by Sheldon Ocker
The 13.3-acre park near the intersection of Broadview and Hawkins roads won’t be ready for use until next year. The sledding hill, still under construction, won’t open until the winter of 2023-24.
“We’re hoping that the dirt required to do the sledding hill is completed – it’s almost there – because we have to grade it, pack it and plant it,’’ said Richfield Village Mayor Mike Wheeler. “If council next year funds the balance of what we need, then we will go ahead and finish the plan.’’
Developer Sam Petros is providing the dirt to build the hill. He donated land to the village in 2017 in exchange for the right to dump soil from his construction projects onto the site.
Once Petros supplies enough dirt, he will be responsible for the grading, packing and planting grass on the sledding hill.
Wheeler said funding the park was slowed because other village projects took precedence.
“We’ve had so many road repairs and so many equipment repairs plus sewer and water installs that it [the park] was put on the back burner until we saw that the sledding hill was finished,’’ he said.
Village council is in the process of working out the 2023 budget that presumably will include money to complete the park.
“In 2019 dollars, it was going to be another $275,000 to finish it,’’ the mayor said. “I don’t know what it will be in 2023 dollars.’’
However, Wheeler indicated the number would be right around $275,000.
In addition to the sledding hill, the park will feature walking trails, picnic areas and a sidewalk that leads to the top of the sledding hill with a landing pad at the top of the hill.
In addition to 8.5 acres donated by Petros, the Labalzo family donated 4.8 acres that include a small lake. The park will be named Babb’s Orchard Park, commemorating Babb’s Apple Orchard, which occupied the site for many years.
The sledding hill at the new Babb’s Orchard Park is nearing completion faster than anticipated.
Until three weeks ago, plans were to open the hill to sledders in the winter of 2023. However, Richfield Village Planning Director Brian Frantz said current plan is for the hill to open this winter.
According to Frantz, developer Sam Petros, who has supplied the soil for the hill, is almost finished shaping the hill. Once that task is complete, Petros will seed the hill with grass, the final step in preparing it for sledders.
The 13.3-acre park near the intersection of Broadview and Hawkins roads will feature walking trails, picnic areas and a sidewalk that leads to the top of the sledding hill with a landing pad at the top of the hill.
Petros donated 8.5 acres, and the Labalzo family donated 4.8 acres that include a small lake. Babb’s Apple Orchard occupied the site for many years. ∞
Photo: Several dump trucks coming from construction sites deposit soil on a future sledding hill on Broadview Road, south of Hawkins Road. Photo by S. Serdinak.