Jul. 6—NEW BOSTON — Thanks to community involvement and a partnership with New Boston Local Schools, the Village of New Boston can now enjoy a newly improved Clayport Park.
While the park itself is not new, the improved playground equipment and beautified area may appear a new fixture to area residents. Ryan Ottney, Village of New Boston Councilman and Chairman of the Parks and Recreation Committee for the Village, says that the improvements to Clayport Park couldn't have taken place without community support.
"The park itself is not new. It hasn't received a lot of attention because it's been over there in an isolated area—didn't have a lot of equipment, but we put some time and effort into dressing it up a little bit. This really came from a partnership we've had New Boston Schools. They've been fantastic to work with," Ottney said.
After identifying a need for new playground equipment in nearby Millbrook Park, Ottney said that the school system, which was also seeking new equipment for their playground, was quick to jump in and assist the Village.
"They helped us purchase new equipment for [Millbrook Park], and they purchased new equipment for their playground over at the school. In all, this project was about $140,000 I think, for this park project. The Village put in about $20,000. That's how big an investment that the school put in to help us. The school is a major partner in this and we really thank them," said Ottney.
New Boston Local Schools then donated the equipment they had available to Clayport Park, a gesture which helped breathe new life into a largely overlooked fixture of the community.
"What you're seeing over there is some nice, new playground equipment [in Clayport Park]. The Village then came up and put some money into pouring concrete, laying a walk in there. We have a fence up around it and we are going to go in and put some basketball rims in there as well," Ottney said.
Beautifying the community, to Ottney, helps reinforce pride in the area while fostering interest in maintaining attractive facilities.
"We are just kind of putting more equipment for people to go to that park and enjoy it; people who live on that end of town who are looking for another area where they can take their kids and have fun. And it looks really nice, and the fence is going to keep things safe."
Ottney sees a future for the Village of New Boston which features more of the community events and volunteer efforts that make the town and its public spaces especially unique.
"I think quality of life and green space and getting outdoors is all very important to the community," Ottney said. "New Boston has done a terrific job with our public services, but ultimately people like to have activities, like Fourth of July and [the upcoming] Party in the Park. We really want to invest in our parks to give people some pride in their community—someplace where they can get out and breathe some fresh air, have some fun and get out with the family. I think that makes New Boston a nice place to live."
And folks within the community will be happy to know that they, too, can get involved in the mission to beautify New Boston's public spaces.
"There's been discussions about getting a beautification committee back up and running to where citizen volunteers can contact the Mayor's office and let them know that they'd like to be a part of the beautification committee," Ottney said.
"Ideally we would go around and pick up trash but also plant some flowers, pull up weeds—just cleaning up the community from time to time, making things look nice. It's about the community taking more pride and a more active role in the beautification and the improvement of our neighborhoods," he added.
Ottney said that gauging public interest toward volunteering is the first step in resurrecting the beautification committee. And given the positive results in Clayport Park, community involvement goes a long way toward those shared goals.
Those wishing to volunteer for the Village of New Boston's beautification efforts need not necessarily reside within the Village. To get started, contact Mayor Junior Williams' office at (740) 456-4103 to express interest.
Follow the Village of New Boston on their Facebook page for more updates about community beautification efforts.
Reach Kasie McCreary at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1931 or by email at email@example.com
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