Community Celebration at Upper Millcrest Park this Sunday
The event will include lunch (while it lasts), pumpkin decorating, games and an opportunity to see preliminary master plan drawings for the long term improvement of the park. The drawings come as a result of community input on desired uses for the park, a series of meetings with the park board and recreation department employees and input from Norwood’s city council and Mayor Williams.
The “Friends” group began meeting with the City of Norwood and planning for park improvements in early 2011. Park improvements were envisioned in three stages. Over the summer, a garden was planted in the abandoned tennis courts, a new picnic area was created, and simple landscaping improvements were implemented. These improvements were a collaborative effort between residents of the neighborhood and the city government.
Phase II was a community input phase. A successful community meeting was held on August 11, 2011 at the Norwood Community Center. Twenty nine neighborhood stakeholders gathered and expressed desires for the space, including a paved walking path, safe access to Lower Millcrest Park, handicapped accessibility, and play equipment for both pre-schoolers and older children. Residents also supported plans to connect the park to the neighborhood and Xavier University by turning adjacent rail lines into a trail. Architect Ben Eilerman, a member of the “Friends” group, took the input and created a preliminary master plan.
Phase III will be the implementation of the plan, creating a park unlike any other in Norwood. The Friends group has advocated for their cause to local media, city council and reached out to additional neighbors. They have also formed a collaborative relationship with Xavier University’s Community Building Institute. Noting Norwood’s challenged city budget, they have asked the city to allocate “Community Development Block Grant” funding over the next three year cycle to see this project become a reality. Current cost estimates are $500,000.
Additional financial support will be sought from private donors, local foundations and Norwood based corporations. In response to these advocacy efforts Mayor Williams has publicly committed $40,000 from existing community development funds for immediate improvements.
For more info please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mary Ellen Mitchell
Friends of Upper Millcrest Park