GREENVILLE – The Greenville City Park is proof that a group of people wanting to make a difference can do just that. On Sunday, the Friends of the Greenville City Park gathered to dedicate the improvements made at the little island in the park now known as Little Turtle Island. The total cost of the renovation project was $127,090.
The Friends formed in 2016 under the leadership of Jenny Clark. She said the mission of the group is to “raise funds and awareness to help maintain, protect and preserve the Greenville City Parks at the highest level possible and to work together to ensure that it remains that way for future generations to enjoy.” The group was able to raise funds and complete two island projects over the past three years. Treasured Island, the large island in the park, was dedicated in 2017.
Clark shared there wasn’t a name for the island when they initially announced the renovation project and decided to open it up to the public for suggestions. The winning name, Little Turtle Island, was submitted by one of the Friends, Roberta Crawford.
The current project was completed this past summer and the key components included a detailed statue of Little Turtle and a new waterfall.
Not only was the project made possible through local donations and grants, the group also received a sizable grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Clark credited Darryl Mehaffie for giving guidance in getting the grant. The $98,000 state grant allowed the Friends to commission the Chief Little Turtle statue and bronze plaque with history about Little Turtle. The grant also provided funds for the cement base for the statue, as well as the removal of all dead shrubs, trees, plants and debris, additional new soil, trees, perennials and grass, mulch and stone landscaping, irrigation system, lighting and much more.
Over $29,000 was raised locally and allowed for the installation of 250 tons of rip rap stone and the removal of the old waterfall. The funds were also used to install a base for the sign giving the history of Chief Little Turtle.
State Senator Matt Huffman praised the Friends for preserving history. “Sometimes this is the best and only history that people will know because these things are written down in a beautiful park like this,” he said. “Having this here for many years to come is going to allow the great history of this community to survive.” He named some of the other legislatures involved with making the grant possible – Senator Steve Huffman, former senator and current State Auditor Keith Faber, State Representative Susan Manchester, and former Senator Bill Beagle.
Clark thanked park board members and the park manager, as well as Greenville City Council, Safety Service Director Curt Garrison, Street Department Superintendent Ryan Delk and his crew, and Mayor Steve Willman for their assistance in making this project possible.
Mayor Willman said, “Through their efforts we will continue to have a special place to enjoy the past down through the generations. I’m sure this was the intent of those that created this beautiful sanctuary. Thank you to all of you that accomplished this and renewed this island.”
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