The McEwen Road entrance to Centerville-Washington Park District’s Grant Park will be undergoing a transformation soon! Plans are underway to create an all-access trailhead and a paved multi-use path surrounding a 4-acre pollinator habitat. The improved park entrance will provide double the parking while improving traffic flow, ADA access and pedestrian safety. From the improved entrance, park visitors will be able to visit the Kennard Nature Nook to attend park programs, picnic under the tree canopy, play at the Mark Kreusch Nature Playce natural playground, and access the vast trail system within the 189-acre nature park. The park improvements come as a direct result of the Grant Park Master Plan, completed with community input in 2020.
The Centerville Rotary Club has generously donated just over $51,000 toward the project in conjunction with their 50th anniversary celebration. The club has had a long-term relationship with Grant Park, where they have held service workdays and club meetings, in addition to an existing Rotary memorial area dedicated to the memory of lost Rotary members. The scope of the project includes enhancing the Rotary memorial and relocating it to a more prominent location at the trailhead.
“We are extremely excited about partnering with Centerville Rotary Club to enhance the natural habitat of this unique nature park, as well as provide new opportunities to experience nature for visitors of all ages and abilities,” said Kristen Marks, Executive Director of the Centerville-Washington Park District.
“With Rotary International’s new focus on the environment, partnering with the Centerville-Washington Park District on the Grant Park redevelopment is the perfect project to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Centerville Rotary Club. Enhancing habitat for pollinators, planting trees, and relocating the Rotary memorial will enhance the diversity of plants and animals, while providing restorative nature experiences for all who visit the park,” said Carol Kennard, Centerville Rotary Club 50th Anniversary co-chair.
The project also includes stormwater wetland creation and streambank restoration along Holes Creek, which runs through the park. This portion of the project is funded by a $309,720 grant received from the Ohio River Basin H2Ohio Wetland Grant Program administered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. This is a competitive reimbursement grant program that provides up to 100 percent of project funding for high-quality wetlands-focused projects that address nutrient loading and contribute to water quality improvement.
The project will officially kick off with a groundbreaking ceremony at 12:15 p.m. on September 22 at 6588 McEwen Rd.
The park entrance will be closed to visitors for several months while the project is in an active construction phase. Grant Park visitors will be redirected to the park entrance at 501 Normandy Ridge Rd.