Delaware’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board praised the work of city employees and local volunteers in maintaining the appearance of Delaware’s amenities during its meeting earlier this week.
Parks superintendent Stacy Davenport began by thanking Domtar Corp., whose employees spent a day following the county fair cleaning Oak Grove Cemetery. The Delaware-based diaper plant shut down for the day so its 200 employees could straighten headstones, pick up branches, paint fences and other work.
“By far, it’s the biggest effort I’ve seen at Oak Grove,” Davenport said.
It won’t be the only volunteer work at the city-run cemetery. On Saturday morning, 65 students from Ohio Wesleyan University will be on hand as part of the local “Make a Difference Day” efforts.
In other updates, Davenport said things were going up at Veterans Park, including pipes for the splash pad and the play toy. The Veterans Park, near the YMCA, is still on track for a May opening.
Also opening in the spring is the city’s dog park next to the Wetland Park. Davenport said his staff was putting up fence, but he wanted to wait for the grass to get established over the winter before allowing it to be used.
Other projects include a fishing pier at Smith Park; upgrades at Hidden Valley Golf Course; and using the public works facilities as a greenhouse for the city’s planters, instead of the locker room at Mingo Pool. In addition, 300 street trees will soon be planted by staff and a contractor.
Davenport said things will slow down next year, and his crew can concentrate more on day-to-day maintenance.
Chairwoman Allyson Lash, along with members Joshua Bricker and Celeste Smith, praised Davenport and his staff.
“I’m amazed at how much you’re taking on,” Lash said. “Most of us take for granted our nice amenities.”
“We have an awesome staff,” Davenport said. “We’re doing what we’re supposed to do.”
Jeremy Byers, senior director of youth and adult sports at the Delaware Community Center YMCA, said that softball leagues are winding down. He said participants seem to prefer weekend tournaments to the leagues, because it takes less of a time commitment.
Byers also asked for volunteers for the Mingo Park Halloween party from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24. The activities will include Trunk or Treat, a free pumpkin to the first 500 children 9 years old and under, hot dogs, marshmallows, music, bounce houses and a costume contest.
“It’s supposed to be a beautiful day, so it’s going to be very crowded,” Byers said.
To volunteer, call 740-203-3051.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.