New park now accessible
Completion, dedication delayed until spring
The first phase of Springbrook Gardens Park still isn’t done, but the public is now welcome to visit.
Mentor City Manager Kevin Filipiak made that announcement at this week’s Council meeting.
Officials had sought to dissuade park use during construction. This past weekend, however, the contractor was able to get the first layer of asphalt down along the main drive and parking lot.
“It appears that the remaining surface course, and probably the walking paths, will be delayed until spring,” Filipiak said. “Until then, the contractor will install temporary asphalt transitions to eliminate any potential tripping hazards so that the path will be safe for public access until that paving is complete.”
Ward 2 Councilman Matt Donovan inquired about whether snowplowing services would be provided this season. Parks & Recreation Director Kenn Kaminski confirmed that they would.
City leaders had hoped to open the park with a dedication ceremony in October, but delays were caused by a rainy streak and the concrete subcontractor’s business folding just prior to completion.
“Even with that initial course down, people will be able to walk it during the winter months and, come spring time, that final course will go down,” Filipiak said.
Scheduled for completion yet this year is beginning the waterline tap, sanitary tap, and parking blocks and striping, he said.
In October, Councilman at large Ray Kirchner expressed disappointment about the delays and concern about doing the dedication in the cold. The event now is planned for spring.
“We wanted nice weather for the dedication,” Kirchner said.
The park improvements — combined with the Two Town Ditch restoration for $4.6 million — involved excavation and embankment of onsite material as well as offsite fill being used to develop mounding for prairie lands. In addition, it included adding roadway and parking areas with 276 spaces, 1.7 miles of asphalt walking paths, stream culverts, pond and ditch enhancements, utilities for future restrooms and a boardwalk along the pond. Picnic areas and a tree farm are planned as well.
The 50-acre site at 6842 Heisley Road adds to the city’s 1,200 acres of protected parkland. It was named in honor of the former nursery on the site. Springbrook Gardens belonged to the Schultz family for more than 100 years and was among the last large pieces of undeveloped, privately owned parcels in Mentor when it was sold to the city in 2014 for $2.5 million. In 2016, another $335,000 was spent to purchase more land, including a century home.
The boardwalk and pond are among the features finished at Springbrook Gardens Park in Mentor.