PEACE Park renovations to break ground July 7

A 1993 Coventry PEACE Builder button from the community construction of the original Coventry PEACE playground.

Coventry PEACE Park closed for renovation on June 17 and is expected to re-open in December. The community is invited to a celebratory groundbreaking event on July 7, at 2 p.m. 

When renovations are complete, the park will feature inclusive amenities designed to embrace people of all abilities. Accessible pathways will ensure easier navigation and encourage physical activity. New play areas will include a 20-foot cardinal-themed play structure, a dedicated toddler playground, a zipline, climbing walls, swings, and half-court basketball. A new stage will increase the park’s capacity to host community events, performances, and gatherings. More than 100 new trees and native plants will foster biodiversity and ecological balance.  

The park’s re-design incorporates feedback from seven community-engagement meetings and more than 700 survey responses.

“We know there has been a lot of press about the Coventry PEACE building, but we also want to ensure the community is aware of the work we are doing throughout our service area to create well-designed public spaces,” said Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin. “Heights Libraries’ core mission is to provide free access to services and facilities for all ages, and the Coventry PEACE Park renovation supports that mission.”  

The improved PEACE Park will have free Wi-Fi, and will be the setting for high-quality, free library programming for the community.

“We're going to have so many new opportunities for outdoor and citizen science programming,” said Maggie Kinney, Coventry Village branch manager. “We'd like to focus on outdoor health and wellness programs for all ages, such as yoga or weekly walking meetups; welcoming back larger outdoor events such as the Heights Eco-Fest with the CH Green Team, and Shakespeare in the Park; and citizen science programs in the mini-forest and gardens.” 

The Fund for the Future of Heights Libraries (FFHL) is raising funds to offset the cost of the park’s renovation. The total cost is more than $3 million; FFHL aims to raise half of that amount. To date, FFHL has raised more than $930,000. 

"I cherish the ‘Builder’ button each of us received when we designed, raised money, and built the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. playground, 1992–93. The new Coventry PEACE Park incorporated community meetings, survey responses, and hundreds of grassroots donors. We’ll be ordering more buttons,” said FFHL President Jack Valancy.

Just as the community worked together to build the original playground in 1993, FFHL encourages the community to come together to support the new park.  

“There are generations of people who have been involved in this [outdoor] space. When you have a community that [has] bought into a space, they will cherish it way more,” said the project’s landscape architect, Andrew Sargeant.

To get involved, and stay up-to-date on the park’s construction, visit www.fundforheightslibrary.org.

Kaela Sweeney

Kaela Sweeney is the strategic projects manager for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System.

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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 10:43 AM, 06.23.2024