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Did you know this about restoration of Firestone Park?

Shown at Firestone Park are (from left) city manager Lance Willard, R and B trustees, Tucker Cope, Vaughn Musser, Pat Tingle, Dawn Rance and Jan Rochette and Jim Feath of HRG, Inc.

And so it all begins … Sept. 1, 2020

Did you know the answers to these questions. . .

After years of planning, fundraising, and meetings with many groups, the work on Phase 1 of the Restoration of Firestone Park began on the first day of September 2020. The Restoration and Beautification Committee of Columbiana considered it “P” day….that is “P” for “Park!” Would Harvey and Idabelle Firestone be pleased and surprised, could they know, that some 86 years after their donation of the land to develop, in Harvey’s wonderful words “The best little park in the State of Ohio,” it is about to be brought into the 21st century? We’d like to think so! So much of it is still about them and the wonderful legacy they gave the town.

Did you know that the contract for Phase 1 of the Terra Design Studios and HRG Project was awarded to Enviroscapes of Canton, Ohio, with a subcontract to Nicely Contracting, Darlington, Pa.? HRG, our contractor for Mirror Lake will be doing the Sports Courts. These three major firms will be implementing the designs prepared for planting and structures throughout the park.

Todd Pugh, founder of Enviroscapes, has a horticultural degree from Ohio State. His company has had many distinguished projects completed including: National First Ladies Park in Canton, the Blossom Music Center, Hollywood Gaming Center, the Canton Hall of Fame Park, and Goodyear Headquarters. He said, in reading through the exhaustive plant/tree/bush list prepared by Terra Design, he knew all but two plants named for installation. Kris Kline from New Waterford is his project manager. Both noted many connections with Firestone Park from their employees….everyone has a story to tell about the park and their associations and experiences there.

Dave Nicely of Nicely Contracting will be doing the excavating and structure building for the four new entrances and the Legacy Trail. He is well known in the area and has worked with Enviroscapes before.

Did you know that the sports courts project will be one of the first completed?

Probably in the next 6 weeks. HRG, our contractor for Mirror Lake, is handling this renovation which includes two new tennis courts, three pickle ball courts, and one standard size basketball court. New fencing, new drainage, new pathways connecting the courts to the Legacy Trail are in the plans.

Did you know the newly installed brick gutters along the Loop Road leading to Springfield Road actually work? Jessie Wilson, veteran City of Columbiana employee, told us he made a special trip to the park after the big rain several weeks ago to see if they were handling the drainage. It was a particularly heavy rain, he said, and except for one spot there was no overflow. Good news for ODOT and HRG, the companies coordinating the restoration using the historic bricks. Good news as it would have been a fiasco if they hadn’t worked out! Jim Feath of HRG, in reply to many complaints and suggestions on how to accomplish the renovation said “Everyone is an engineer!” Credit, however, to Tucker Cope Jr. who intervened and had an interior curb installed as needed.

Now the gutters from the main entrance to the pool house are being removed with plans to replace and rebuild on only one side of the road. The road to the pool house will also be paved.

Did you know all the pavilions now have new names instead of being called by number? One significant change since this was last reported has been the renaming of Pavilion 1 to the TWIN OAKS pavilion. This because Terra Design noted two significant oak trees already there and felt no need to plant more oaks. Pavilion 2 is now the SPRUCE TUNNEL pavilion, and the new name of pavilion 3 is MAPLE GROVE pavilion. Number 4 becomes, logically, MIRROR LAKE pavilion.

Did you know we have had a response form the Firestone family? Bob Troyer, the family representative, contacted us this week saying The Firestone Family Foundation is interested in our Phase 2 Project Idabelle Firestone’s Gathering Place and Gardens. We are in the process of working with an architect to come up with several designs with alternative costs. We will be forwarding this information to them when completed. Good news to get a response!

Did you know that Firestone Park will have all new trash receptacles soon?Working with Lance Willard at the city and park employees,

We came up with attractive new receptacles, easily emptied with liners, to replace the trash barrels that have graced the park for many years. The school district is also contributing for their areas using the same design and company. This is a major upgrade in appearance for the park done through Restoration and Beautification and the Tingle Foundation. You will notice them when they appear and the old ones disappear!

Did you know we are working with several members of the Historical Society on the Interpretive Panels which will be posted at historic sites along the Legacy Trail ? Mary Louise Dicken, Debbie Firestone Himes, and Jay Groner have met with us and supplied needed research about the key sites: Hanna Cabin Ruins, Historic Spring, and Harvey’s Lookout. As we develop other facts of historical significance in the park we will be relying on them and grateful for their participation and knowledge. It is the history and the story of our park that we are honoring and developing with the Legacy Trail. Very interesting to learn about our beginnings here in Columbiana and pay tribute to them and a natural interest for the Historical Society.

Did you know the Dog Park project is kicking into gear? Rose Conrad, PR rep for Restoration and Beautification, is working with the Chamber of Commerce and Lance Willard on a plan to raise money for an installation in 2021. Watch for news of the campaign and take part in naming this new and much needed facility for our canines! We like “Firestone for Fido” but other ideas are welcome. We see so many dogs walking around Mirror Lake with their owners, or is that owners walking with their dogs? It has to be project which the community will respond to readily.

Did you know signs have been posted at Firestone Park noting the contractors and participants in the restoration Phase 1 as well as a graphic plan showing the elements of the project? If you walk or drive the park you will see them. You can also view much of what is going on at our facebook and website. Phase I is scheduled to be completed by December but only the weather and circumstances will dictate if that deadline is possible. Work will resume in the spring in any case. Remember, this is the “YEAR OF THE PARK”!

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