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Youngstown Park Wins 2nd Place in Statewide Competition -

A state park organization honored the Glenwood Community Park on the city’s South Side with a second-place award in its best partnership category.

“This is exciting and I hope the unity and cooperation shown with this park can lead to building parks, using the same model, in other parts of the city,” said Robert Burke, Youngstown park and recreation director.

Glenwood finished second among 16 nominees in the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association’s partnership category. That category honors recreational facilities and programs that involve members of the community working together with government.

First place went to a project that opened a pool at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to residents of Fairborn in southwest Ohio.

For about three years, kids in Youngstown’s Fosterville and Idora neighborhoods, on and along Glenwood Avenue, didn’t have a playground or park nearby, until the new park opened last fall.

It was built after a series of meetings with residents to determine a new location and what should be in the park.

The park on Glenwood Avenue, between Laclede and Sherwood avenues, includes a full asphalt basketball court, the only climbing rock in the city’s park system, a playground, and a pavilion.

The $300,000 project had numerous groups and organizations volunteer to build the park primarily with money from the city, but also from foundation and association grants.

“It’s a community asset on the South Side,” Burke said. “Without the help of many, we couldn’t have done this.”

Woody Woodward, the state association’s executive director said the park “is a shining example” of what happens when people “work hard every day to improve the quality of life.”

Among the numerous organizations involved in obtaining grants and helping to build the park is the Idora Neighborhood Association.

“We asked the kids what they wanted, and that’s what was built,” said Jim London, the association’s president. “Everybody takes pride in the park because everyone was involved in the planning process and helped build it. It’s brought a lot of people together.”

In addition to the playground and basketball court, the park is used for parties, picnics, and community meetings, London said.

The city sold land on Glenwood Avenue — a short distance from this park — that used to be the location of Fosterville Park, which consisted of old playground equipment, and the former Cleveland School location, for $14,000 in 2010 to Bottom Dollar.

Two years later, the company opened a 17,000-square-foot location, the only full-service grocery store on the South Side. Bottom Dollar recently announced the sale of all of its stores, effective at the end of the year, to ALDI, which hasn’t said if it will reopen any of them under their company’s name.

Mayor John A. McNally is asking ALDI to return ownership of the Bottom Dollar property to the city.

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