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Miami Township Park To Reopen After Lead And Arsenic Cleanup

Layer Park reopens in Miami Twp.
Jerry Kenney
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Layer Park reopens in Miami Twp.

On Friday, officials in Miami Township in Montgomery County are expected to celebrate the rededication ceremony of a neighborhood park. The park had been closed because of lead and arsenic contamination found at the site.

Layer Park is on Cordell Dr. in what some call the Huber South section of Miami Township.

The park reopens after a $3 million cleanup that began more than two and a half years ago -- after, officials say, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency first discovered toxins at the park.

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Credit Jerry Kenney
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In 2015, says John Morris, trustee president for the township, the EPA linked the lead and arsenic contamination to a now-gone skeet-shooting range.

The facility operated on the property from the 1930s to the 1950s.

“For whatever reasons, the EPA had not determined in prior visits that there was any hazards,” he says.

Morris says township officials are satisfied the park is once again safe for community use.

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In this full interview, Miami Twp. Trustee President John Morris details the environmental cleanup of Layer Park and addresses other concerns of nearby residents.

“We’ve taken out approximately 6,000 tons of soil, we took out a number of trees, planted new trees, installed all new playground equipment, gotten that land cleaned up and ready to be used by the community,” he says.  

 

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Credit Jerry Kenney
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In the distance, new saplings grow where approximately 6000 tons of soil and dozens of large, older shade trees in Layer Park were removed.

 
Township officials also replaced the parking lot, two half-court basketball courts, and installed two cooking grills. They also renovated an existing shelter house.

The rededication ceremony is set to take place in Layer Park from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Organizers say there will also be special activities for children, and township police and fire crews will be on hand.

Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.