GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) – The city of Girard plans to improve access to the Mahoning River for those who like to canoe or kayak thanks to a $68,000 grant it received from the state.
Mayor Jim Melfi said city officials were approached by the Friends of the Mahoning River last year to apply for the boat grant through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The money will go to build a boat launch off Front Street near the Liberty Street viaduct.
When complete, the boat launch will allow people to kayak or canoe from Girard all the way to Pennsylvania.
“Because of the dam here in Girard, which blocks anybody from coming down river, this becomes the first place where you can put in to head to Youngstown, Campbell and even into Pennsylvania,” Don Rex of the Friends of the Mahoning River said.
The mayor said they plan to start construction on the boat launch later this year.
“I am excited about attracting people to our city. There are people who will come here and spend time here, bring their families here and that is the kind of thing you like to do,” Melfi said.
Also on Thursday, the ODNR announced its latest round of NatureWorks grants and Girard also made that list. The city will receive $37,187 to rehabilitate the Liberty Park bridge that provides public access to the park.
Other communities receiving NatureWorks grants include:
- Johnston Township, Trumbull County: $30,000 to replace an obsolete playground with a handicapped-accessible structure and riding toys at Johnston Park.
- Village of Salineville, Columbiana County: $6,039 for a new basketball court, play equipment, drinking fountain, lighting, benches and shade trees at Kiwanis Park.
- East Liverpool, Columbiana County: $14,600 for new swings at the playground at Thompson Park.
- Columbiana County Park District: $20,418 for installation of a circular dirt and asphalt track at Hellbender Bluff Park.
- Smith Township, Mahoning County: $16,759 for a new pavilion and playground equipment in North Benton Park.
- New Middletown, Mahoning County: $34,280 for new asphalt walking exercise pathways in Welker Park.