Capital Project to Restore Firestone Park Continues in 2020
The renovation of Firestone Park by the Restoration and Beautification Committee of Columbiana continues as part of the 3 million dollar capital improvement project, with ongoing progress being made in various areas of the park.
Restoration of the park’s decades-old gutters has begun, and an expanded entrance at the pool area with enhanced parking, along with the construction of a concrete path along a new historic Legacy Trail Loop, are the current activities soon to be underway at the city’s popular recreational park made possible by land and monetary donations in the mid-1930’s by Harvey S. Firestone, famous American tire industrialist and the town’s native son.
More improvements include new swings and see-saws at the playground areas adjacent to the rental pavilions, now re-opened with new health-safety protocols in place, and new landscaping and plantings throughout the park. On the great tree lawn opposite the pool house and directly across from the cemetery, six new tree seedlings have been planted that reflect the original trees planted in the park when it opened more than 8 decades ago. They include Overcup Oak, White Oak, Burr Oak, Northern Catalpa and Chinquapin Oak.
Bidding will also soon be underway for the complete restoration of the sport courts to include a completely-renovated tennis court, the addition of pickleball courts and a new updated basketball court. Funding is mostly complete for construction of the new sport courts, slated to be completed sometime in the Fall of this year.
Looking ahead to Phase 3 of the renovation in 2021 and 2022, Idabelle’s Gathering Place and Gardens is being contemplated to honor Harvey Firestone’s wife. Features of this project will include gardens of colorful perennials and annuals to honor her love of flowers, an outdoor amphitheater to honor her love of music and a walkway bordered with lilacs on each side to connect the park more closely to the historic Firestone Memorial in the cemetery just across the street. The Hanna Cabin Ruin & Spring Garden is another option being considered if funding becomes available through donations and other funding sources which will commemorate where the pioneer Hanna family settled in a log cabin and drew from the nearby spring in the 1800’s in what is now known as Firestone Park.
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