EAST LIVERPOOL - Although the weather may still be frightful, spring is just around the corner, and the Thompson Park board is planning for a busy year, starting with an Easter egg hunt on opening day.
Usually, the park opens April 1, but the board decided at its meeting last week to open on March 30, when the egg hunt is planned at 2 p.m., sponsored by the East Liverpool Area Jaycees.
Children from birth to 12 years old will be welcome to participate, and park employee Dave Quarterman said, "It's been a big event in the past."
Bill Vassar also addressed the board to firm up the proposed July 13 date of the eighth annual Praise in the Park event, saying about 500 people attended in past years.
The top circle and Pavilion No. 1 will be utilized for the event, and Vassar said there will be vendors as in past years.
Asked by member Wink Smith if he had set a rain date for the event, Vassar said, "It's all in God's hands," with a smile, saying they've had good weather in the past.
More information on the event will be forthcoming nearer to the date.
The board also approved a request by Patty Stumbo for an Art in the Park event for May 11, featuring art work by area students and adults, vendors and musical entertainment by the school band.
Stumbo said teachers "jumped up and down" when told about the proposed event.
Smith asked that schools outside East Liverpool also be invited to participate, with Stumbo agreeing.
The registration fee for the art show will be donated to the park for playground equipment.
More information on this event will also be forthcoming.
Parent Laura Smith asked the board whether any further decisions had been made about the softball field, but board President Bud Warrick said the board had made a decision to see how the grass playing field works out this year before proposing any changes.
Mrs. Smith had voiced concerns at previous meetings about the grass infield, saying the girls softball team is not accustomed to playing on grass. The city school board's athletic association has also gone on record opposing the grass field, but Wink Smith said the school board had not contacted the park board or attended a meeting to discuss the issue.
Mrs. Smith said board representatives did come to City Hall but were a day late for the park board meeting last month.
Quarterman was asked to seek estimates for excavation and fill work at the soccer field, which is being renovated.
Member Samantha Kinemond said she hopes to have school students plant flowers throughout the park this year, and Quarterman reported Girl Scouts have indicated an interest in cleaning up and rejuvenating the playhouse at the park playground, possibly even replacing the roof.
Asked how much graffiti is on the house, Quarterman said, "It's a good thing the little kids can't read," and said some of it is actually carved into the wood of the tiny house.
In his report, Quarterman said:
- He is in the process of placing signs on all trails in the park and that one has been named Lenna's Trail in honor of park supporter Lenna Lockhart
- The furnace at the superintendent's house stopped working and the thermostat was replaced
- He has been preparing equipment for the grass cutting season
- Two charity disc golf games were recently held in the park.
Lisa Quarterman was thanked by the board for cleaning up the park house after recent renovation work was completed.
The board also established opening and closing times for the park, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., to run from March 31 to Nov. 1. Signs to that effect will be posted throughout the park.
The next meeting was set for 4 p.m. April 9 in council chambers.