Welcome to the webpage of Schoepfle Garden, a truly unique park in the Lorain County Metro Parks system. We hope to give you some idea of the beauty of Schoepfle Garden—70 acres of botanical gardens and natural woodland bordered on one side by the Vermilion River. The garden features collections of rhododendrons, roses, cannas, hostas, shade plants, and varieties of shrubs, topiaries and trees. Enjoy the natural beauty of the garden by participating in a guided tour or wandering at you own pace. Be sure to bring a camera!
The Formal Garden
The formal garden is highlighted by a wide central path lined in part with hedges and topiaries. Side paths wind through colorful arrays of exotic flowers, dogwood and European beech trees. The garden’s colors change every few weeks in the warmer months as new species come into bloom. This is truly a place to be seen over and over again.
The Shade Garden
Draped in a cool canopy of pines, the shade garden runs alongside the formal garden adding contrast to the bright and open areas. An assortment of shrubs and shade plants including ferns, hostas and astilbes line the floor. There are places to sit and relax, and plenty of room to roam.
The Natural Woodland
The nearly fifty acres of natural woodlands that lie between the gardens and the Vermilion River add a contrast to the formal and shade gardens. This natural area offers a seasonal display of indigenous trees and wildflowers—a great place for wildflower hikes, birding and tracking. There’s plenty of wildlife here as in other parks in the Lorain County Metro Park system, including deer, wild turkey and fox.
The newest addition to Schoepfle Garden is the musically themed Children’s Garden that was added in 2007. Inspired by Mr. Otto Schoepfle’s love of gardening, music and youth, the Children’s Garden was a true community project as local landscapers constructed each unique garden, local artists restored carousel horses, and local businesses and citizens donated to this amazing project. Each unique piece of the garden blends nature and music to create an enchanting garden for children to learn and play in. Children, young and old, can climb the Rocky "G" Clef, crawl through the Flute-A-Pillar, and ride the restored carousel.
Where Did It All Come From?
How did this beautiful garden come to be? The answer is Otto B. Schoepfle.
Born in 1910, Otto Schoepfle began his career as a banker in the 1930s. After the Second World War, during which he worked for the US Navy Costal Office, he took a job at the Chronicle Telegram in Elyria and rose to Chief Executive Officer. He was even invited to a White House luncheon for newspaper editors.
In 1936 Otto Schoepfle purchased the house and land originally owned by his grandparents. When they died in 1924 it had been sold and used as rental property and had become quite rundown. With a great deal of attention, work and help from the community. Otto was able to turn the property into the beautiful garden that can be seen today.
The Garden That Grew
Otto Schoepfle did not start out to create a botanical garden. He in fact referred to it sometimes as “the garden that grew.” He traveled Europe to study and learn about different botanical varieties, coming home after each trip with new ideas for plantings. This continual pursuit of learning became a dominant force in his philosophy of life.
In 1969 Otto donated the garden to Lorain County Metro Parks and continued to live in the house until his death in 1992. The garden now stands as a monument to his values of continual learning and appreciation of both cultivated and natural beauty.
In an effort to keep this garden special for all who visit, we ask that you please observe the following guidelines when visiting:
- We know the gardens are lovely and you’d love to have a cutting of this or that, but please do not pick the flowers, take cuttings, collect seeds, cones, nuts or fruits. Everyone should have the opportunity to see and experience the same things you did.
- Please remain on the paths in natural areas and around flower beds
- We ask that you please accompany any children you brought with you as you tour the garden.
- Dogs and other pets are not permitted in the garden.
- Please limit your picnicking to the designated area adjacent to Visitor’s Center the parking lots.
- Biking in the garden is not permitted.
- Due to the number of people visiting and the size of the garden, we regrettably cannot allow any wedding ceremonies in the garden. You can have wedding photos taken in the garden. Call 1-800-LCM-PARK for photo permit.
- Fishing, wading and ice skating are not permitted in garden ponds.
- Large tour groups can best be accommodated when advanced reservations are made. Call (440) 965-7237.
In addition to these guidelines, visitors are required to act within the Lorain County Metro Parks rules.