Activity Center Park|
About the Park
The park includes an all-access playground area with a recycled-material
play surface, wide ramps,
large swings, belt swings, infant swings, and benches that sway. Children of all abilities can play side
by side on the play equipment. The sprayground is a zero depth splash pad
with fun features that spray or dump water. The shelter has restrooms and
picnic tables and can be reserved for groups of thirty or fewer for a fee.
Funding for the playground, sprayground, and shelter included donations from
the Centerville Kiwanis Club, Centerville Noon Optimist Club,
Centerville-Washington Foundation and the State of Ohio NatureWorks grant
- All-access Playground
- Baseball Diamonds (3)
- Drinking Fountain (off November-March)
- Grill at Shelter
- Parking Lot
- Picnic Tables
- Picnic Shelter
- Rain garden
- Restrooms (portable in the winter)
- Open 8:30 A.M. to 8:30 P.M., 7 days
a week, Memorial Day weekend through early September.
- Tennis Courts (3)
The Activity Center Park is a community park in the
true sense of the word. Late in 1951, Sherwood
Snyder, co-owner of the popular Wishing Well
Restaurant in Centerville, returned from a trip
through Europe. He and his wife had enjoyed the
beautiful parks in each of the cities that they
visited and were impressed with how much the
families used and enjoyed the open space. They told
their friends and neighbors that this community
should acquire some land near the center of town and
create their own park.
Everyone was eager and
willing to support this idea and a meeting was held
at the home of Jim and Ann Campbell on July 7, 1952.
The groups that were represented were; Mayor Kelsey,
city government, Clarence Stingley and Hadley Watts
of the School System, Margaret Daily of the PTA and
Centerville Child Conservation League, Ed
Mahlmeister of the Adult School, Frank Arnold and
Jim Campbell of the Lion's Club, Fran Puterbaugh of
the Centerville Federation of the Ohio Child
Conservation League, Corinne Cowden of Progressive
Parents, Juanita Burkhardt of the Centerville
Mother's Club, Peg Hudson of the Village Mother's
Club, and Ann Campbell of the Child Study Club. Jean
Brown was named chairman.
A plan was made.
Sherwood Snyder negotiated the purchase of 20 acres
of land on North Main Street with Lee L. Ware, a
real estate man and owner of the land. Time was
short, however, because he was about to develop or
sell the land. Sherwood paid the fee to hold the
land out of his own pocket until funds could be
C.W. Magsig, a Centerville attorney,
made his office available as a headquarters and he
contributed his services in all legal matters. The
Activity Center of Washington Township,
Incorporated, a not for profit organization, was
formed which permitted the purchase of the land for
$24,300 on May 25, 1953.
trustees were Jean H. Brown, president, James J.
Campbell, Morris Nielsen, Catherine Weisler, and
Sherwood Snyder, Sr.
Many, many individuals
donated money, time and energy to transforming the
field into an attractive park and recreation center.
- The Lion's Club donated the materials and
men under guidance of George Darner and built a
- The Washington Township
Baseball League raised money and built grandstands,
dugouts, and three baseball diamonds.
- The Kiwanis Club built and maintained the tennis
- The Lion's Club provided
shuffleboard and horseshoe courts with lighting.
- Boy and Girl Scouts transplanted dozens of
trees and shrubs from the Campbell's backyard
nursery following landscaping charts planned by
Bill Yeck's wife, Dottie, was
a member of the money-raising committee and became a
charter member of the Activity Center. Sherwood
Snyder and Bill Yeck had many conversations about
parks and open space. Bill had an interest in land
use and their discussions spurred him on to see how
they could combine a park system and land
preservation. Bill thought that the Activity Center
was a great idea for the present day but would not
be enough to support the kids from the neighborhoods
yet to be developed. Nor would it save the beautiful
forests and streams that existed in the township.
In 1972, after much deliberation, the officials
of the Activity Center made the decision to turn the
park over to the Centerville-Washington Park
District. The other options were the City of
Centerville or the Montgomery County Department of
Parks and Recreations, which had been maintaining
the park. The major advantage to having the Park
District run the center was that they would have the
continuity of interest with the other parks in the
area. After looking at the Activity Center and its
history, they realized that the Park District was
really an extension of the facility started in 1952.
Bill Yeck called the Activity Center the "keystone
of the park district."
Note: History courtesy of Pat
Centerville-Washington Township Historical
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