Alright Greenfield, Chew This Over!

I went back to the list of ideas presented in Roger L. Kemp’s piece about downtown revitalization and chose the first item as a basis to build on, “Restoring and enhancing nature, such as ponds, parks, and even urban farms.”

Several years ago I was part of a discussion about Greenfield and one person described the idea of developing the area behind the Grain and Hay and the RR Depots as a community park. I don’t remember all the details but the major one involved restructuring or terracing the embankment leading down to Paint Creek and turning it into an amphitheater.

Several years later Greenfield received a grant and constructed a nice bicycle/walking path  that parallels Paint Creek beginning at the bottom of South Street. At the time I suggested the city use it’s labor and equipment while the project was on going and clean up the creek area, thin out some of the trees and undergrowth, and reshape a portion of the creek bank making it more accessible to the public and to less able citizens. Turn the area between South Street and the woods near Felson Park into a public park and recreation area. Maybe secure permission from the Corps of Engineers to build a small stone dam to deepen the pool of water in that area for improved fishing, canoeing, etc.

I don’t know what such things would cost and since these original discussions the economy fell on its nose and the city has faced major budget problems. But, the ideas are still there and an argument can be made that investing in quality of life issues can help bring us back.

Since my friend proposed his amphitheater idea here’s what’s happened in that area of town. The Greenfield Historical Society has continued to develop its collection of museums there, a stone wall has been built along part of the Pioneer Cemetery, the bike path has been extended an extra several miles along Paint Creek, Felson Park sits awaiting greater use, and Paint Creek still offers scenic and recreational opportunities. The whole area can also easily be tied into and made accessible with Mitchell Park via the bike path. There is one huge potential public park well within walking and bicycle distance of any part of town. That’s one hell of a resource sitting just two blocks from the center of center of Greenfield’s business district. Someone else will have to deal with the cost and labor needed but to a average person it doesn’t seem like it would take too much to turn it all into a showplace of community involvement, concern, and pride.

Maybe the development of our creek bank could be the one thing that strikes a passing entrepreneur to stop and say, “This place, Greenfield, Ohio may be a great place to locate my new company.”

8 thoughts on “Alright Greenfield, Chew This Over!”

  1. Larry, how about community gardens? Not at the creek but in some of the vacant lots where the derelict houses have been torn down? or behind Waddel’s in that big field? (if it’s still there, haven’t been there in years.)
    My son and his fiance are organizing them in the city where they live and it’s been very successful. might even grow to the point where a small industry could spring out of it. One of his Peace Corps projects was a green house to supply starter plants to a small industry on the mountain that expressed and bottled plant oils. He tried to get bee keeping going too but that didn’t work out.

    I truly believe we need to get back to a community, to think local and come up with ways to make things we need that we don’t drive half an hour to malwart for. All kinds of things could grow out of it. I can’t think of the guy’s name but he calls himself the urban farmer, he has some great ideas for revitalizing blighted neighborhoods and at the same time bringing fresh good food to urban deserts. Some chicken yards? why not?

    1. Rick Sapienza and his wife Barb donated 2 top of the line green houses to the high school. I just notice couple of weeks ago that they have been erected next to the Ag-Art Bldg and enclosed in chain link fence. Originally the thought was they would be used by ag students to grow starter plants to be given away to a community garden program that was being set up by the city using vacant lots and city lands. I don’t know what the status of this idea is but if I see Betty Bishop I’ll ask. I think this is a great idea and the foundation for employing it already exists. Thanks!

  2. Sounds like you’ve hit upon something; at least you got more comments than many of your CGS blogs. Greenfield is fortunate to have someone of your caliber caring about its future. Keep up the good work!

  3. this would be a great project for someone to make a $$ on. search for grants available, put the paperwork together & don’t forget the administrative costs (wink, wink). pitch it to city council, blah, blah, blah. it takes time, but, in the end it’s fulfilling work and you got paid. i have a friend in tennesee that did this with a community garden on a pretty large scale.

  4. I was around the creek & bike path a lot during the train derailment a couple of weeks ago. It is beautiful but it could stand some clean-up, not only debris, but also trash. Perhaps a school group would consider it a community investment project to do so. I took an interesting picture of moss & plants growing on an old, red towel. The creek area is becoming a bit overgrown, but perhaps that was the plan. I was able to get to the water from under the tressle easily.
    It wouldn’t hurt to put restrooms at the beginning like there used to be, even a portajon might be appreciated.

  5. All of these ideas sound great and are within reach if we all pitch in. The area along paint Creek could be staged as a mini river walk. We could advertise our bike path to those outside of our area, it is one of the most seanic anywhere.

    1. Lanny, The photo in the article of a river area in another town would sure look good as one drove across the Paint Creek Bridge as a prospective businessman entered our community! Of course that one was built long ago but we also have the existing infrastructure to make our own version. Our bike path is in fact one of the most scenic and it is also a good length for riders who aren’t in the best of condition but want a leisurely ride through the scenery of the Paint Creek Valley. I also think Betty Bishop has the kind of skills and drive to help facilitate some of these ideas.

  6. I think that would be an awesome idea. I think that would be something that would also attracts families to move to this area. The part down behind the bridge that they now have gated off holds special memories for me. As a little girl we would go down there with my grandpa and he would let the dog run and as kids of course we joined the dog in running and playing…will always be a good memory of spending time with my grandpa.

Leave a Reply