After acquiring the former Clearview Mobile Home Park last year, the Clark County Park District made plans to redevelop the site as a climbing area along the natural limestone cliffs. A volunteer event in August will officially begin the location’s conversion into a climbing area as the Ohio Climber’s Coalition steps in to assist with trail construction and a cleanup of the entire gorge.

The Ohio Climber’s Coalition is an organization of dedicated climbers whose mission is to see that those involved in the activity become active stewards of the land instead of being mere “users” of nature. The group will host an “Adopt-A-Crag” event at the Springfield Gorge on Saturday, August 27, which will essentially lay the plans for the development of the climbing site.

Ohio Climbers note that the Springfield Gorge, located on Dayton-Springfield Road in Mad River Township, will be the largest climbing area in the State of Ohio upon its completion. The Ohio Climbers Coalition will partner with the Access Fund Conservation Team as well as volunteers to conduct “a massive cleanup of the gorge,” as well as creation of new trails. Volunteers will also assist that day with establishing ideal areas for climbing and camping, as both activities will likely be offered at the location.

The Clark County Park District’s Board of Commissioners voted unanimously in April of 2015 to purchase the 15-acre site for possible development into a climbing site. The park district purchased the property which was once the site of the defunct Clearview Mobile Home Park from the county’s Land Bank for $3,000 in attempt to provide more recreation sites in the area as well as to help conserve the land, which is adjacent to the Mad River.

Residents of the former mobile home park were forced away from the property in 2007 because of unsanitary water conditions, and the site was declared a public health nuisance in 2008 after a contractor hired by the park’s owner left glass and debris scattered throughout the grounds.

Volunteers for the Adopt-A-Crag event are still needed, and those with technical experience in climbing are especially needed for helping with the designation of climbing areas. The Ohio Climbers are also in need of “enthusiastic beginners” to help with other tasks that day, and the group anticipates that the event will be very well-attended, and could spill over into the next day.

Those with any interest in volunteering with the Adopt-A-Crag event should visit www.ohioclimberscoalition.org and search for the “Volunteer” tab.

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