There’s a brand-new view along the Ohio River thanks to the Ravenswood Development Authority.
An area along the river, known colloquially as “the Point Property,” has been cleared of overgrowth and debris and soon will be developed into a recreation area.
The property is located across Sand Creek from Washington’s Riverfront Park. There’s easy access to it from Sand Street.
Development authority president Denise Toler said the property is thought to be the spot where George Washington camped when he traveled through the area. The city deeded the property to the development authority years ago, she said.
The property was completely overgrown and had been a dumping site for chunks of broken concrete, gravel, and sand.
“We really wanted to grow that piece of land, but it needed a lot of work,” Toler said.
The development authority contracted Pete Gould and Sons to excavate the area. That work is now complete and there is a level space with a great view of the Ohio River, the bridge, and Riverfront Park.
“A lot of the trees had taken over. There were a couple level spots, but not enough room for you do anything,” Toler said. “If you go there now, there is a gorgeous view to the Ohio side that you couldn’t see before because of the trees that had grown up.”
The near-future goals are to build a gazebo and, possibly, a fire pit. Toler said the city wants to make the space available for local Scout troops for weekend campouts.
The area has been seeded and officials are waiting for the grass to start coming in, Toler said.
“It would be a prime spot for senior dances, wedding photos, things like that. You could do baby showers in the summer time. Our goal is to rent that area out just like we do our facilities at the Riverfront Park,” Toler said.
Toler said the project has been special to her because it was a pet project of Lawrence “Corky” McCorkle, who passed away recently. McCorkle’s name was synonymous with the development authority. Toler wants to help bring his vision for the property to life.
Toler said future goals could include building a walking bridge across Sand Creek to connect the property to the Riverfront Park.
“It’ll just be another piece we’re adding to the parks,” she said. “I just think it was so overgrown for so many years, it was hard to see the vision of it. Now that it’s cleared out, I just think the possibilities are opening up.”
Mayor Josh Miller said he is proud of the work the RDA has done to make the property into a workable piece of ground.
“I want people to understand that our downtown businesses and Riverfront are our best assets for our future,” he said. “Future additions to the Riverfront, such as a marina, would change everything in Ravenswood.”
Miller said he believes the area should be developed according to a unified vision and a pre-determined plan.
“If we can have a solid five-year plan, and maybe get that lagoon out of there and replace it with, potentially, commercial development, such as lodging, it changes everything for Ravenswood and Jackson County,” he said. “It will happen. It just takes time. Small projects and small victories make up the bigger picture. We’ll keep pushing forward.”