LIMA — Sept. 7 may have been a dreary wet day, but that didn’t stop 300 volunteers from making substantial upgrades to the skate park just north of the Ottawa River on Collett Street.
“Mother Nature wasn’t kind to us, but I think that speaks to the commitment to the community,” Lima Parks and Rec Director Ric Stolly said.
During the mayor’s weekly press conference Wednesday, representatives from United Way of Greater Lima, Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center, the City of Lima and a number of other project sponsors showed off their efforts from early September by holding a ribbon cutting to celebrate the work.
Initiated by the Mercy Health-St Rita’s Medical Center and United Way of Greater Lima to celebrate their 100-year anniversaries, United Way President Carol Braden-Clarke said the skateboard park project picked up steam along the way as more and more individuals got involved.
By the time September rolled around, enough players were in place to make significant upgrades. Picnic tables and water fountains were added. The volleyball courts got a new sand. The skating ramps were repainted, and a long asphalt walkway, or “born learning” path, was installed.
“We decided it would be a great gift to the community,” Braden-Clarke said. “It was truly an effort of everyone coming together.”
Stolly said when the city got calls from the two organizations about wanting to make upgrades to the park, his department put other projects on hold.
“When they call, you know things are going to happen,” Stolly said.
Now, with the first round of upgrades finished, the city plans on expanding programming to make use of them. Adult volleyball leagues will now be hosted at the site this summer.
As for the future of the project, Braden-Clarke said there is a “Phase 2” in the works. Another “Day of Caring” has been scheduled for this spring so that any further upgrades to the park can be enjoyed by those taking advantage of summer’s warmer weather.
“Stay tuned,” Braden-Clarke said. “We’ll be updating folks about the next phase of this project.”
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.