GREENWOOD – The newest addition to the Greenwood Village Park is a wooden gazebo designed and built by local residents.
The gazebo debuted during Greenwood Fun Day on Aug. 17. There, many residents and visitors to the village got their first look at the structure, which is 16 feet wide and 15 feet high at the center.
Jim Swenson, a member of the Greenwood Village Parks and Recreation Board, said Travis Hazard of Greenwood designed the structure.
“He donated his time for the design for the gazebo,” said Swenson.
The structure was built Civil Works LLC, owned by Alan Grell of Greenwood. The company was awarded the $17,598.35 bid by the Greenwood Village Board of Trustees in May. The project was completed in August.
Half of the approximately $20,000 needed to build the gazebo came from the Cass County Visitor Improvement Fund. The Greenwood Village Board of Trustees paid for the other half.
The Cass County Visitor Improvement Fund, sponsored by the Cass County Tourism Committee, has provided grant money for other park projects in the past, including $40,000 for the playground installed in 2016.
“They have been tremendous partners with us through the years,” Swenson said.
The village board provided the rest of the funds, and also directed members of the village maintenance crew to install sidewalks and help put in the electrical outlets. By utilizing village employees, they were able to reduce the original bid by $2,400.
The gazebo is made of durable cedar lumber and has a ramp that is handicapped-accessible, Swenson said. The interior is lighted and there are electrical outlets so visitors using the gazebo can operate appliances like crock pots or roasters while enjoying time there with family and friends.
“It is a great accompaniment to the park,” said Swenson.
It was built for the public to use for small gatherings and to provide a shaded seating area, according to Swenson.
“There was nowhere out of the sunlight to sit and watch the kids on the playground,” he said.
Local citizens are happy with the new gazebo, which located near the area where the sand box was previously situated in the park.
“We’ve received a lot of compliments relevant to the look of it, the design of it and the functionality of it,” said Swenson.
Now that the gazebo is done, the parks and recreation board is turning its focus to other areas of the park.
First up is replacing trees in the park. Swenson said the park lost several ash trees to the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that recently made its way to Greenwood and other local areas like Mahoney State Park.
Although the trees were not heavily damaged by the insect, the village took proactive steps and removed about 10 of the trees already, Swenson said.
Now they are looking at replanting next spring and will be choosing trees that are insect-resistant and will provide shade for the park, Swenson said.
“We will change the variety up in our park inventory a little bit,” he said.
The parks and recreation board is also looking at improvements to the softball/baseball field including installing lights. Swenson said they will start applying for grants next year to fix up the field and make it attractive to teams from other communities.
They are planning to work with the Ashland Youth Ball Association to turn it into another venue for the organization’s baseball and softball teams.
“We want to create an opportunity for another place for kids to play,” said Swenson.
The parks and recreation board has been working for nearly a decade to improve the village park. The campaign began in 2010, when the roof was blown off of the park’s restroom during a storm. A new restroom was built about 18 months later to replace the damaged building.
After that, the picnic shelter was renovated and new tables were installed there, a handicapped accessible water fountain was built, and information kiosk was completed, portable soccer bleachers were purchased and horseshoe pits were dug.