Carrick’s Corner Pocket Park opens in Five Oaks in northwest Dayton

A new pocket park has opened in the Five Oaks neighborhood that already has proven to be a hit with kids and people who reside in that area.

“I like it,” said Edjuan Campbell, 12, who lives near the park at 300 Delaware Ave. “You can ride through here.”

A group called The Conscious Connect Community Development Corp. has revitalized a one-acre park at the southwest corner of Delaware and Richmond avenues, between North Main and Salem. The property is now called Carrick’s Corner Pocket Park.

Previously called Delaware Commons, the northwest Dayton property was dilapidated and had a lot of trash, overgrown brush and dead and dangerous trees, said Moses Mbeseha, co-founder of The Conscious Connect CDC.

The property did not have any park benches, and the gazebo was crumbling.

“It was an eyesore and unhealthy for the neighborhood,” Mbeseha said.

The city of Dayton last spring awarded $250,000 to Conscious Connect to revitalize the Five Oaks park, as well as vacant properties almost three miles away on the 100 block of Lorenz Avenue in Westwood.

Carrick’s Corner so far has cost about $150,000; the project was supported by the city, the Dayton Foundation and the Northwest Dayton Partnership.

Volunteers from the University of Dayton and friends helped remove 30 bags of trash and debris from the property, Mbeseha said.

After the property was cleaned up, a walking path was added and so were multiple benches and park tables, including some chess tables. New trees and flowers have been planted, and the gazebo was refurbished. The park has a small free library, as well as some artwork.

“The park is now heavily used. It is a great asset to the community,” Mbeseha said. “Some residents have told us about how they would play there in their childhood and are happy it is back to active status.”

Iran Johnson, 51, who grew up in the Five Oaks neighborhood, said the pocket park looks great and it gives him a place to play chess. He said the pocket park is a quiet and peaceful place, and neighbors go there to relax.

“It’s wonderful, it’s great — it’s good for the kids, it’s good for the community,” he said. “It’s what we needed.”

Next up, Conscious Connect will turn four vacant properties on Lorenz Avenue into new park space.

The group says it is participating in a community engagement process right now, which includes collecting surveys, attending neighborhood meetings and hosting feedback sessions with residents.

Work could begin this fall on the project, and it could be finished in the summer of 2025.

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