Spring cleaning set for Beatty

STEUBENVILLE – Beatty Park is set to receive a personal grooming Saturday as volunteers will concentrate on cleaning out a shelterhouse and removing winter debris from two main trails.

“This is our third time to clean the trails and you can see our work in the past is reflected with a cleaner park and more open trails,” said Sue Hershey, president of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce.

Hershey joined Michael Paprocki, chairman of the Jefferson County Trails and Greenways committee, Mike Florak of the Community Relations office at Franciscan University of Steubenville and Steubenville 1st Ward Councilman Gerald DiLoreto this week for a walk though at the northern end of the park.

The cleanup project is set from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Volunteers will meet at the last shelterhouse on the park’s roadway.

“This is an ongoing project every year now. And after our past work it has become a routine cleanup. It is really an easy decision to do the work with all of the things in this park that are so beautiful. Beatty Park is actually a very peaceful and serene place in our city. We can’t let places like this go away,” Hershey said.

“Keeping up the beauty of the park doesn’t always take a lot of dollars. We can maintain this beautiful park with a commitment and sweat equity,” she added.

According to Paprocki, the Trails and Greenways committee has identified two important assets in Jefferson County.

“We have created a walking trail at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Smithfield and the Beatty Park and Union Cemetery in Steubenville. We have students from Franciscan University of Steubenville and also students from Steubenville High School who have committed to volunteering for a couple hours Saturday. And anyone who would like to spend some time picking up litter or tree limbs that have fallen on the trails are encouraged to join us Saturday,” explained Paprocki.

The Jefferson County Community Improvement Plan was drafted five years ago with quality-of-life issues a large portion of the goals outlined, including the need to develop bicycle/walking and recreational trails and greenways across Jefferson County.

“Franciscan University is committed to to helping the community, and we are encouraging our students who can spend an hour or two to join us at the park. The trails are in fairly good shape. And we just want to do some cleanup and keep the park looking good for all of us,” remarked Florak.

And at least 10 Steubenville High School Key Club members will join the volunteers Saturday afternoon.

“Several of our students are taking the ACT exam that day so they may be a little late. But we have responded with volunteers every year for the cleanup and we will continue to help where we can,” said Key Club adviser Ross Ivkovich.

Irene Moore, district administrator of the Jefferson County Soil and Water District office, said she and Wendee Zadansky, a natural resources specialist, walked the park trails last fall.

“We walked several of the trails. It is our intent to make the park an even more pleasant place for area residents. We will be removing tree limbs that have fallen during the winter months and placing mulch at some sites. We want to help make sure the trails are pleasing and safe to walk,” said Moore.

She said the volunteers will focus their efforts on the Jabby Young Trail that runs from the park to Pleasant Heights and the trail from Beatty Park into Union Cemetery.

“It won’t be an all-day job but with enough volunteers we can make a big difference in a beautiful park,” said Moore.

Beatty Park didn’t become an official city park until 1930. But the recreational area was actually started in 1874 when the Union Cemetery Association offered to sell 100 acres in the Wells Run area to the city.

The stone park entrance on Lincoln Avenue was the original entrance to the cemetery until the Market Street gate was built.

According to the Steubenville 1910 history, “this ravine has beautiful walks and drives and is free to the public without any expense to the city.”

In 1930, Union Cemetery sold 99 acres to the city and the park was formally named Beatty Park in honor of Dr. Charles Clinton Beatty of the cemetery association members.

“There is a lot of history at Beatty Park and I am glad we are seeing different organizations and civic groups come together to maintain the park,” stated DiLoreto.