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Walks a chance to show off park

Saturday’s historical walks through Steubenville’s Beatty Park can appeal to area residents on many levels.

For longtime residents who have not visited the Lincoln Avenue facility in several years, the tours will offer a chance to once again experience the natural beauty that is on display. For those who are new to the area or have never visited the park, the tours will provide an opportunity to learn some of the area’s history.

Whatever group you fall in, the walking tours, which be held at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., will be informative, fun and interesting, organizers promise.

The park traces its origins to 1797, when it was opened as a nature preserve. It was owned by Union Cemetery from 1854 to 1929, with the city purchasing it in 1930 and giving it the name we today know it as.

Organized by the Friends of Beatty Park, the tours will be casual and will include the opportunity for interaction and time for questions and discussion. Signs along the trail will offer details about historical features that still exist as well as those that are gone. There will be an archaeological and nature display as well, and participants will be able to make a donation and become eligible to win park-themed items that have been donated by local artisans.

They will be the latest events in a series of activities that have been conducted at Beatty Park. Nature walks were held through the park during the summer, and Steubenville’s annual Halloween party for city residents was held there last weekend. A local group performed open-air Shakespeare performances there earlier this fall, and organizers hope to be able to bring area school children to the park for nature walks next year, utilizing the facility as a outdoor classroom and highlighting the various plants and vegetation as well as wildlife that call the park home.

Beatty Park once was a vibrant source for recreation and relaxation not only for residents of the city but for people from across the Tri-State Area. For many reasons, it was allowed to fall on hard times, which saw the loss of several of the park’s features, including the swimming pool.

Individuals, the city and members of the Friends of Beatty Park have stepped forward in recent years to revitalize the facility, clearing and reopening trails, renovating the entrance and working to make sure the park offers a more inviting look to area residents.

That’s why events such as Saturday’s walks in the park are important – they offer the chance to showcase improvements that have been made while reminding area residents that there is place just a few blocks away from Steubenville’s central business district where they can enjoy the wonders of nature.

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