Stubbs Park: Centerville to expand Veterans Memorial Plaza, add Storybook Trail

Centerville will expand its existing Stubbs Park Veterans Memorial Plaza to include service recognition for the Global War on Terror and add a new monument to recognize the newest military branch, the United States Space Force.

The city announced the project Monday during the Centerville Memorial Day Ceremony, which was moved to Cornerstone Park this year while $7.5 million in renovations to Stubbs Park are carried out.

Established in December 2019, the U.S. Space Force is not represented at the park’s Veterans Memorial Plaza. A new U.S. Space Force monument with a custom-designed bronze disk will be installed.

The existing Veterans Memorial stone does not reflect the U.S. military service in the Global War on Terror, according to city spokeswoman Kate Bostdorff.

“The city will work with a contractor to convert the existing memorial into a walkaround memorial with a brick walkway expansion,” Bostdorff said. “Crews will engrave the backside of the existing monument. This process will protect the existing memorial while ensuring the monument can be added to in the future.”

A new stone lectern also will be installed near the entrance to the Stubbs Park Veterans Memorial Plaza, she said. The lectern will feature details about the existing memorial and the purpose it serves for the Centerville and Washington Township communities.

The Veterans Memorial was first dedicated at Leonard E. Stubbs Park, 255 W. Spring Valley Road, on July 4, 1989 under the direction of the Centerville-Washington Veterans Memorial Committee. A brick plaza and monuments representing each of the United States military branches have been added throughout the years.

The city of Centerville is trying to raise approximately $43,000 to support the cost of the project. Checks payable to City of Centerville with “Veterans Memorial” listed in the memo section can be mailed to the city building, Attn: Veterans Memorial, 100 W. Spring Valley Road, Centerville, Ohio 45458. Cash or credit card donations may be made in person, also at the Municipal Building.

Donors will be recognized in the dedication ceremony program and in a news release.

Storybrook Trail planned for Stubbs Park

Also at Stubbs Park, the city is looking to create a Storybook Trail on a newly paved 630-foot trail behind the amphitheater, according to a memorandum from Bostdorff to city officials.

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website, the State of Ohio’s Storybrook Trails program launched in 2019 to promote the importance of literacy, a healthy lifestyle and connecting with nature.

“Storybook Trails are lined with pages from a children’s book to blend the fun of an outdoor exploration with reading,” the website says.

The Storybrook Trail at Stubbs Park will outline seven large placards. It will feature the story of “The Old Tree,” which was written by retired teacher Ferne Reilich and used for years by Centerville-Washington History with third-grade classes. Reilich and Centerville-Washington History are working together to condense the story into sections for the placards.

The estimated total cost of the project is not expected to exceed $15,000. The city is applying for the Storybook Trail Grant Program, which funds eligible projects with between $5,000 and $10,000, according to the city.

About the Author