New parks are on the drawing board in Kettering and Centerville.
In Kettering, city officials are gathering recommendations from residents about what they would like to have included in Gentile Park, which will be constructed on part of the former Defense Electronics Supply Center property, which occupied 165 acres west of Wilmington Pike, north of East Dorothy Lane and south of Patterson Road.
Amenities citizens have listed so far include playgrounds, shelters, open play fields, outdoor fitness apparatus, a sledding and walking hill, multi-use trails, picnic area, farmer’s market and an outdoor classroom/theater.
The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department’s master plan for the city’s 21st park depicts a nature play area, overlook, wetlands, connections to existing bike trails, a “sprayground,” low ropes course, community gardens and historical markers.
One of the monuments would honor Dominic Gentile, a World War II flying ace for whom the park will be named. While it was a U.S. military facility, DESC was also known as Gentile Station.
The main entrance to the park will be from Wiles Drive, where an extension and reconstructed street has been built.
Also nearby, a 24-unit senior apartment complex is preparing to open. Doubles and single-family homes will also border the park in the future.
A creek and the Kettering Business Park also adjoin the site.
Mary Beth Thaman, supervisor of Kettering Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts, said the third meeting to collect citizen input will be from 6 to 7:15 p.m. Nov. 20 at Orchard Park Elementary School, 600 E. Dorothy Lane.
Residents can also complete an online survey. Go to http://www.ketteringoh.org/departments/parks-recreation-cultural-arts-prca/parks/gentile-park-project/
The Centerville Washington Park District, which has begun work on a new entrance that will launch long-range plans at Bill Yeck Park, is also completing needed permits to begin developing Mays Park at the northwest corner of Paragon Road and Orville Street.
The new Smith Entrance at Yeck Park, from Centerville Station Road, will include an improved drive with additional parking, “bio” swales and rain gardens to manage storm water.
Carol Kennard, Centerville Washington park director, said the district’s current 0.9-mill levy will expire in 2014.
“The park board is evaluating needs and should decide soon on what to place before the voters next year. If the levy is renewed, it will most likely include some funding for development of Bill Yeck Park, but we are also seeking grants and donations for various parks of the master plan there.”
The 194-acre park along Sugar Creek was acquired in 16 parcels over more than 40 years.
Once funding is secured, future phases at Yeck Park will include: restoration of an 1815 home on the property, farm ponds connected by a stream to the observation bridge, rain and wetland gardens, a butterfly garden, prairie, apple orchard, picnic shelter with restrooms, natural amphitheater, community gardens, open and natural play areas, paved trails, a restored corn crib, pine grove and outdoor education center.
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