By Angela T. Koenig
SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP - The Ohio Parks and Recreation Association has honored the township's Stephanie Hummer Memorial Park with an "Outstanding" award of distinction for park development.
More than 100 entries were considered in various categories, OPRA officials said.
The park is named for Stephanie Hummer, an 18-year-old Finneytown High School graduate who was slain in 1994 during her freshman year at Ohio State University.
In Hummer's honor, her parents, Dan and Sue Hummer of Finneytown, established a trust and, in 1997, Procter & Gamble Co. donated 15 acres for recreational use. The Hummers in turn gave the land to the township.
"She would have loved being able to play there herself. It's a tribute to this place where she grew up," said Sue Hummer.
In 1999, the township funded $350,000 in improvements to build soccer fields, a parking lot, a concession stand and restrooms. In 2001, a state grant added $74,000 for a pavilion and play structure with landscaping.
"We've spent a lot of time and money with professionals trying to make those soccer fields first-class," Township Trustee Joe Honerlaw said, citing landscape design at the three soccer fields with specialty soils and irrigation systems.
The park was dedicated in April 2002.
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