STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (WTRF) — You know it as the city of murals and the city of nutcrackers.
But did you know Steubenville has a nearly 100-acre nature reserve with centuries of untold history?
It started as a project to clear just one trail of Beatty Park’s 12 miles.
But four years later, the Friends of Beatty Park Revitalization Group have shifted their goals from beautification to rejuvenation.
Founded in 1797, the park once contained a pool and even a streetcar entrance.
But they fell into disuse in the 20th century, with worn-down steps and concrete slabs the only signs of its past.
The Friends of Beatty Park are now ready to restore that old glory—and have already rebuilt the first bridge leading into the park with the help of grant funding.
The group’s chair says the sides of that bridge had crumbled into the stream below and remained there for years.
“I grew up right up the road and I was in the park every day of my life growing up as a child. So I knew its potential and I knew how beautiful the park was and what nature could provide. And we picked timing to revitalize right at the beginning of COVID. So people came to the park.”Flora Verstraten-Merrin, Chair, Friends of Beatty Park Revitalization Group
The old staircase for the streetcar now has a railing for all 220 of its steps as well…but even bigger projects remain on their to-do list.
There’s another currently blocked-off bridge from 1884 that will also get the rehabilitation treatment.
And the Friends say that eventually, with any luck…Fort Steuben won’t be the only place to find an amphitheater in Steubenville.