Work is underway at Dudley Memorial Park in Liberty Twp. once again, with a new picnic shelter under construction.
Services Director Rick Plummer said the township received a $19,750 grant from Ohio Nature Works to build a second shelter at the almost 12-acre park on Yankee Road. He said the park couldn’t meet the demand for shelter reservations so officials decided to build a new one.
There are seven shelters at Dudley, Dudley Woods, Fort Liberty Playland, Liberty and Reserves parks. Last year there were 250 shelter rentals. The shelter should be complete by Oct. 1, according to Plummer.
group of mothers recently raised money to partially enclose the play area at the park. The MOMS Club recognized there was a safety issue at the playground and set out to correct it.
Natalie Barger, a member of the fund-raising team, told the Journal-News previously there are issues at the park, including a pond, that posed a danger to small children who stray from the playground area, which made a fence a needed safety measure.
“For me it just felt like it would be safer to have a fence, even though it doesn’t completely block the kids in, it just prevents them from going up and over the hill or darting towards the pond and you trying to catch them,” Barger said. “It just felt like it was a safer option, similar to the Fort Liberty Park.”
Officials set a fundraising goal of $5,000 that was surpassed, and with the help of Eagle Scout Chase Oswald, the fence became reality.
Township Trustee Tom Farrell said with finite resources, keeping the parks in prime condition is a challenge, but groups like the MOMS Club and the park committee seeking grants are a help.
“It’s been a juggling act no doubt, because the maintenance of the parks continues to have a cost associated with it,” Farrell said. “But a lot of grants out there that they have gotten for walking paths, removal of honeysuckle down to sheds and benches, fences. So a lot of the additional amenities that have been added to the parks and keeps them maintained, do come from grants and MOMS Club and our parks committee. They’ve done a great job.”