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Five Rivers MetroParks Records (formerly Dayton-Montgomery County Park District Records) (MS-45)

Identifier: MS-45

Scope and Contents

The collection is divided into 24 series, including a General Files series and one series for each individual park. The bulk of the records are categorized under General Files because Five Rivers MetroParks manages its units as a cohesive organization. This was clearly represented in their filing practices. Additional records were filed at the series level by park name, for example, “Riverscape,” when records were clearly labeled and organized at the park level.

All series are divided into one of 15 subseries based on the types of records. This arrangement scheme of 15 predefined subseries is applicable to all series. For instance, a scientific report conducted at Germantown Metropark is filed under “Series 8: Germantown, Subseries C: Reports and Assessments.” Applying the same subseries to all series promotes uniformity and scalability; however, please note that every series does not necessarily contain instances of every available subseries.

The published Scope and Content Notes describes only materials that are processed and available for research.


  • Creation: 1930 - 2015
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1963 - 2015


Conditions Governing Access

There are no donor-imposed restrictions on access restrictions for this collection; however, necessary preservation and logistical restrictions are described below.

Audio/visual materials: Due to preservation concerns, only reference copies of original audio and video materials can be accessed in the reading room. Items without reference copies can be digitized at the request of a patron for the cost of creating a digital copy. Please provide us at least two weeks advance notice if you would like to request an audio or video reference copy. Call (937) 775-2092 or e-mail us at Use of digitized content is subject to conditions governing use.

Electronic records: Access to electronic files in this collection, indicated by an e-number (e.g., ms45_e0001), is restricted until they are fully processed. Requests for unprocessed electronic records can be submitted for consideration, with at least two weeks advance notice. Call (937) 775-2092 or e-mail us at Archives staff reserve the right to restrict access to files with privacy or confidentiality concerns or to deny requests in which the review period is insufficient, given the volume of records requested and the desired access date. Access to original electronic media (original CD, floppy disk, etc.) is restricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Intellectual property rights such as the donor organization possesses, have been retained by the organization, Five River MetroParks. FRMP will consider use requests on case-by-case basis as needed. Note that copyrights to some materials in collection may not be owned wholly by FRMP, especially photographs, literature, plans, or artwork.

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Five Rivers MetroParks, formerly the Montgomery County Park District, was formed on April 8, 1963. Montgomery and Greene Counties shared a mutual concern for the rapid deterioration of open space. As a result, the Save Open Space Committee was formed. After considering possible resolutions for suburban sprawl, a park district was chosen as the solution. William P. Patterson, Harry S. Price, Jr., and Charles S. Price were appointed to the Board of Park Commissioners. On March 2, 1864, J. Richard Lawwill, former superintendent of Columbus’ park system, was hired as the organization’s first Director-Secretary.

Eugene Kettering donated $250,000 for the acquisition of the park district’s first properties. On April 1, 1965, 223 acres were purchased and named Drylick Run. This land is currently in the boundaries of Carriage Hill Metropark. In May 1865, the park district led a major campaign to pass the organization’s first levy. Using the slogan, “Vote Green – It’s Now or Never,” the $300,000 levy passed in a 52% favor.

Major land purchases included 275 acres at Possum Creek (1966), and Sugarcreek (1966), which grew to 540 acres by the end of the year. The following decade, James Cox, Jr. donated his farm and set-up a $300,000 trust fund to support what became Cox Arboretum (1972). In 1974, the park district won another great victory with the passing of the $500,000 levy by 62% favor. Another horticultural park was acquired in 1977 when Marie Aull donated her home and thirty-acre garden to the Park District.

The 1990s saw an increased focus on Dayton’s waterways. The first major water acquisition was Eastwood Metropark (1990). From 1994-1995, the Park District also acquired Island, Van Cleve, Deeds Point, Wesleyan Nature Center, Sunrise, and Wegerzyn Metro Parks. After a string of names for the organization, including Montgomery County Park District, Dayton-Montgomery County Park District, and Park District of Dayton-Montgomery County, the public had grown confused over park ownership in Montgomery County. To resolve this issue, on July 20, 1995, Five Rivers MetroParks was chosen as the new name, which distinctly separated the organization from the State of Ohio.

In 1999, Five Rivers MetroParks developed the plan for “Parks 21,” a vision focusing on education and downtown development for the parks. On November 7, 2000, Daytonians demonstrated enormous support for the program, voting 65% in favor of the 1.8 million dollar levy. The first major project of Parks 21 was Riverscape Metropark. The opening was held on May 19, 2001, and over 50,000 people flocked downtown for activities, music, and the Five Rivers Fountain.

Considerable growth in recreational and educational opportunities has taken place in recent years. In 2002, the Stillwater Bikeway was completed, and the Huffman interpretive center had its grand reopening. The following year the Zorniger Education campus opened at Cox Arboretum. In 2006, the Children’s Discovery Garden opened at Wegerzyn Metropark. Many properties have also been purchased along the river corridor. In 2011, a massive project began to fight the effects of the Emerald Ash Borer.

More detailed history, including individual park histories, is available online at


52.15 linear feet : (processed linear feet)

116.6 linear feet : (estimated overall linear feet)

Language of Materials



Formed in 1963 under the name Montgomery County Park District, Five Rivers MetroParks is a conservation organization dedicated to protecting the natural heritage of the Miami Valley, and promoting the use of these lands and waterways by the community. In addition to its core mission, Fiver Rivers MetroParks provides educational opportunities, and encourages healthy living and an environmentally conscious lifestyle. Five Rivers MetroParks preserves open space and natural areas, along with urban parks for events and leisure in downtown Dayton.

Statement of Arrangement

The collection is divided into 24 series, including a General Files series and one series for each individual park, and 15 subseries.


  1. Series 1: General Files
  2. Series 2: Aullwood Garden
  3. Series 3: Carriage Hill
  4. Series 4: Cox Arboretum (unprocessed)
  5. Series 5: Deeds Point (unprocessed)
  6. Series 6: Eastwood (unprocessed)
  7. Series 7: Englewood (unprocessed)
  8. Series 8: Germantown (unprocessed)
  9. Series 9: Hills and Dales (unprocessed)
  10. Series 10: Huffman (unprocessed)
  11. Series 11: Island (unprocessed)
  12. Series 12: Medlar (Crains Run) (unprocessed)
  13. Series 13: Possum Creek (unprocessed)
  14. Series 14: River Corridor (unprocessed)
  15. Series 15: Riverscape (unprocessed)
  16. Series 16: Second Street Market (unprocessed)
  17. Series 17: Sugarcreek (unprocessed)
  18. Series 18: Sunrise (unprocessed)
  19. Series 19: Taylorsville (unprocessed)
  20. Series 20: Twin Creek (unprocessed)
  21. Series 21: Wegerzyn Gardens (unprocessed)
  22. Series 22: Wesleyan (unprocessed)
  23. Series 23: Regional Trails (unprocessed)
  24. Series 24: Conservation Areas (unprocessed)

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

This collection contains original analog audio and video materials, which must be digitized prior to access, due to preservation concerns. Access to original electronic media is also restricted and will require the use of a computer.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was originally donated to Wright State University Special Collections and Archives as the Dayton-Montgomery County Park District Records prior to 1977. The organization changed its name to Five Rivers MetroParks in 1995, and the majority of the materials have been received since then, in several accessions dating between 2002 and 2017.


Five Rivers MetroParks is an active organization. Additional accruals are expected.

Related Materials

MS-128: Miami Conservancy District Records; MS-501: Marie Aull Papers

Separated Materials

Electronic media have been removed to the E-Archives.

Guide to the Five Rivers MetroParks Records (formerly Dayton-Montgomery County Park District Records) (MS-45)
In Progress
Lisa Rickey and Megan O'Connor
2023 April 12
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2013: Additions processed by Kaitlyn Goss, Casey Huegel, and Five Rivers MetroParks volunteers, 2013
  • 2015: Additions processed by Ed O’Shaughnessy, 2015
  • 2018: Additions processed by Lisa Rickey and Alyssa Stark, 2017-2018: 25 linear feet of additions, including early history (1A), surveys and assessments (1C), newsletters (1F), news clippings (1D), annual reports (1F), and board minutes (1J).
  • 2021 June: Additions processed by Megan O'Connor and Lisa Rickey, 2020-2021: 12.63 feet of additions, including Series 1B Events (2.21 LF), 1E Projects and Plans (6 LF), 1H Programs and Outreach (3.42 LF), and 1I Financial (1 LF additions).
  • 2022 March 18: Lisa Rickey imported the box/file listing, including unprocessed boxes, e-items, and AV.
  • 2023 April: Additions processed by Megan O'Connor, January-April 2023: 8.89 feet of additions, including Suberies 1G Volunteers and Employment (1.42 LF), 1K Correspondence (1.42 LF), 1L Committees and Associations (2.21 LF), 1M Administrative (1.42 LF), 1N Legal (1.42 LF), and 1O Policies and Procedures (1 LF).
  • 2023 July: Additions processed by Megan O'Connor, Spring 2023: 3.63 LF of additions, including Series 2 (Aullwood) and Series 3 (Carriage Hill)

Repository Details

Part of the Local Government Records Repository

Wright State University Libraries
Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435 USA