Community foundation invests nearly $2 million into new park in downtown Youngstown

Local News

The city received financial backing for the park from the Raymond John Wean Foundation

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The park that connects the Covelli Centre to the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheater will soon have an official name, and the money paid for those rights will help support it all.

Youngstown continues the redevelopment of its downtown core with the opening of a new park along the Mahoning River.

The city received financial backing for the park from a community foundation that has deep ties to the site.

The area between the new amphitheater and the Covelli Centre used to house a factory that once belonged to Wean United.

That company started the Raymond John Wean Foundation, which aims to help continue the redevelopment of downtown Youngstown.

“When that was demolished in 2014, 2015, conversations began about what revitalization could actually look like,” said Wean Foundation President Jennifer Roller.

The Wean Foundation then jumped at the chance to sponsor the new park — to be called Wean Park — with an investment of $125,000 a year for 15 years, nearly $2 million.

Wean Park will soon be a downtown destination for all kinds of recreational activities.

“Residents can enjoy green space where folks can just take advantage of the beauty of the city and all the revitalization that’s occurring,” Roller said.

Roller believes Wean Park will be a focal point for the entire community, something everyone in the Valley can enjoy with what the space has to offer.

“A place that everyone, regardless of your race, regardless of your income status, where you live, can enjoy this space, and that’s what it means to all of us — access, inclusion. It’s going to be a beautiful thing,” Roller said.

A public grand opening ceremony is planned sometime in the next four to six weeks.

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