Streetsboro – The City of Streetsboro has plans to update its new park, which was recently named Thomas Heritage Park via a vote by the residents last November. The name comes from Osman Thomas, who operated the property as a farm in the 1920s.
According to Mayor Glenn Broska, the land was actually acquired as the result of a lawsuit that had been filed against the city a couple of years ago, but they have recently begun updating the property to turn this parcel of land, which offers a number of ponds, including a fishing pond and a beaver pond, into a nature park and recreation haven for residents.
“We intend to keep [the property] largely pristine. It was purchased as a nature park, and we want to keep it largely undeveloped.” Broska also said there were two primary reasons they city has for creating this park. “Primarily, we need to help keep that area from becoming more of a flood problem. If we had allowed houses to be built there, it probably would have contributed to the flood problem in the area.” In addition to preventing further flooding of homes, the mayor explained, “It’s something we can offer to the people of Streetsboro where they can see nature work.”
The workings of nature that the mayor is referring to include a pond with fish that, according to Greg Mytinger, director of Streetsboro’s Parks and Recreation Department, is a 1/2 acre pond that was already on the property and, Mytinger said, is a catch-and-release pond. The pond will not offer a swimming area, but other events will be offered, such as one that was to take place earlier this year. Streetsboro had planned an ice fishing day, but that was cancelled due to unseasonably warm temperatures. Mayor Broska plans on the city holding fishing derbies at the pond.
The beaver pond that is on the property is approximately 6 acres and is currently quite shallow, but as the beavers will be allowed to continue to “do what they do,” according to Mayor Broska, the pond will deepen and perhaps eventually have fish in it. “This will allow the children and adults to be able go back there and see what [beavers] do when they are in an area where they aren’t being destructive and causing flooding. There are areas where they can see where the beavers are being industrious.”
Right now, Mytinger said, “the park is not very accessible yet. We have a small gravel parking lot, but we are looking to add a parking lot this summer as well as establishing some trails.” In addition, the Mayor hopes to add an amphitheater to the property and perhaps expand the fishing pond in the future.
The work that is taking place this summer will be done by personnel already employed by the city. Their work will include cutting trails on the 130-acre parcel. Currently, there is only about half of a mile of walking trails but this summer, Mytinger said, they are planning to put in an estimated three miles of walking trails in addition to adding signs and other updates throughout the summer.
Mayor Broska also said they are not receiving aid from the Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program (WRRSP), but they are looking for other grants to help them fund the more costly improvements, and as funds become available, other improvements will be made to the Thomas Heritage Park.
If anyone is interested in more information at the www.CityofStreetsboro.com