A recent land acquisition by the City of North Olmsted has created the opportunity to develop the first pocket park in the community.
On May 7th, North Olmsted City Council adopted Ordinance 2019-56, accepting a deed from the Kiwanis Club of North Olmsted for the donation of land. The subject property is a quarter-acre vacant lot along Butternut Ridge Road across from the Canterbury Road intersection, bound to the west by Interstate 480. The small piece of land was once part of a larger tract that was bisected by the construction of the highway.
Pocket parks, also called mini-parks, can be created on single lots or irregularly shaped remnants of land. The concept for the Butternut Ridge pocket park is contained in the North Olmsted Gateways Plan, which imagines a passive pedestrian area with landscaping, public art and interpretive signage about the city’s history as a nod to its location in the historic district.
City representatives shared the vision for the potential park with Kiwanis Club leadership late in 2018 which sparked conversations that led to the land donation.
“North Olmsted Kiwanis has been a strong supporter of the North Olmsted community since 1930,” said club president Gretchen Schuler. “Kiwanis is proud to continue that tradition with the donation of this land, and we look forward to working with the City to make the park a place that all residents can enjoy for years to come.”
Butternut Ridge resident and Council member Paul Schumann agreed. “Kiwanis members have always gone above and beyond for the North Olmsted community through their outreach and volunteerism. This donation will add to their legacy.” Schumann added that the club will be a partner in the planning for the park and that their contribution will be recognized on permanent signage.
Mayor Kevin Kennedy noted that the land creates opportunities to add to the passive park amenities in North Olmsted. “We’ve been heavily focused on making improvements to community parks and our Rec Center for active recreation. This will be a great addition to our city’s green space that will create a special place for pedestrians and bicyclists to stop when passing through the area.”
The land will transfer to the city in June. The city plans to further develop plans for the land and consider potential funding sources this year.