`Huge change' underway at Canton's Monument ParkThe Repository, Canton, Ohio — Kelly Byer The Repository, Canton, Ohio
May 23--CANTON Renovations underway at Monument Park are long overdue.
"This capital improvement's needed done for over 50 years," said Doug Foltz, director of Canton Parks and Recreation.
The park system, which is funded by a levy, set aside $100,000 to reconstruct Monument Pond, remove hazardous trees and make other improvements by late summer. Work began in mid-March.
The park between Seventh Street NW and 12th Street NW is bordered by Water Works Park to the south and Stadium Park to the north. They're part of the city's "main park corridor," Foltz said.
"We're going to do a real good job of historically bringing this back to its grandeur from many, many years ago when it was first built," he said.
Wenger Excavating is the primary contractor, he said, and redistributed sediment to improve water flow in the Canton Waterworks Raceway. The canal, created in 1873 as part of the city water system, runs alongside the West Branch of the Nimishillen Creek.
Wenger also has concrete aggregate that'll be placed atop the path on the west side of the park.
"We'll come back and pave that later once we get done with the pond restoration," Foltz said.
A Cut Above helped with tree work, which is mostly done aside from the planting of more new trees. The same will be done later in Stadium Park, Foltz said.
"We had a lot of trees cut down also because there was debris and trash and fallen trees throughout that raceway area," he said.
The pond also has been drained, and park crews are reconstructing the eroded east wall of sandstone. Once the pond bed dries, soil will be moved to the west bank.
Foltz said the pond, which was roughly 1-to-2 feet deep, will be 5-feet deep and better stocked with fish.
Volunteers from Nimi on the Fly, a nonprofit that organizes youth fly fishing outings, waded into the middle of the pond to relocate fish that construction crews couldn't reach. Some passerbys also helped move the netted fish to the canal or creek.
"We were able to save well over 100 fish," said Dustin White, co-founder of the group.
Nimi on the Fly's focus usually is environmental restoration and cleanup of the creek, but the pond has been used for beginner classes in summer. It's also beneficial for showing participants the differences in ecosystems, White said.
Canton Parks & Recreation has been supportive of the group, as it is of Monument Park work.
"If one part of the park is improved, every other part benefits from it," White said.
A dilapidated 1930s shelter just north of the pond also is due for renovation, Foltz said.
Coon Restoration & Sealants will be responsible for that, providing the masonry at no cost, said President Steve Coon. He expects to start work within three weeks and complete it by fall.
Monument Park has become somewhat "overgrown" throughout the years, he said, but commended Canton Parks and Recreation for the "huge change" underway.
"That's an asset that everybody should enjoy," Coon said.
Restoration will involve stone chimney repairs and a new roof. Coon said the goal is make the shelter look like it did when first built.
"It will really compliment that pond that they're cleaning up," he said.
Reach Kelly at 330-580-8323 or email@example.com
On Twitter: @kbyerREP
(c)2020 The Repository, Canton, Ohio
Visit The Repository, Canton, Ohio at www.cantonrep.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.