Lakewood meets with residents about Clifton Prado pocket park renovation

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — Nestled on the out-of-the-way Clifton Prado side street is a lot-sized pocket park that the city of Lakewood plans to refurbish in 2021.

“It needs some definite love and attention,” Lakewood City Council President Daniel J. O’Malley said. “It’s been there for decades, and the playground equipment is old.”

At the behest of residents, the pocket park renovation recently included roughly a dozen neighbors meeting with city officials. There’s also an online survey.

“People want to see a picnic table that’s maybe covered,” O’Malley said. “In terms of playground equipment, they’re thinking swings, a slide and a climber. Otherwise, they really want a clean space with benches and a surveillance camera there for safety.

“My goal is to maintain and preserve those beautiful trees. We certainly want to spruce it up as best we can. Even though it’s not a big space, we can be really creative and maximize potential there.”

Lakewood Mayor Meghan George said the $25,000 Clifton Prado pocket park project was a part of the 2020 capital budget, but due to COVID-19 it was pushed to 2021.

“We’re going to be using Lakewood Public Works crews to upgrade this park,” George said. “We’re still kind at the planning phase right now. We wanted to take input from residents in that area. Due to its size, we feel pretty good we can get it done next year.”

While the project was delayed, O’Malley noted there is a silver lining attached.

“We had this opportunity to think more deeply and engage the community about what they want in that space,” O’Malley said.

“I’m really grateful for the public works department for what they’ve done, as well as the city planning department in engaging residents around there.”

While Lakewood doesn’t have many pocket parks, George isn’t against adding more throughout the city on demolished home sites.

“My administration will continue to invest in our beautiful parks, which are extremely important to our community,” George said. “We’re putting our final touches on our 2021 budget and five-year capital plan.

“There are certainly more investments in our other parks in that plan. It’s important for our residents, it’s important for recreation.”

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