Co-op Spotlight: Consolidated Cooperative

Rutherford B. Hayes statue in downtown Delaware

Consolidated Cooperative serves almost 18,000 members in eight counties in north-central Ohio, concentrated in Delaware and Morrow counties. The cooperative not only provides electricity but also offers propane and fiber internet in some areas.

Morrow County

Consolidated Cooperative’s main office is located on State Route 95 in Mount Gilead, the Morrow County seat. The county is home to an impressive and awe-inspiring park system, which co-op employees and many others often enjoy during lunchtime walks. Visitors from around the state are drawn to Mount Gilead State Park for its outdoor amenities, but Morrow County’s Parks District is also well-known for its recreational opportunities.

The district is made up of five parks: Sheedy Sanctuary, Cedar Fork Park, Sautter Memorial Park, Fishburn Reserve, and Gleason Family Nature Reserve. The parks have well-maintained hiking trails, and some of the parks have organized, family-friendly activities. Gleason, Sheedy, and Sautter have each held guided interpretive nature walks. Gleason is the largest park in the reserve and has been undergoing rapid ecological change since reforestation and grassland restoration began in 2008. The previously agricultural fields are changing into a more diverse habitat featuring new migrants such as beavers.

Delaware County

The Delaware County Fair becomes the center of the harness racing universe each September, when it’s the site of the Little Brown Jug — the second leg of harness racing’s Triple Crown for pacers. The event, hosted by the Delaware County Agricultural Society since 1946, takes place at the Delaware County Fairgrounds racetrack on the third Thursday after Labor Day, during the county fair.

Delaware County residents also take special pride in their most famous native: Civil War hero, abolitionist, and the 19th president of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes. Last fall, a 7-foot statue of Hayes was unveiled in downtown Delaware on the 197th anniversary of his birth. Before taking the oath of office on March 3, 1877, Hayes also served in Congress — elected while he still served as a general in the Union Army — then won three terms as Ohio’s governor before becoming president. Delaware residents revere Hayes for his hometown values and sense of community. Consolidated’s employees were proud to have represented the cooperative at the unveiling of the new statue, which overlooks the president’s birthplace.