Parks projects gain steam


Committees woking on community garden, skate park, disc golf

By McKenzie Caldwell - mcaldwell@aimmediamidwest.com



Patrick Shanahan, a member of the core parks committee, and members of the garden subcommittee, not pictured, plant trees and flowers at Liberty Park.

Patrick Shanahan, a member of the core parks committee, and members of the garden subcommittee, not pictured, plant trees and flowers at Liberty Park.


Courtesy of the city of Hillsboro

Hillsboro Mayor Justin Harsha encourages parks committee members and subcommittee members to create a master plan at Tuesday’s parks committee meeting. For inspiration, Harsha brought plans for Liberty Park that former Hillsboro Mayor Betty Bishop’s parks committee created in the early 1990s.


McKenzie Caldwell | The Times-Gazette

Editor’s Note — This story was edited to include the name of the skate park subcommittee member who updated the committee on the status of the skate park.

During the city of Hillsboro’s parks committee meeting this week, subcommittee members reported that projects throughout the city are moving forward. Across the city, community members are hosting fundraisers to support the committee, including the Hillsboro Elk’s Saturday golf tournament, which still has slots available.

The garden subcommittee began planting flowers, trees and a butterfly garden at Liberty Park last week, core parks committee member Patrick Shanahan reported.

Shanahan said volunteers will return to the park to plant the remaining tulip bulbs, daffodils and wildflowers.

Once the flowers are planted, Shanahan said the subcommittee’s next “big project” will be a community garden.

Garden subcommittee member Courtney Pohlman proposed a challenge to get local elementary students involved with the butterfly garden. Though Pohlman said she and others are still in the planning process, they would like to encourage local fifth-grade classes to learn about the life cycles of Monarch butterflies and create a piece of artwork for the garden that could also double as a sanctuary for caterpillars in the pupa stage, when the insects form cocoons.

The winning classroom’s artwork would be displayed in the butterfly garden.

The core parks committee approved Pohlman’s proposal, which will allow the subcommittee to begin reaching out to local schools.

Pohlman said the subcommittee hopes to hold the competition for students during the winter in order to have the artwork ready for butterflies in the spring.

In other news from the parks committee meeting:

* Disc golf subcommittee members Dallas Hunt and Ben Ludlow reported that the subcommittee is working to raise money to install a disc golf course at Liberty Park.

Hunt said subcommittee members and city officials are working to clear the area of brush that would inhibit a player using the course.

Hunt said they hope to order red, white and blue disc golf baskets since the course will be located in Liberty Park, which also contains the veterans’ memorial.

Hunt said the course may take as long as spring 2021 to complete depending on the amount of time it takes the subcommittee to obtain the funding.

When complete, the course will include 18 holes plus a practice hole.

According to Hunt and Ludlow, the course could attract professional players from nearby areas, including Cincinnati and Columbus, as players have been requesting an additional disc golf course.

Nearby, there are currently disc golf courses at Paint Creek and Rock Fork state parks, though Hunt said the course at Rocky Fork is in need of maintenance.

Though the subcommittee is still working out the details, it would like to hold a disc golf tournament at Paint Creek State Park to raise money for the Hillsboro course.

* Skate park subcommittee member Jon Hart said that the subcommittee is still in the early stages of planning. The subcommittee is still considering several locations for the skate park, but Hart said the subcommittee would like to build the skate park in an area where it would be less susceptible to acts like vandalism.

* Volunteer John Keyser stated that cleanup will continue at the Railroad Street Park as volunteers discovered littered items and old tires while clearing brush.

* The Hillsboro Elks is hosting a golfing tournament to raise money for the parks committee. Core parks committee member Caleb Gregory announced at the meeting Tuesday that there are still two spots available, but those interested must register by Friday.

The tournament will be held at the Hillsboro Elks Golf Course, located at 451 Danville Pike, on Saturday, Sept. 19. Tee time is 10 a.m. The cost of registration is $200 per team.

To register, contact Gregory at gregoryc2020@gmail.com. For more information, call 937-763-3796.

* Alex Butler, core parks committee member and Hillsboro auditor, requested that community members interested in organizing fundraisers to raise money for the parks projects should contact the parks committee to finalize details for their fundraisers to ensure organizers and the committee are “speaking with the same voice.”

Organizers should submit donations as soon as possible, preferably within two days, Butler said, to the city of Hillsboro. Donations may be in the cash, check, money order or cashiers check and may be submitted in person or to the dropbox at the city of Hillsboro’s office, located at 130 N. High St.

Checks should be made payable to the city of Hillsboro, and organizers should specify whether they want the funds to go to the parks committee or a specific subcommittee.

Subcommittees include the skate park subcommittee, disc golf subcommittee, trails subcommittee, playground subcommittee, and the garden subcommittee.

In early July, Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Brianne Abbott told The Times-Gazette that the city began working to create a parks committee earlier this year but the process came to a halt during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a July 10 interview, Abbott said she and Harsha have always had the goal of improving the city’s parks.

The parks committee met for the first time in late July.

The parks committee meets every third Tuesday of the month. Its next meeting will be held at the Old Firehouse, located at 108 Trimble Pl.

Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.

Patrick Shanahan, a member of the core parks committee, and members of the garden subcommittee, not pictured, plant trees and flowers at Liberty Park.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2020/09/web1_parks2-1.jpgPatrick Shanahan, a member of the core parks committee, and members of the garden subcommittee, not pictured, plant trees and flowers at Liberty Park. Courtesy of the city of Hillsboro

Hillsboro Mayor Justin Harsha encourages parks committee members and subcommittee members to create a master plan at Tuesday’s parks committee meeting. For inspiration, Harsha brought plans for Liberty Park that former Hillsboro Mayor Betty Bishop’s parks committee created in the early 1990s.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2020/09/web1_harsha2-1.jpgHillsboro Mayor Justin Harsha encourages parks committee members and subcommittee members to create a master plan at Tuesday’s parks committee meeting. For inspiration, Harsha brought plans for Liberty Park that former Hillsboro Mayor Betty Bishop’s parks committee created in the early 1990s. McKenzie Caldwell | The Times-Gazette
Committees woking on community garden, skate park, disc golf

By McKenzie Caldwell

mcaldwell@aimmediamidwest.com