Bay Village Foundation plans anniversary gift to residents

The Bay Village Foundation will add new features, replace worn materials and enhance the safety of the Play in Bay playground as a gift to residents in celebration of the group’s 20th anniversary. Photo by Denny Wendell

In celebration of its 20th year, The Bay Village Foundation voted last month to approve two major projects. Trustees voted to make an anniversary gift to the families of Bay Village by refurbishing and adding new features to the Play in Bay playground in Cahoon Memorial Park.

Twenty years ago, Bay Village city council set up a private fund to help two groups of volunteers that were raising funds for the Play in Bay playground and for the expansion of the Bay Way Cabin. Council President T. Richard Martin suggested that a separate fund be set up to act as a private account to hold the incoming funds during the drives. The new fund was called The Future of Bay.

Both groups succeeded in their goals and both facilities are in heavy use. Rather than close the fund, then-Mayor Tom Jelepis, law director Gary Ebert and then-Councilman Wayne Reese elected to keep the fund and to apply for non-profit status. Over the years it became The Bay Village Foundation.

The Foundation, which is funded by donations from Bay Village residents, works to promote, maintain and enhance the beauty of the city by supporting non-profit organizations and projects. This year, the Foundation will undertake two major projects of its own – to refurbish and enhance Play in Bay, which is showing its age. The first project, to commence this fall, will be an extension of the playground area with new equipment. The second project is a full refurbishment of the original playground, for which the Foundation will spend the next several years raising funds.

At the request of the Foundation, the city’s recreation director, Dan Enovitch, agreed to solicit proposals and bids for the two projects. After Foundation trustees reviewed several proposals and discussed the gift with Mayor Debbie Sutherland, they chose the plan submitted by Meyer Design of Akron, which calls for a three-section rock-climbing wall; hand-over-hand parallel bars; two chinning bars; a 90-degree, tri-rung, hand-over-hand ladder; a double cargo net wall; a balance beam; and eight stepping pods. These new features will cost $19,435 and will extend the playground south to the tennis courts.

In addition, the five-year plan calls for updating the current structure to increase safety. There is significant wear and tear of the 20-year-old structure. Most importantly, the Foundation and the City want to preserve the work of the 1995 volunteers and the names of those engraved on bricks and equipment. The decking and handrails will be replaced with cedar-tone recycled plastic planks that resist fading. Deck rails will be replaced with climbing ladders in various shapes to allow children to climb between platforms. All posts will be covered with plastic panels to prevent splinters.

The Foundation is kicking off a fundraising campaign to raise the approximately $90,000 needed to finance these projects. Meyer Design put together a narrative and picture board that was displayed at Bay Days and that will be made available for presentations to groups in an effort to procure funding. Foundation members are available to discuss the project.

Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Those interesting in donating any amount should make checks payable to The Bay Village Foundation, P.O. Box 40122, Bay Village, OH 44140. Donations are also accepted online at via PayPal or through the Cleveland Foundation, Bay Village Foundation Fund. Questions may be emailed to

Read More on Local News
Volume 7, Issue 13, Posted 10:19 AM, 07.07.2015