Mayor Jackson dedicates Cleveland’s first zoned green space

(Plain Press, July 2007) Fifty people gathered for the dedication of James Mahon Green on June 2, 2007. The park, which stretches from W. 45th to W. 28th on the north side of Detroit Avenue, is the first zoned green space in the city of Cleveland, said Mayor Frank Jackson, while promising that “it won’t be the last.”

James Mahon Green is named after an active member of the Franklin-Clinton Block Club. Members of the Mahon family were in attendance at the ceremony.

Bill Merriman, current chair of the block club, shared some memories of Jim Mahon and a little history of the green space. Merriman said Nancy Nugent, who lives across from the park, first suggested that the park be named after Mahon.  Having lost his father at age 5, Mahon would gather night crawlers in the park and sell them to bait stores to help provide funds for his family and make sure his three sisters could stay in school and graduate.

Merriman noted that Mayor Carl Stokes planted a pine tree at the park 37 years ago, shortly after his election as mayor. Merriman praised resident Nancy Nugent for helping to keep the young pine alive. Merriman invited those present to pour cups of water on a London Plane tree, which was recently planted in the park.

Residents of the neighborhood around the park sought permanent status for the park after seeing sketches of condos on the site as part of the former Jane Campbell administration’s lakefront development plans.

City Council passed the legislation to allow special zoning status for parks, which Ward 13 Councilman Joe Cimperman touted as the first such legislation in Ohio.

(see photos from the event here)


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