On September 10th, Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers, Keep Cincinnati Beautiful (KCB), and The Davey Tree Expert Co. rehabilitated the McMicken Play Area located at 510 W. McMicken Street in Over-the-Rhine into a vibrant public space integrating art and nature.
Funding and in-kind support for the project was awarded to KCB through Keep America Beautiful (KAB)/Lowes Community Improvement Grant, Keep Ohio Beautiful (KOB), and The Davey Tree Expert Co in conjunction with the 2015 Great Ohio Planting Day project and KAB’s fourth annual National Planting Day. National Planting Day, which is observed on and surrounding Saturday, Sept. 12, is a fall initiative of KAB’s Great American Cleanup, the nation’s largest community improvement program.
The Cincinnati Recreation Commission (CRC) made structural & façade repairs to the entry way wall in preparation of the new mural designed by KCB artists and program managers, Katie Davis and Claire Bryson. Davey Tree Expert Co. installed 5 new landscape trees to provide shade and reduce storm water run-off.
The McMicken Play Area (controlled and operated by the CRC) in recent years was a haven for crime, including human trafficking and prostitution, until Cincinnati councilwoman Yvette Simpson implemented initiatives in 2014 designed to improve the quality of life for residents who live along West McMicken and surrounding neighborhoods.
“These aesthetic improvements by our partners will help improve the overall function of the park and provide a healthier and safer resource for the community,” said Karen Wise, KOB board member and Natural Resource Consulting Manager for The Davey Tree Expert Co.
“We take great pride in improving our community and appreciate the opportunity to work with Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, Davey Tree, and KOB on this project, which will have a lasting impact on our neighbors and customers,” said Troy Houk, store manager at Lowe’s of Western Hills.
“As a business member of the community we have an obligation to support the community anyway we can big or small. Through our Lowe’s Heroes Program our associates volunteer their time as a way to pay if forward. Over the last few years we have developed a great relationship with KCB and projects like this keep us coming back to them.”
Michael Davis, Frazier Kidd, and Carole Seale, long-time residents of the neighborhood, are happy to see someone cares about their neighborhood and is working to make it look better. “This neighborhood has seen a lot of bad things happen,” said Davis. It will be nice to have something pretty to look at.”
Many thanks to the residents of West McMicken, the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, The Davey Tree Expert Co., Lowe’s Heroes, and Keep Ohio Beautiful for another awesome community improvement project!