HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WDTN) – An Ohio community is working to reforest a local park after it was destroyed by the Memorial Day tornadoes two years ago.
On Saturday, October 2, a release said, area residents gathered at Dayton’s Sinclair Park from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. to plant over 80 trees native to Ohio.
This project is funded by a grant from Keep America Beautiful and The UPS Foundation for large-scale post-recovery tree planting. Volunteers planted more than 80 trees in order to re-establish Sinclair Park as a community focal point.
Volunteers met at Sinclair Park at 685 Shoup Mill Road in Dayton. “Not only do we gotta reclaim the canopy in this park, we’ve gotta reclaim the canopy in the neighborhoods. Unfortunately the tornado took a North…South…I guess you could say Northwest to Southeast path through the township…which I guess you could say is the largest path it could takes,” said Harrison Township Service Director Merle Cyphers.
For Cyphers, replanting the trees also replants memories in the park before the tornadoes. “My family, my kids would come up here when they were young, play on the playset, things of that nature. So, for me, it’s really about future generations. We’re trying to get this park back to where it was.”
Montgomery County Commissioner Judy Dodge is also excited to see progress being made in a park that has served as a community haven. “Sinclair Park, it’s an icon to our community. It’s gonna come back again. It’s gonna take love, it’s gonna take some hard work, but it’s gonna come back,” said Commissioner Dodge.
Cyphers says there are also plans to repurpose trees found in the park’s tornado wreckage. “We’re actually planning to use that material in the new structure. It’s gonna kinda be a memorial to what was here before,” said Cyphers.