Harsh winter takes toll on local parks

EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) – April is a great time to head out to a local park, but this year the weather has not been kind to the parks or those operating them.

The crazy weather continues in the Valley, sunny one day and possible snow the next. In East Liverpool you will find walkers bundled up, trees bare and leaves all over the ground leaving one wondering whether it is late October rather than late April.

“Instead of being at a point we would normally be in spring we are doing fall cleanup to get ready for spring,” said Thompson Park Superintendent JC Blackhurst.

That plan is all but history for Thompson Park. Blackhurst said they have not been able to plant flowers because of the fear of frost. General cleanup of the pavilions is also on hold because they have not turned the water on for fear of frozen pipes.

“The important thing for us is to be organized but remain flexible with our plan because you have to roll with the punches with the weather the way it is,” said Blackhurst.

One of the bigger projects at Thompson Park that has been delayed because of weather is at the baseball field. The field was just put in last year, but they have yet to play a game on it. There are no dugouts. There has been some work done, but the weather has slowed the process.

“Getting it dug for the concrete footers and it has been so cold the concrete plants have been closed so we have not been able to get it, and you cannot pour concrete in the cold weather,” said Blackhurst.

Blackhurst said the field itself is in good shape and is ready to go as soon as the dugouts get built.

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