Your Centerville-Washington Park Board is serious about providing the park and recreation opportunities you want. In 2015, a large sampling of residents provided us with lots of great feedback. Then in late 2016, we conducted another survey to get more of your ideas and opinions. We supplemented the survey with citizen interviews, focus groups and public meetings. Thank you to everyone who participated!
We would like to share the many improvements that are a direct result of your input. So, every two weeks for the remainder of the year we will be posting a short message about what’s been added, fixed, improved or expanded to meet your requests!
Residents said, “We’d like to see more natural areas in parks!”
Hey, we can do that! After all, nature is our middle name!
We are thankful the residents in our community started preserving natural areas in the 1960’s. Not many communities like ours have the benefit of nature so close by and easily accessible. Bill Yeck and Grant Parks are the largest jewels in the nature crown, with a combined total of over 380 acres to explore! But, CWPD has been hard at work establishing additional natural areas, as you requested!
- In 2014, the William and Dorothy Yeck Family Foundation donated a tract of land on Route 48, at the northern end of the community. This land became one of the District’s newest parks, Little Woods Park. Since then, non-native, invasive plants have been removed and the park has been restored to natural prairie and wildflowers.
- In 2016, we completed a paved 1.3-mile multi-use trail through natural areas in Holes Creek Park. This park property was previously inaccessible to the public. The project was funded in part through a Clean Ohio Trails grant.
- With the help of some sizable grants from the State of Ohio, the District “rescued” the former Zengel property from development. This land is adjacent to Pleasant Hill Park and will be 30 acres of natural habitat. Plans are near completion for a nature trail to meander through the park and work has already begun. Here again, invasive plants are being removed as the land is returned to and kept in a natural state. In addition to the Zengel property, the grant funded the acquisition of wooded land on the south end of Village South Park. This will allow for nature study programs offered by the park district and Primary Village North School.
- A fen is a wetland that is fed by underground water. They are rare, but there is one right in the middle of our community at Donnybrook Park. Thanks to another State grant, the fen was restored in 2016 and is now open for nature observation and education. Visit and enjoy the boardwalk through the fen!
These examples are, perhaps, the largest and flashiest, but your park district has done even more to provide the natural areas you wanted. Since 2015, the district has added wildflower pollinator habitats in various parks. Over 50 park acres have been converted to pollinator and wildflower habitat, creating 15 Xerces Society Certified Pollinator Habitats, including in Activity Center, Bill Yeck, Concept, Grant, Iron Horse, Robert F. Mays, Stansel, Weatherstone and Yankee Parks. These natural habitats draw insect-eating birds (take that, mosquitos!), filter rain water, and provide color and texture to park landscapes. And, at the Activity Center Park office building, you’ll find the District’s first Monarch Waystation. We’ve seen many monarchs making stops at the waystation this year!
As you can see, the park district has been busy creating what you asked for, “more natural areas in Parks!” We hope you will be able take some time to get out and enjoy them! The wildflowers are beautiful this time of year!
Read previous installments of this series: