BY SHERI TRUSTY
Sometimes, it takes a little green to make a little white.
The employees of Great Lakes Demolition in Clyde recently sprayed green hydroseed onto the new 40-foot-tall sledding hill that was built at Hopfinger Zimmerman Memorial Park. When white snow falls this winter, area children can choose from two different sledding runs.
“We’ll have one run to scare the crap out of the older kids, and a less steep one for the little kids,” said Jack Zimmerman, who created the park with his wife, Lorraine Zimmerman.
Much of the park was funded through community donations, and the equipment and labor for the hydroseeding project was donated by Great Lakes Demolition. The sledding hill is just one addition coming to Hopfinger Zimmerman Memorial Park, which offers many amenities to the public, all free of charge, including a playground, pickleball courts, basketball courts and a dog park.
The sledding hill is surrounded by a new stocked fishing pond, giving anglers a second fishing option at the park. On the other side of the park is a fishing and swimming pond.
“We expanded the beach at the swimming pond because it was getting too crowded. We have about a 25-foot gain,” Lorraine said.
Hopfinger Zimmerman Memorial Park is located at 4909 W. Oak Harbor SE Rd. in Port Clinton. For more information, visit the Hopfinger Zimmerman Memorial Park Facebook page.
Later this summer, a new beach volleyball court will open.
“It will have 14 inches of sand. It’s built to the same specifications as the one at Cedar Point,” Jack said.
Two gazebos will be installed soon. One will be located at the pickleball courts, and one will be placed north of the swimming pond.
“We’re putting it there for adults who don’t want to be near the playground,” Jack said.
Next on the Zimmermans’ to-do list will be a 60-by-80-foot pavilion with a fireplace that will be constructed by the sledding hill. Not only will sledders have the chance to get warm, but it will also mean that “it won’t be cold on Reindeer Days next winter,” Lorraine said.
Chris and Sharon Smith of Fremont donated $50,000 for the construction of the pavilion in memory of Chris’ parents, Tom and Judi Smith.
“Judi was my 10th grade English and French teacher at Ross,” Jack said.
Last year’s mild winter shouldn’t worry sledding enthusiasts who are concerned there won’t be enough snow to use the hill.
“I ordered snow,” Lorraine joked. “At least, I hope we have snow next year.”