1303 Bucyrus-Nevada Rd., Bucyrus, OH 44820
The first park developed by the Crawford Park District, Unger Park lies just on the edge of Bucyrus and consists of 53 acres of restored prairie and bottomland woods. The trail system (approximately 3 miles) winds its way through mature prairies, forests, and along the edge of the Sandusky River. It also leads into neighboring Aumiller Park, owned by the City of Bucyrus. Another partner at Unger Park is the OSU Extension, which has orchard, flower, and field trials, all part of their Unger Farm.
Restored from farmland in the late 1990’s, the prairies at Unger have matured into a beautiful landscape that is as dynamic as are the seasons. Over 100 species of plants have been reintroduced to the site, among them, several potentially threatened plants, as listed by the State of Ohio. A hike in late summer will not only yield butterflies lighting on flowers, but also offers spectacular examples of what early explorers and settlers would have seen: grasses so tall they could hide a horse! The Sandusky River plays host to many bird migrants in the spring and fall and is a wonderful place to catch a glimpse of basking turtles. A pond and wetland provide favorable nesting habitat for birds; and frogs will leap into cover as you walk around them.
To ensure that the prairies are maintained, periodical burning is done in late winter or early spring to rejuvenate the plants and keep unwanted species out. In efforts to preserve what once was the Sandusky Plains and the plants that thrived therein, more plants will be added and seed from plants is collected. Unger Park has a rich history, dating back to the 1820’s. After changing hands a few times, the farm was finally purchased by Paul Unger. The Unger’s operated an ice business, Unger Crystal Clear Ice Company, of which they delivered throughout Bucyrus and the surrounding area. The ice pond and barn used to store the ice was located across the road on land now owned by OSU Extension. The ice operation ended in 1930. Marie Unger donated the land to the Park District and OSU Extension in 1996.