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Old Brooklyn hosts ribbon-cutting ceremony for Brighton Park

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 8:28 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Brighton Park makes its debut as the city’s newest public park in Old Brooklyn after years of cleaning and organizational support.

“This is a symbol of what we can do together,” Council President Kevin Kelley said.

The park sits at the site of the former Henniger Landfill, which was in use through the 80s. Eventually, part of the space was used to create a go-kart track in the 90s.

“It just wasn’t a place conducive to walk through…it was a mess,” Efty Simakis, who has lived in Old Brooklyn for decades, said.

The 25 acres were acquired by the Western Reserve Land Conservancy in 2015; work on the grounds continued through the following years, including erosion control, tree reintroduction, and weed removal.

Simakis believes the wait was worth it: “Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it was that steadfastness that kept them going.”

The park will now be able to service over 40,000 residents who live a 10-minute walk away from the area.

Kelley added there’s nowhere the community can go but forward: “This is the brightest sign of our future.”

Simakis, from her part, says the park is a reminder that change is possible: “The future will come, and why don’t you make it better?

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