Plymouth Park Superintendent Mike Hite plans to begin digging into history in Centennial Park this year.
During Monday’s Park Board meeting, Hite asked for board approval to conduct a controlled burn on the terraced areas of the lower park where the Blueberry Festival holds the tractor pulls. He said the hill is covered in overgrowth and over the years there’s been some dumping in the area. Hite wants to hire someone to come in a do a controlled burn of the brush so he can determine what is underneath all of it.
Historic pictures of Centennial Park show terraced areas along the creek with a stone bridge over the creek. Back in the day, those terrace areas were used for seating to watch events in the lower portion of the park.
It’s believed that the terracing was part of a Work Progress Administration (WPA) project that President Franklin D. Roosevelt created in 1935 for the unemployed. The program was created to provide useful work for millions of victims of the Great Depression.
Superintendent Hite said his ultimate goal is to return the hillside to the terraced area it was, which will also allow his staff to mow the hillside. He really wants to improve the appearance of the park in that area.
Once it can be determined that the terracing is still under the growth, dirt, and debris, Hite hopes that some organizations might take an active role, maybe even a couple of Eagle Scout projects in the area to bring back the historic nature of the park.