The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


        Navarre Park in East Toledo is about to get a major makeover.

        Toledo Councilman Peter Ujvagi, Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, representatives from Toledo Refining Company and Mercy Health Partners last week announced a partnership to improve East Toledo through the revitalization of Navarre Park in East Toledo.”

        “The partnership between the Toledo Refining Company, Mercy Health, and the city of Toledo, working with the East Toledo Family Center and neighborhood leadership from One Voice, provides a unique opportunity to revitalize and reinvigorate a key park in East Toledo, said Ujvagi. “As long neglected infrastructure in the park is renewed and creative opportunities for enjoyment and recreation are developed, Navarre Park will again be the `Central Park’ for East Toledo,” added Ujvagi, referring to the famous park in New York City.

        “New York has its Central Park, and East Toledo has its Central Park,” he said.



        He was appreciative of everyone involved in the project, “particularly the leadership and commitment provided by our two private sector partners – Toledo Refining Company and Mercy Health.”

        Both companies made commitments to donate funds to the upgrades. Toledo Refining Company donated $50,000 and Mercy Health donated $20,000 to fund much needed improvements to the park, said Ujvagi.

        The City of Toledo has committed to matching the donations with equally valued improvements over several years in the park, said Kapszukiewicz.

        .”This is an anchor park in East Toledo and a very important part of the neighborhood,” said Kapszukiewicz. “I want to thank Toledo Refining Company and Mercy Health for stepping up to improve the community. This can be a model across our city on how public-private partnerships can help our community.”


Previous upgrades

        Ujvagi told The Press that the park has made improvements before, but it’s been a while, he said.

        “A number of years ago, there was some work done to make soccer fields. It didn’t work out so well. We ended up with so much flooding that we couldn’t use it for soccer fields. We rebuilt some tennis courts about two years ago.” The East Toledo Senior Activities Center, a pool, a playground and athletic field are also located there.

        “It’s a park that is very much used,” he said.

        There have been discussions about what kind if improvements that the public would like to see in the park, he added.

        “It’s very exciting. There’s lots of ideas. There has been conversations about frisbee golf, a gazebo or shelter house where we could have performances, redoing the path and replacing the benches and picnic tables that are falling apart.”


Years of history

        “Our facility has more than 120 years of history in this neighborhood,” said Refinery Manager Michael Gudgeon. “Toledo Refining Company has long enjoyed the benefits of this historic East Toledo property. The original park has been a place where many of our employees and their families came to play throughout the lifetime of the refinery. Our commitment of $50,000 and fundraising support will help ensure Navarre Park continues to serve the needs of East Toledo residents for generations to come. Our sincere hope is that others in the community will join us in lending their support to this worthy fundraising effort to modernize this wonderful park.”


Health and fitness

        “Mercy Health is proud to partner on this significant project with hopes that it will further the health and fitness of our community,” said Craig Albers, president of Mercy Health St. Charles Hospital. “For decades, families have come together to enjoy outdoor activities at Navarre Park. Enhancing the park’s offerings will ensure that future generations will continue to have a great outdoor destination to enjoy.”

        Organizers will plan a series of meetings with the public to get more ideas on what they would like to see in the park, said Ujvagi.

        “The community is going to be involved in planning the park and be part of the process,” said Ujvagi. “We will make the park into something that East Toledoans can be proud of and will be a main attraction.”







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