Sunday, July 02, 2000

Fort Mitchell shares plans for new park

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FORT MITCHELL — When Fort Mitchell merged with the tiny city of Crescent Park last July, it inherited seven mostly wooded, undeveloped acres off Avon Drive.

        Now marked by little more than a set of old swings and a merry-go-round, the site could soon become one of Fort Mitchell's premiere parks, the city's park director says.

        At its meeting Wednesday, the Fort Mitchell Park Board will unveil a design for the new Mayors' Park featuring everything from a picnic shelter/gazebo to preschool and elementary-age playgrounds.

        Jim Procaccino, Fort Mitchell's park director, said the new park is being developed, thanks to $150,000 included in Kentucky's budget for the fiscal year that begins Saturday. Fort Mitchell park funds are expected to cover the rest of the $162,000 project.

        “We had promised the people of that area that we would get back to them before we finalized anything,” Mr. Procaccino said. “We want to get the neighborhood's input to make sure we're addressing their needs.”

        Wednesday's meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. at the former Crescent Park City Hall at 2550 Avon Dr. The small park that would become part of the larger Mayors' Park is behind the former city building.

        Tentative plans call for the pro ject to include a picnic shelter/gazebo with grill, a half-court basketball court, an open playfield, preschool and elementary aged playgrounds and a paved walking trail. There also will be security lighting, and a sign and a 20-space parking lot will be near the park's entrance off Avon Drive.

        “I think it'll be lovely when they get it finished,” said Mary Ward, 69, who formerly served as Crescent Park's clerk. “Right close to the park, there are quite a few families with young children. And I think a lot of the older people will take advantage of those walking trails.”

        Mrs. Ward said her husband, Maston, who will turn 75 this month, walks every morning in Pioneer Park.

        “But this would be much closer,” she said of the proposed park.

        Now largely made up of retirees and young families, Crescent Park was built as returning World War II veterans hit the housing market. Today, the area includes 122 homes on six streets.

        Fort Mitchell also has two other parks off Grandview Drive and Iris Road and runs a year-round recreational program with Beechwood Schools.

        Anyone who cannot attend Wednesday's meeting can still call Jim Procaccino, Fort Mitchell's park director, at 331-2536, extension 333, or mail comments to Fort Mitchell City Hall, P.O. Box 17157, Fort Mitchell, Ky. 41017-0157.


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