XENIA — Four new bridges have been constructed to allow access to Greene County Parks & Trails’ Sara Lee Arnovitz Nature Preserve, 350 Kinsey Road.
The preserve is made up of 43 acres of wetlands habitat with a boardwalk trail. Early in 2017, a severe storm destroyed two bridges on the trail and made it impassable, according to parks officials.
The old bridges, Greene County Park District Commission President John Finlay said, were made out of a combination of wood decking and railing with steel supports. The new bridges are 45-by-7-foot FiberSPAN Trail bridges that offer a safe crossing and zero maintenance.
“I want to thank Sara Lee Arnovitz because without her this park wouldn’t be here,” Tony Sculimbrene, Greene County Park District Commissioner, said during the ribbon-cutting and re-dedication ceremony Sept. 21. “For us, we look at our parks in Greene County as an extension of our backyard.”
“I also want to thank people that had a really big role in making this project possible, and that’s the voters of Greene County,” he added. “Because with them, and their support, we passed the levy that allows us to … make [parks] even better.”
The project was funded by the GCP&T levy, which passed in 2015.
The nature preserve was donated in the memory of Arnovitz by her children, Beverly A. Saeks, Theodore M. and Tala S. Arnovitz, as well as her grandchildren, Scott Arnovitz, Roger and Jennifer Schoenfeld, Sumner and Pamela Saeks and Carrie Saeks in 1984 to the Greene County Park District.
Thirteen acres were donated by Theodore M. and Tala S. Arnovitz, Beverly A. Saeks, Carolyn Forbes, Pauline E. Eleyet, Fred W. Forbes, Herman A. Eleyet, J. Thomas Wood and Nancy Jo Wood.
“We are so appreciative of the work that the county and the voters have done to help do new things at this park and keep it in memory of Bev’s mother and my grandmother,” Matt Arnovitz said during the ceremony. “She was a fabulous lady that loved this community very deeply and I know she’s smiling today.”
The new bridges will open areas that were inaccessible before.
“The four new bridges are made of composite material, which means they won’t wear,” GCP&T Director Jon Dobney said. “They’re here for the long term.”