Beverly’s Dodge Park

BEVERLY-Because it is the only recreational park in the Village of Beverly’s jurisdiction, Dodge Park gets a lot of use.

“It’s nice just to hang out in,” said 12-year-old Tyler Duskey, of Beverly, who was doing just that with three friends Wednesday morning.

Because there is ample shady space and plenty of things to do, the park is somewhat of a hot spot for area students, added pal Ethan Ross.

“Usually everyone is here so you get to see all your friends,” he said.

To keep up with the high amount of traffic in Dodge Park, the village makes sure it gets a lot of tender loving care, said Beverly Mayor Rex Kenyon.

“The village staff takes care of the park and they’re up there almost daily in the summer time-emptying trash cans, weed eating, mowing and just maintaining the park,” he said.

A lot of recent and future updates in the park are thanks to grant funding the city has acquired for the park, said village clerk Pam Jackson.

“This year we received a ($2,000) grant from the Marietta Community Foundation to put a roof on one of the shelters,” she said.

The re-roofing project was completed within the last month, added Kenyon.

Most of the equipment in the park’s vast playground was purchased through an Ohio Department of Natural Resources NatureWorks grant, said Jackson.

A newly secured $5,000 NatureWorks grant will go toward more playground improvement this summer, she added.

“This year we’re replacing some of the older playground pieces and adding some new pieces,” she said.

The project does not have a hard deadline, said Kenyon, but is expected to be done before summer ends.

The playground area was a big hit with a trio of Waterford children enjoying the park Wednesday.

Reese Lang, 5, Maycee Lang, 3, and Cooper Skinner, 2, hopped between slides, teeter-totters and swings under the watchful eyes of their mothers.

“They love just coming to play. Sometimes we bring lunch and it gives us moms a little time to relax and watch the kids play,” said Reese and Maycee’s mother, Crystal Lang.

It addition to the playground, Dodge Park features four shelters, lots of picnic tables, a rentable kitchen and indoor restrooms.

However, the restrooms are only unlocked when the park is being used for an event, such as the Beverly-Waterford Homecoming which was held there earlier this month.

They are also open during the frequent occasions when people pay a $25 fee to rent the park for events like baby showers, family reunions or birthday parties, she said.

Leaving the restrooms unlocked for everyday park-goers would make a world of difference, said Crystal Lang.

“That’s the one bad thing about the park is that they lock the restrooms,” she said.

But keeping the restrooms locked is a matter of necessity, said Jackson.

“We experience vandalism if we keep them open, so it’s just not possible,” she said.

On Kenyon’s wish list would be removing some of the park’s older trees and replacing them.

“We’ve lost several trees in the last few years and parts of the park are beginning to look sparse,” he said.

The village appropriates money from the general account for park upkeep, said Jackson.

Including the $7,000 from grant funding, the city has $15,000 appropriated toward parks this year, she said. The money also helps care for the village’s basketball and tennis courts near Fort Frye High School, but the majority is reserved for the upkeep of Dodge Park, she said.