Next year, Rocky River residents and visitors might have a new park to enjoy.
Rocky River City Council is applying for a $150,000 Cuyahoga County Community Development Block Grant grant to build a park at Wooster Road and Shoreland Avenue. If approved, construction will begin next spring.
“We’re always looking for new connections in our community,” Mayor Pam Bobst said. “This park will connect the neighborhoods in the surrounding area and increase accessibility to the commercial space there.”
The city has used county Community Development Block Grants in the past to update areas like the streetscape on Old Detroit Road, Bobst said.
The proposed park would be on a 10,000-square-foot patch of greenspace across from Pelicano’s Pizza on Wooster Road. The vacant lot has little on it except for a few trees and grass. Early plans for the space include benches and a pergola. It is too small for playground equipment, said Safety Service Director Rich Snyder.
The park will also include signage noting the area was once part of the Schlather Estate, a summer property used by Leonard Schlather. He owned the Schlather Brewing Co. (1857-1902), which once stood where the Great Lakes Brewing Co. now operates in Ohio City, according to the Rocky River Public Library.
An early estimation by the city puts the cost of this project around $200,000. The grant will cover most of the expense, with the city paying the remaining costs.
The city held two public meetings to present its plans for the grant and to get input. Officials will apply for the grant this month and if approved, another public hearing will be held next year before construction begins, Bobst said.
Work on this project has been two years in the making. “If you look at the master plan for the city, one of the goals is to create a multi-use trail along Wooster Road to connect Hilliard Boulevard to Detroit Road,” Snyder said. “Having this park here will serve as a rest stop for those looking to travel that area.”
The project is also part of a community confluence plan the city has with Lakewood. The project focuses on the three bridges that connect the two cities and the surrounding areas. The goal is to increase connections between the cities for pedestrians and bicyclists. Those interested in learning more about the project can go to countyplanning.us.
“With everything that’s gone on with the pandemic, it’s important for residents to get outside and be a part of the community,” Snyder said. “A project like this would create another point of access for them to have those experiences.”
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