Maria Durant | ABC 6

The group called “Buckeye Lake 2030” is a grassroots effort to help the area prosper for both those who live in Buckeye Lake and for those who work there. Michael Fornataro is the Executive Director of Buckeye Lake Region Corporation. He says the “Buckeye Lake 2030” project hopes to make Buckeye Lake a year-round destination.

“The summers are great here. But the most successful event in the the entire calendar year is Winterfest. And that’s the last Saturday in January.” said Fornataro.

The concept designs for the future include a state island park featuring a crystal lake swim area, biking, small shops and residential living. But in order to keep Buckeye Lake a community destination, Dr. Doug Poorman says Buckeye Lake has to offer more than seasonal jobs.

“Our young people grow up and leave the community and they don’t remain here. They don’t start small businesses and we want to create an area where they want to stay,” Dr. Poorman said.

The challenge is building professional jobs like his not built on tourism.

“It’s about planning out those types of businesses and professions that bring people back to the area,” Dr. Poorman said.

The vision is still up for discussion, but Fornataro is excited about what Buckeye Lake could be.

“You’re talking smaller space to be sustainable, amenities such as a proposed tourist pier, the proposed canal walk. They aren’t over-the-top. They are sustainable.” Fornataro said.

The next community meeting is open to the public at Thornville Elementary School on Saturday, May 5th from 9 am -10:30 am.