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Old Clark Station Lot is Now Newport's Newest Park

The opening of the City of Newport's newest park was celebrated earlier this month.

Clark Park is located at 330 East 10th Street, and was the site of a celebration that featured local vendors, live music, and community members (all masked and socially-distant as required for the event, due to the pandemic).

The site had been a vacant lot covered in concrete and blacktop for more than a decade, and prior to that was home to an old Clark-branded gas station.

ReNewport, a non-profit resident-led community development organization, acquired the vacant lot late last year after receiving a donation from the Neyer Corporation. After doing due diligence to ensure the vacant lot was clean of any gas tanks and chemicals, work began to create a new park for the city.

Last fall, concrete and blacktop were removed from the lot and the public right-of-way to begin creating green space. New curbs were built, and eight trees were immediately planted around the perimeter as a sign for what was to come.

Earlier this year, several truckloads of fresh topsoil were dumped, and the site was then graded, tilled, seeded for grass and then covered with straw blankets.

From April to July, the site was watered every day, often twice a day, until a lot that was once covered in concrete was now covered in grass.

The past couple months saw the building of community garden beds, a small orchard, picnic tables, benches and the shelter for the park.

The park, which formally opened on September 17, is owned by ReNewport, but the organization stated that it wants all residents to feel welcome there.

"We are immensely proud of being able to open a new park for our community, but it’s important to point out that it was built completely due to a community effort," the organization said in an announcement. "It was because of volunteers and generous donations that made this possible. It was our community that came together and turned a vacant, dirty former gas station lot into a brand-new park for all to enjoy. Our work doesn’t end here however, thanks to a generous grant from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation and other donations, we will be making further enhancements to Clark Park while also improving other parks throughout the City of Newport going into 2021 and beyond."

-Staff report

Slideshow Images & Captions: 
Before the renovation