The founding members of the foundation include:
- Fran Buchholzer, former director of ODNR and conservation advocate.
- Clyde Gosnell, military veteran, retired architect, education and conservation advocate, and founder of related organizations.
- Dr. Marcia Latta, vice president of university advancement at the University of Findlay.
- H. C. Buck Niehoff, retired attorney and author.
- Keith Shumate, attorney and chairman of the board at The Columbus Zoo and The Wilds.
- Bob Taft, former governor of Ohio.
“Ohio is truly blessed with wonderful parks across the state,” Shumate said. “I am delighted to be part of an organization whose mission is to improve and protect the parks in the state of Ohio, thereby ensuring even greater access and enjoyment by all.”
Most Ohioans live within an hour’s drive of one of Ohio’s 75 state parks, which don’t charge a fee to enter.
Residents stayed an additional 72,698 nights in Ohio state park cabins and campgrounds between June 2020 and October 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, according to ODNR. A record number of Ohioans registered paddle craft and purchased hunting and fishing licenses in 2020.