MINSTER, OH - Visitors to Lake Loramie State Park can now enjoy a beautiful waterfront view of the lake from the new Earls Island Pavilion, dedicated today at the park, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
The large shelter, featuring a central stone fireplace and offering year-round capabilities, cost approximately $150,000 to build and was paid for through the fundraising efforts of the Lake Loramie Improvement Association and Ohio State Parks. The association was founded in 1939 and has since been committed to beautifying and promoting the lake and its surrounding area.
"We are grateful for dedicated volunteers at state parks like the members of the Lake Loramie Improvement Association," said Dan West, chief of Ohio State Parks. "This pavilion is a testament to the hard work and commitment this group has shown the Lake Loramie area for decades. And this shelter will be enjoyed by visitors to the park for many years to come."
Fundraising for the pavilion project began in January 2003 and included a silent auction and the sale of bricks to be installed in the fireplace and plaques to be placed in the shelter. In addition to a $17,000 contribution from Ohio State Parks, the association raised another $117,954 and received approximately $35,000 of in-kind services and supplies for a total of $169,954.
Money raised above and beyond the $150,000 needed to build the shelter is being used to purchase added features to the pavilion area, including a playground, volleyball court, horseshoe court and walking path.
The 40-foot-by-60-foot pavilion has many distinctive features, including pocket doors in and around the pavilion, allowing its users to divide the shelter in half and enclose it for year-round use. The pavilion also has ample counter space with electrical outlets. Already the park has taken reservations for rental of the pavilion for family reunions, Boy Scout and Girl Scout meetings, as well as gatherings of other community organizations. The pavilion can accommodate more than 100 people.
The 429-member Lake Loramie Improvement Association has previously purchased benches and signs for the park, and paid for the construction of a handicap fishing pier, fish habitat structures, and a paved walking trail, among other improvements. ODNR is funding improvements to the parking lot and boat ramp and plans to construct five restroom facilities throughout the park, including one by the pavilion.
Lake Loramie in Shelby County was one of the original canal feeder lakes to the Miami & Erie Canal. Now it is part of Lake Loramie State Park, offering visitors a quiet retreat in rural Ohio. The 407-acre park features hiking trails, a sandy beach, and 161 campsites, many of which are along the waterfront. The park sees more than 500,000 visitors a year and is among the state's most popular camping destinations. For more information about Lake Loramie State Park or to reserve the Earls Island Pavilion, call 937-295-2011.