 4.7.
ULake Milton State Park for its boating facilities, beach and trails. The boating facilities received a score of 4.4, the beach was scored at 4.5 and the trails were scored at 4.7.
UMaumee Bay State Park for its getaway rentals, with a score of 4.6.
UDeer Creek State Park for its 18-hole golf course, which earned a score of 4.4 from users.
UMohican State Park for its cottages and resort lodge. The average score was 4.4 for the cottages and 4.1 for the lodge.
UWest Branch State Park for its newly improved campground. The campground earned an average score of 4.6. Millions of visitors enjoyed the natural beauty and quality facilities of Ohio's state parks last year.

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