New Lockland park eliminates blight, spurs investment

The Village of Lockland has officially dedicated Mayor Jim Brown Park, successfully eliminating a long-blighted area along Elm Avenue.

Named after the current mayor, who had the vision to improve a needy part of town, the project required the demolition of seventeen run-down, crime-ridden properties.

"The area of town where the park is located has long needed an attractive, safe and green place for the public to congregate," says Lockland administrator David Krings.  "The park fills the bill."

The park was developed in conjunction with the neighboring City of Wyoming, with each jurisdiction contributing $90,000 to $600,000 in Clean Ohio Funds.

"The State grant that funded 75 percent of the cost limited use to 'passive' recreation," Krings says.  "So the park simply has an attractive green space with trees, bushes, grass, a serpentine side walk, park benches and a drinking fountain.  Within the park is a pre-existing playground for which the two localities jointly funded some cleanup and fix-up to fit into the new park."

Krings says that Wyoming officials were a pleasure to work with.

"I know of no other project where one locality decided that it is in everyone"s best interest to invest in a park in a neighboring jurisdiction," he says.  “There is a definite return to Wyoming by Wyoming's investment in Lockland's Mayor Jim Brown Park but it took a community with leadership with unusual vision to see it coming."

With the nuisance abated, Cincinnati Housing Partners has announced it will go ahead with plans to build 8 new single-family homes starting November 18.

Writer: Kevin LeMaster
Source: David Krings, administrator, Village of Lockland
Photography by Scott Beseler
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