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Children celebrate park improvements

Sunday, August 18, 2019

By William K. Alcorn


The Lincoln Knolls neighborhood celebrated Saturday over $100,000 in improvements to Lincoln Knolls Community Park that gives its residents, especially the younger ones, a safe place to play within safe walking distance of their homes.

Young men were playing pick-up basketball on a court sporting upgraded hoops, young children were playing on new playground equipment, and parents and grandparents were sitting around talking and watching the younger people enjoy themselves.

“There was a great need, especially for children 5 to 12,” said Marguerite Douglas, vice president and financial secretary of the Lincoln Knolls Community Watch, who wrote the grant application.

And more improvements are in the works.

A fence of treated lumber will be erected to seal off the play area from a drainage ditch, and landscaping is planned.

The park, nestled between Dandridge Burgundi Manor and Lincoln Square Apartments on Maranatha Court, is about 160 feet wide and 200 feet deep, said Douglas.

“I talked to the kids and asked them to treat this as their very own park and urged them to take care of it. It belongs to every person who lives in Lincoln Knolls. We might never get this chance again,” she said she told them.

Douglas, a 1979 graduate of Campbell Memorial High School, worked as a paralegal in Michigan before coming home to take care of her parents, and graduated from Youngstown State University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and corrections.

She thanked the organizations that had a part in the park project.

They include William Swanson Charitable Fund, Western Reserve Health Foundation, Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC), which is the fiscal agent for the grant, and Youngstown Park and Recreation Department.

“I love children and seniors, I love the Lord and singing gospel music in my church, Price Memorial AME Zion, and I love my community,” Douglas said.

Corey Brown, a lieutenant in the Youngstown Fire Department, along with other firefighters brought a truck “for kids to see what it’s all about.”

Gerald Robinson of Youngstown said people responsible for upgrading the park “did a wonderful thing.”

One of the movers and shakers is Ethel Hughey, president of the Lincoln Knolls Community Watch.

“For some people, transportation is an issue. The area had no park close within walking distance,” she said.