Harold Thoburn Memorial Trail

The Cuyahoga River fire in 1969 sent a wake-up call to the population around Cleveland to start looking out for their environment. Medina's mayor at the time, Bill Lamb (1982-1990), advocated a bill which would beautify Medina over the next decade. This became the Shade Tree Commission. In 1981 Medina was named "Tree City USA", and has maintained the name ever since. Agricultural enthusiast Tom Lincoln, provided some of his land on Fenn Road to host a nursery for trees to be later used in the beautification of Medina. The caretaker of this nursery and the Shade Tree Commission was Harold Thoburn.

Thoburn grew up in Mount Pleasant, Ohio, during the boom of agriculture in the United States. He attended The Ohio State University until he received a masters degree in agricultural education. Afterwards he stayed with OSU, working as an agricultural extension agent in Lorain County for 25 years. Due to his love for the community, Harold helped plan, conduct and carry out the Medina County Fair for 34 years in order to show the importance of agriculture. After his retirement, he increased his participation in Medina County projects to develop a better environment. Such things include the Medina County Park District and the Shade Tree Commission. Due to his endless efforts to improve the community, April 22 is now known as Harold Thoburn Day.

Images

Harold Thoburn

Harold Thoburn

Harold K. Thoburn was born in 1927 in Mount Pleasant Ohio. Growing up on a farm with his eight siblings, an interest for agriculture was only natural. Harold was a family man, with four children. Before Harold's death in 1997, he was fortunate enough to meet 10 of his grandchildren. Besides from being a family man, Harold was a big supporter of the Buckeyes, loved the game of golf and was a man of god. He played an active role in the United Church of Christ Congregational in Medina. Harold passed away on September 27, 1997, and was buried at Spring Grove Cemetery. (Image courtesy of the Gazette Archives) View File Details Page

World War II Service

World War II Service

Harold Thoburn served his country during World War II on board the aircraft carrier USS Corregidor in the Asiatic-Pacific theater. The ship saw battle in Guadalcanal. Image courtesy of NavSource Photo Archive View File Details Page

The Shade Tree Commision

The Shade Tree Commision

We first find Harold in official documents in 1974. This was when he was appointed to the Up-Town Park Advisory Committee. In the beginning of the 1980's the Shade Tree Commission was formed. Their commitment is to create a "healthy urban forest" in Medina. It was a spin off of the national program, Shade Tree U.S.A. After his retirement in 1987, Harold dedicated all his time to this project as the chairman. Image courtesy of Gloria and David Brown View File Details Page

Kiwanis Club of Medina

Kiwanis Club of Medina

Harold was known not only for his environmental work, but also in his extraordinary efforts for the people. He was a man who put his sense of community above individual gains, so it made sense that he joined an organization like Kiwanis which deals with helping communities prosper. The organization alone puts out a whopping 18 million volunteer hours, and donates over $107 million each year towards bettering communities. This was a very appropriate place for Harold. He advocated many new ideas to help promote community pride and worked to make the city of Medina a beautiful place. He was inducted into the Kiwanis Hall Of Fame in 1985. Also, the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International named Harold a "Paul Harris Fellow due to his work for better understandings among people around the world. (Image courtesy of Kiwanis Club of Medina) View File Details Page

The Drought of 1986

The Drought of 1986

Harold was a community man who didn't only care about his own community, but others as well. When the drought of 1986 struck the South, he coordinated local donations of hay, truck drivers, boxcars and volunteers to amass nearly 600 tons of hay. (Image courtesy of John Vachon) View File Details Page

Importance Of The Future

Importance Of The Future

While Harold was a part of the OSU Medina County Agricultural Extension service he helped to expand the Medina County District Library system. He also formed the Medina County Joint Vocational School District which now holds the name 'Medina County Career Center.' Harold was a man who looked towards the future, it was important that children grew up well educated and ready for the real world where they could help the community themselves. This was an endless cycle that explains why Harold cared so much for his community. (Image courtesy of Medina Gazette) View File Details Page

The Harold Thoburn Memorial Trail

The Harold Thoburn Memorial Trail

In the beginning of 2014 it was decided by City Council to approve and support the completion of a trail honoring Harold Thoburn's hard work and forward thinking. This new path in Nichols Park will give people of all ages the ability to have a beautiful outdoor experience. The emphasis will not only be on Harold's love for trees, but also flowers, bushes and different grasses. As seen on the map, the trail runs from Springbrook to Guilford. The final completion will be in 2019. (Image courtesy of Dale Weygandt) View File Details Page

Audio

Harold's Life Changing Dream

After retirement Harold had a dream, leading to his new path in life. To provide street trees in front of every home in Medina! View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Sofie Christensen and Ryan Blake, “Harold Thoburn Memorial Trail,” Discover Medina, accessed April 27, 2017, http://discovermedina.org/items/show/167.
Tour navigation:  Previous | Tour Info | Next

Share this Story