NEW BOSTON—Through community involvement and a partnership with local New Boston schools, the Village of New Boston can now enjoy a newly upgraded Clayport Park.
Although the park itself is not new, the upgraded playground equipment and beautified area may seem new to area residents. Ryan Ottney, New Boston Village Councilman and chairman of the village’s Parks and Recreation Committee, says the improvements to Clayport Park could not have happened without the support of the community.
“The park itself is not new. It didn’t get much attention because it was out there in an isolated area—there wasn’t a lot of equipment, but we put some time and effort into sprucing it up a bit. It really came from a partnership we had with schools in New Boston. They’ve been fantastic to work with,” Ottney said.
After identifying a need for new playground equipment in nearby Millbrook Park, Ottney said the school system, which was also looking for new playground equipment, was quick to step in and help the village. .
“They helped us buy new equipment to [Millbrook Park], and they bought new equipment for their playground at school. In all, this project was about $140,000, I think, for this park project. The Village invested approximately $20,000. This is the investment the school has made to help us. The school is a major partner in this and we really thank them,” Ottney said.
Local New Boston schools then donated whatever equipment they had to Clayport Park, a gesture that helped breathe new life into a largely overlooked part of the community.
“What you see over there is nice new play equipment [in Clayport Park]. The village then came and put money into pouring the concrete, laying out a promenade there. We have a fence around it and we’re going to put some basketball rims in there as well,” Ottney said.
Beautifying the community, for Ottney, helps build pride in the area while fostering interest in maintaining attractive facilities.
“We’re just putting in more gear for people to come to this park and enjoy it; people who live on this end of town and are looking for somewhere else to take their kids and have fun. And it looks really nice, and the fence will keep things safe.
Ottney sees a future for the Village of New Boston that features more community events and volunteer efforts that make the city and its public spaces especially unique.
“I think quality of life, green spaces and the outdoors are very important to the community,” Ottney said. “New Boston has done a wonderful job with our public services, but at the end of the day, people like to have activities, like 4th of July and [the upcoming] Party in the park. We really want to invest in our parks to make people proud of their community, a place where they can get out and breathe fresh air, have fun and go out as a family. I think that makes New Boston a great place to live.
And members of the community will be happy to know that they too can get involved in the mission of beautifying New Boston’s public spaces.
“There have been discussions about re-establishing a beautification committee where citizen volunteers can contact the mayor’s office and let them know they would like to be part of the beautification committee,” Ottney said.
“Ideally we would go around and pick up trash, but also plant flowers, pull weeds – just clean up the community once in a while, making things beautiful. It’s about the community being more proud and playing a more active role in beautifying and improving our neighborhoods,” he added.
Ottney said gauging the public’s interest in volunteering is the first step to resuscitating the beautification committee. And given the positive results at Clayport Park, community involvement contributes greatly to these shared goals.
Those wishing to volunteer for the beautification efforts of the Village of New Boston do not have to reside in the Village. To get started, contact Mayor Junior Williams’ office at (740) 456-4103 to express your interest.
Follow the Village of New Boston on their Facebook page for more updates on community beautification efforts.
Contact Kasie McCreary at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1931 or by email at [email protected]
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