POMEROY — A NatureWorks grant of $12,374 has been awarded by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for further improvements at the Mulberry Pond in Pomeroy.
State and federal grant funds for community based outdoor projects including the one for the Mulberry Pond and two in Gallia County have been awarded for 105 projects across Ohio totaling about $2.5 million.
The Gallia County projects include $6,600 for sidewalk and shelter house improvements at the Cheshire Village Park , and $6,000 for Haskins Park in Gallipolis for the addition of picnic tables.
This latest NatureWorks grant for the Mulberry Pond project is designated for developing a pier and extending an existing walkway. The new funding with some local match will be used for completing a walkway around the pond. It will include a bridge across the far end of the pond where there is a cave and a waterfall from Beech Grove Cemetery.
Work on improving the pond and developing the area around it into a park got underway a number of years ago when a man by the name of Jim Smith who had grown up fishing with his Dad at the pond, returned to live in Pomeroy after retiring from a job in Columbus. He was determined to see that the pond was improved and the area developed to provide a place for families to enjoy.
Working with then Mayor John Musser, the two began searching for funding to make improvements. With some village match, a Nature Works Grant was secured, other state funds were secured, donations were solicited locally, businesses became involved and labor was donated to do much of the required work. Musser named Smith chairman of the project.
The pond itself was cleaned up and stocked with fish, a five foot wide, 175 foot handicapped accessible ramp was built on the left hand side of the lake and another one was started on the right hand side. Six benches donated in memory or tribute to residents were put in place, two picnic tables were donated by the Carpenters Union, a large grill made by welding students at Meigs High School was installed, and a flower bed was built and local growers provided the flowers.
The improvements to the park once started soon became a community project under Smith’s leadership . Persistence with patience has always been his style when it came to getting funding and in the case of the Mulberry Pond improvement, it’s proven to be successful. This new NatureWorks grant means that come spring improvements can continue to be made for the public to enjoy.