The Arbor Day celebration sees Wooster open a new park along Venture Blvd.

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WOOSTER – The idea to build a new park was born from a vision.

Employees of construction sites like Frito-Lay or Duraflex walked up and down Venture Boulevard during their lunch breaks without the shade of trees, recalls Richard Seaman.

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To keep people safe off the streets and in a shaded, more relaxing space, Seaman went to see the mayor of Wooster.

In 2016, Seaman pitched the idea for a new community park to the mayor. Six years later, this park is now open.

Named after the creek that runs through it, Clear Creek Park officially opened on Friday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tree planting to celebrate Arbor Day.

11 acre wooded wetlands

Wooster Mayor Robert Breneman welcomed everyone and briefly explained the funding for a new municipal park.

The 11-acre park takes visitors on a three-quarter mile trail over two boardwalks to a view of Clear Creek, a tributary of Killbuck Creek.

A pavilion sits at the front of the park where visitors can sit and eat, Seaman said during the ceremony.

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Dick Seaman originated the idea for the new park.

“It’s a bit more forested than other parks in Wooster,” Seaman said.

The park cost about $1.2 million to build, said Bob Brenenman, mayor of Wooster, and the city’s share was $225,000.

“About 80% of it was paid for by outside funds,” he said at the inauguration. TransCanada donated nearly $45,000 to the project.

The park is at 668 Venture Blvd. and is nestled between the Racquet Tennis Club and Clear Creek.

Future plans may include posting bat houses around the park, Brenenman said.

“That way they eat the mosquitoes,” he said.

arbor day celebration

Wooster Mayor Robert Breneman reads a tree city proclamation as Urban Forestry Commission members Alan Kiefer, retired OARDC Dr. Bob Romig and Steve Webster shovel mulch around the base of a newly planted tree.

Wooster takes its trees seriously.

The city was first recognized as a tree city by the National Arbor Day Foundation in 1976, Brenenman said.

“Wooster has earned this recognition for 44 consecutive years,” he said while planting trees in Clear Creek Park. A key factor in this sequence is the Urban Forestry Commission, which advises the city on how best to maintain its trees.

The commission is made up of six members who helped lead the creation of Clear Creek Park, Brenenmen said.

“We are happy to have another addition to the city,” Brenenman said after the event.

Contact Bryce by email at [email protected]

On Twitter: @Bryce_Buyakie

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