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Wednesday, Jun 19, 2019

Overcast, 73 °F

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Aerial view of the land behind the Athens Community Center

Aerial view of the land

Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing

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City of Athens to collaborate with Ohio University to maximize use of land behind Athens community center


Ohio University and the City of Athens will once again collaborate to maximize use of University-owned land, this time near the city’s community center campus.

The City of Athens identified an opportunity to augment use of the land adjacent to the City of Athens community center campus. Building upon the continued partnership and relationship between Ohio University and the City, after the City identified the potential community benefit, work began to use the land to support the Arts, Parks & Recreation Department in expanding leisure and recreation opportunities.

Since the agreement went into place, city employees and community members have worked to clean up the site. They found 70 tires during the cleanup, as well as natural debris and invasive species. One of the first goals of the collaborative effort is to remove the invasive species in order in order to allow native plants to reestablish along that section of the river corridor. The second goal is to provide low impact opportunities for community residents to enjoy the space.

“Although there are many potential future uses, the primary purpose is to allow people to engage in the space through walking, bird watching, and enjoying the flora and fauna that the site will have to offer,” Andrew Chiki, assistant director of Athens Community Arts, Parks and Recreation, said.

Ohio University is grateful to our City partners for coming forward with a plan that will not only create productive use of the land and preserve it from future development, but most importantly supports our community.

“It is truly rewarding to work with our City partners as we identify new ways to embrace community engagement, which is one of Ohio University’s core strategic values,” Shawna Bolin, Associate Vice President for University Planning said. “We are excited to see how this land along the Hocking River evolves as we work together to maintain natural space and watch native species once again flourish there.”