BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN)- What started as farmland has become a 227-acre community staple.

Thursday, a special event full of festivities will honor Boardman Park.

Employees, past and present, are highlighting milestones in the park’s history. Legislators are presenting proclamations to honor the park. A ceremonial tree planting will also be held.

Dan Slagle has been the park’s executive director for 30 years. He told WKBN how the park is a green oasis for the community.

“When we say the green oasis, we mean that we are a green spot in the middle of Boardman Township. And in addition to that, it’s environmentally, we’re very important,” said Slagle.

Thursday’s celebration begins at 10 a.m. A preview for a large anniversary celebration will also be discussed. That celebration will be happening in August.

Dan Slagle has been involved with Boardman Park for 50 years. He shared some interesting facts about the park’s history.

  • The park originally opened in 1947 at only 72 acres in size. It’s now 227 acres with plenty of facilities and recreational areas for all.
  • Its first playground was built in 1950.
  • Over 8,000 people came to the park to celebrate.

Slagle has loved working at the park over the years.

“It’s been a tremendous privilege to work here for all those years. But what’s important is not only the environmental benefits that we offer but to know that the people of our community appreciate the four things,” said Slagle.

Back in 1948, the park was funded by a $1 million levy. Today, the park still operates on the equivalent of that levy. 80% of the park’s funding now comes from the community.

Back in the 1800s, the park was a farm. Instead of building fences, farmers planted Osage orange trees in fence rows. These are trees with really big thorns.

A row of these trees is still in the park, meaning the original farmer planted these trees around 1820.
It’s a cool piece of history predating the park.