Estonoa began as a wet cornfield in the 1900s. John Hillman, owner of the land, allowed his sons to dam the stream flooding the cornfield and turning it into a swimming hole. Estonoa became the social focus of the community until the mid-1900s when Saint Paul built its first community pool. Sadly the swimming hole turned into an eyesore and was used as an illegal trash dump. In spring 1999, Appalachian ecology student Steve Sabo did a project on Lake Estonoa. It covered the lake's history, present condition, and his desire to return it to its pristine state. That fall, Nikki Buffalow expanded on his report and discovered the lake was actually a wetlands. With the help of the Corp. of Engineers, Appalachian ecology and physics classes, Estonoa was officially certified in 2000. Since then, the Estonoa team has removed many truckloads of trash and brush from Wetlands Estonoa, constructed a crusher run walk path, built and installed bridges, picnic tables, a floating dock, benches, and has constructed a beautiful learning center building. As a learning project, it has garnered national attention and dozens of awards. Today it is a place of peace and learning for students and a refuge for wildlife and native species.