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Boardman Park hosts 227 acres of greenspace located in the heart of Boardman, Ohio. Our "Green Oasis" is a sanctuary for local plants and animals, and a recreational haven - providing amenities like open-air pavilions, softball fields, hike & bike trails, playgrounds and more!

The Historical Village

St. James Meeting House is the oldest public building in Boardman and is included in the National Register of Historical Places. The 170+ year-old building is not simply a treasure of the past, but a center of activity in the Boardman Community.

In 1828 St. James Episcopal Church was built with land and funds donated by Henry Mason Boardman, son of founder Elijah Boardman. It is believed to have been the oldest church in the Western Reserve of the Northwest Territory. In 1971 the congregation moved to a larger building on Glenwood Avenue.

The empty building was slated for demolition until the Boardman Historical Society initiated a community-wide campaign to save the church.

Beardsley-Walter-Diehm HouseIn 1972, the church was relocated to Boardman Park and after extensive renovation it became a popular site for weddings, baptisms, concerts and meetings. Today the air-conditioned church seats 125 guests and is equipped with a piano, organ, restrooms and bride's dressing room.

The park purchased the Beardsley-Walter-Diehm House and its adjoining 5 acres in 1982. Named for its builder and major tenants, the house was built circa 1828 by Josiah Beardsley.

The Walter family bought the home in 1846 and held it until 1945. During the 1920's major portions of the land land were sold in three parcels. The remaining 123 acres were sold to the Federal Subsistence Homestead Corporation in 1935. Seventy-two of those acres later became Boardman Township Park.

Oswald Detchon HouseThe home's last owners were Edgar and Maude Diehm. Mr. Diehm, a Brethren preacher, South High School teacher, and County Court Judge, often held court on the home's porch. The family sold the property to the Park in 1982.

The Oswald Detchon House was moved to the Park from its 224 location in 1985.

Built between 1840 and 1870, the home was occupied by Oswald Detchon, a descendent of one of Boardman's first settlers. The home is a museum for the Boardman Historical Society.

The Schiller-Chuey Summer Kitchen was given to the Park by Dr. Carl Chuery in 1985. It was built on the Schiller family farm in New Springfield.

Schiller-Chuey Summer KitchenOriginally the structure housed a brick oven, which was used for baking in the summertime to spare the main house from the excess heat. The herb gardens that surround the kitchen are maintained by the Holborn Herb Growers Guild.

The Historical Highlights of Boardman Township Park

 

 

 

Boardman Township Park "The Green Oasis" of the Community

Boardman Township Park is commonly known as and will remain the “Green Oasis” of the Community. It is located in the midst of Boardman Township’s {the 3rd largest township in the State of Ohio} commercial development along U.S. Route 224. The 227-contiguous-acre Park is well used and appreciated by the rapidly growing population of southern Mahoning County, not only due to its central location and easy accessibility via area highways, but also because of the diversity of recreational opportunities it offers, as well as the natural beauty of its acreage. The word Oasis can be defined as: a fertile tract in a desert; or as a haven, which is defined as a shelter serving as a place of safety or sanctuary. Boardman Park pursuant to its mission, provides and preserves 227 acres of fertile green space located in the heart of Boardman, Ohio, that is not only a sanctuary for numerous species of plants and animals, but also is a recreational haven for the Community it serves.

On November 4, 1947 the seed from which Boardman Park, the "Green Oasis", would grow was planted when the voters of Boardman Township overwhelmingly approved establishment of a Township Park District. The seed may have never been planted if it were not for the generosity of William F. Maag, Jr. In 1946 he sought a sight for a new transmitter for WFMJ, the broadcast station that bears his initials. With the cooperation of the Township Trustees, a 123 acre parcel lying on the opposite side of Boardman-Poland Road from his stately home was purchased from the Federal government. Mr. Maag, with great foresight, donated 72 of those acres to the community in order to establish a community park, hence the seed was planted.

As the Township transformed from being rural to mainly a suburban community, more and more land was used for homes, schools, and shopping and business centers, Park Commissioners, realizing that development was occurring near the Park boundaries, sought to acquire land in order to provide a buffer between the existing Park boundaries and the all-too-near commercial and residential developments, as well as to provide additional Park land to meet the recreational needs of the growing community.

In 1969 the Commissioners purchased 15 acres from the Ohio Edison Co. and one acre from the Boardman Supply Co., with both properties located along Southern Blvd. Small land acquisitions were made in the 1980's, with the most notable being the purchase of the home and five acres of land from the family of Judge Edgar Diehm. This property lies between St. James Meeting House and Toys-R-Us, and is now the site of the Park's Historical Village. Over the last ten years, Boardman Township has experienced a dramatic increase in development of residential and commercial property. Coinciding with the growth of the Township came thousands of new families to the "Green Oasis", creating a need for additional playgrounds, pavilions, indoor meeting rooms and perhaps, most importantly, additional areas of natural habitat. In 1991, the Board of Park Commissioners had sufficient funds to acquire 78 acres of land to the south and southeast of the existing Park. This land of mostly forest provided additional areas of natural habitat, as well as establishing a much needed buffer along the Park's eastern and southern boundaries.

Since 1991, the Park Commissioners have purchased 30 acres of land from the Ohio Edison Co. and 2.4 acres from a private estate, with both properties lying between the Park's western boundary and the railroad corridor of the former Youngstown & Southern Railway Co. that travels along Southern Blvd. And, most recently, the Park Board has acquired four acres of property from the Boardman Supply Co. that was formerly the site of two Little League baseball fields which were maintained and operated by Boardman Community Baseball, Inc. With great foresight, the Board of Park Commissioners acquired these virtually treeless properties so that the Park could better meet the ever-increasing demands placed on them by the hundreds of thousands of annual visitors; and, most importantly, eliminating the need to encroach on the 167 acres of natural habitat in order to develop additional recreational facilities to satisfy such demands.

On September 15, 1992, the Board of Park Commissioners adopted a Master Plan for the Park District, which reflected the Mission statement: To provide a diversity of recreational and educational opportunities in an environment that lends itself to pleasant family experiences, and to preserve areas of natural habitat. Pursuant to that Mission, the Master Plan called for several capital improvements to be made in order to better serve the recreational needs of an ever-growing Community. Through the support and generosity of the Community, the following improvements were realized: Kids’ Town and Tot’s Town playgrounds, the Maag Outdoor Arts Theatre, the Elton Beard Family Cabin, the Kenneth Hofmaster Pavilion, and the connection of the Park District’s on-site antiquated sanitary system to a public sanitary system. The commercial value of these much needed improvements totals well over $2.5 million, which otherwise the Park District’s budget alone could have not made possible. Most importantly, the realization of these assets has been made possible through the generosity and support of the community in conjunction with the receipt of various state and federal grants, clearly, demonstrating the depth and breadth of the public’s support of the Park.
The 227-contiguous-acre Boardman Township Park is well used and appreciated by the rapidly growing population of southern Mahoning County, not only due to its central location and easy accessibility via area highways, but also because of the diversity of recreational opportunities it offers as well as the natural beauty of its acreage. The popularity of the Park is demonstrated by the receipt of the Town Crier’s Reader’s Choice Award. In 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, and 2004 the Park District was awarded “The Best of the Best for Family Recreation” by the readers from Boardman, Poland, Canfield and Austintown.

Over the years, the seed has grown into a community park, rich in natural beauty, comprised of 227-contiguous-acres which are located in the heart of Boardman Township. It should be acknowledged that through the efforts of past and current Boards of Park Commissioners, the size of the Park has more than tripled since 1947 providing areas for recreational purposes, as well as tracts of land devoted to undisturbed natural habitat which are traversed only by nature trails, and all the while operating within its budget and not receiving any significant increase in real property tax revenue since the founding of the Park District. Of the 227 acres, approximately 60 acres are developed with a diversity of recreational facilities: pavilions, indoor meeting rooms, tennis courts, softball fields, sand volleyball courts, a Hike & Bike Trail, and two of the most popular and unique children's playgrounds in the area - Kids' Town and Tot's Town, both of which were designed and built through the generosity of numerous individuals and organizations for the enjoyment of all the children of our community. The balance, 167 acres, is preserved for natural habitat, which supports many native species of plants and animals and is an excellent representative of Ohio's glaciated Beech/Maple forests and lowland hardwood forests. It is these two diverse, yet balanced, uses that truly make Boardman Township Park the "Green Oasis" of the community.

Since its beginnings, Boardman Township Park has striven to provide the community with a diversity of recreational and educational opportunities, as well as to preserve areas of undisturbed natural habitat. The Board of Park Commissioners and its staff have never wavered from this mission. And throughout the decades they have worked diligently to meet the recreational needs of an ever- growing township, while serving as prudent stewards of the tax dollars entrusted to them. Please be assured that they will continue to pursue this mission to insure that the "Green Oasis" remains evergreen.

 

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Monday June 26, 2017
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