Plans to renovate Tylee Park in downtown Hubbard almost didn't come to fruition, but a quick effort by concerned citizens kept the small plot of land with historical significance from becoming just another chunk of lawn.
''The city was planning to plow it all and plant grass,'' said Deborah Shields, executive director of the Hubbard Chamber of Commerce.
Shields said she was told if they could come up with a reasonable plan to renovate the park, the city would hold off the plow.
Hubbard’s Tylee Park has come a long way from the weeds and neglect it suffered over the past several years. Members of the Hubbard Chamber of Commerce, as well as volunteers from the Hubbard Environmental and Land Preservation group and the Hubbard Historical Society have been diligently working toward renovating the park.
''The plans were drawn quickly,'' Shield said. ''And I mean, quick,''
In less than a day, Shields, also a member of the Hubbard Garden Club, and her sister presented preliminary drawings to the city's planning and zoning commission, who were so impressed that they decided to allow the opportunity to proceed with the renovations.
David Wittenauer and other members of the Hubbard Environmental and Land Preservation Organization (H.E.L.P.) as well as Eagle Joint Fire District Chief, John Clemente, members of the Hubbard Historical Society and volunteers too numerous to mention, immediately began moving benches, pulling weeds and virtually clearing out the park in preparation for the renovations.
More than 100 boxwood shrubs, 14 Knock-Out roses and a dozen lavender plants later, the park has taken on a entirely new look. Even the Santa House, a popular community spot during the holiday season, has been getting a facelift. Termite damage threatened the structure, but foundation repairs as well as a brisk power-washing and painting has given the small house a new lease on life.
The park gazebo also was powerwashed and a new coat of stain, as well as repairs to the latticework were done. Stonework around each memorial garden bed was placed by Three Flags, Inc., who also provided mulch for the beds.
With the help of the Hubbard Historical Society, an original grist stone from the Hubbard Grist Mill, built in 1809, was recently moved to the park. Future plans include the construction of a wrought iron armillary with the name of the park at the top to be installed on brick pillars at the entrance.
The renovations began with a grant from the Trumbull 100 Club of Trumbull County.
''We started asking clubs and organizations for donations,'' Shields said.
People started coming forward with donations, she said. None of the renovations was funded by the city and some of the memorial boxwood garden plots have already been purchased. There are still some available, she said.
Anyone wishing to donate toward the park renovation can send a check to the Hubbard Chamber of Commerce, Tylee Park Fund, P.O. Box 177, Hubbard, OH 44425. Be sure to write Tylee Park Fund in the memo portion of your check.