WARREN - A local group in the city's 6th Ward is planning to revitalize Quinby Park, off Austin Avenue, for upcoming generations. A rededication ceremony was held Sunday at the park attended by local church officials, city leaders and residents.
"There is a need to revitalize our community and park. It was just a matter of months working with partnerships and groups that have been focused in on it," said Shar-ree Glover, event coordinator.
She said the collaborative effort is to revitalize the park and the west side of the city.
Pastor Alton Merrell of New Jerusalem Fellowship said plans are for a youth center at the old Value King building at 1950 Palmyra Road, where various events and activities will be held.
"We need a place where young people can go each week for basketball leagues, fishing and other activities. We are doing what we can to revitalize the west side of Warren," Merrell said of Quinby Park.
Sixth Ward Councilwoman Cheryl Saffold said there are a lot of people helping to make the revitalization possible.
"Thank you for supporting the efforts of this group and what they are trying to do to revitalize Quinby Park," she said.
Pastor Todd Johnson of Agape Assembly Church said he came to the park as a boy with his grandfather to fish and to play with his siblings.
"We want to see the next generation have a healthy place to have fun and be safe. We want to protect the investment we made in the park," he said.
For many years, the basketball courts were empty with no nets or lines.
Glover said the community is behind the effort to revitalize the park and were happy to hear of her plans.
She said with the rededication a basketball league can play there. She said plans are for a youth league in addition to the league for adults.
"I played basketball. It's something that's easy for me that I enjoy doing," Glover said.
Glover said the west side of Warren has changed since Warren Western Reserve High School was torn down.
"I am from the west side. I have friends and family who live here. We wanted to do something to get the young people back here," she said.
Saffold said her mother brought her to the park as a girl where she used to ice skate on the pond.
"I grew up here. I am excited about what is being planned. It's a great feeling to know what will be taking place," she said.
She said the park has been in the city since the 1920s.
Saffold said plans are to refurbish and reopen the recreation center at the park which has been closed for a number of years.
Plans are to use the park for meetings and events.
"Monies have been allocated for the project. We will put up a new roof," she said, adding that philanthropic agencies are being asked to help bring the park back to life.
Glover said many groups are working together including city officials..
"There is a lot of planning," she said.
Glover said other events for youths will be held at the park prior to winter.