TROY — As children floated down the Great Miami River in brightly colored inner-tubes, Mayor Michael Beamish officially opened the renovated Treasure Island Park to the public on Sunday.
Beamish thanked both council and the community for its support of the approximately $2.6 million park and marina renovation, which began in 2015. The park is now officially open to the public with Sunday’s dedication of the park’s lighthouse. The lighthouse was a gift from the Troy Foundation to commemorate the foundation’s 90th anniversary and the city of Troy’s 2014 Bicentennial celebration.
“I’m excited. It’s certainly a big benefit for Troy and we’ve got a lot of activities being planned. The lighthouse becomes the beacon of light and it’s just a wonderful opportunity for Troy and the region,” Beamish shared before the lighthouse dedication ceremony. “We got a great restaurant coming on board and all the activities being held here, so the lighthouse is that beacon of light that shines for the future.”
Mayor Beamish shared how he got to know the Hobart family, the original owners of the marina building, and saw the potential of the picturesque park along the river with views of the Miami County Courthouse and downtown Troy.
“The Hobarts always had a big influence on me. My youngsters, when they were born, always liked coming over here to play on the island,” Beamish shared. “I saw historic pictures where people lined themselves along the levee to watch racing and different boat activities and I’ve always said that this was an untapped treasure that we needed to bring alive.”
Bill Hobart was in attendance at the dedication ceremony and Beamish thanked him for being present for the park’s special day.
Beamish said the park features and its natural setting is inviting with its island walking trails and canal lock stone benches with plenty of shade from the mature trees. Walking trails also wind through the lower levee area of the park connecting the park’s shelter house and amphitheater areas.
“I’ve always saw a vision that this could become an icon for Troy — something Troy could look back on and be proud of, and also see the economic value that this could reinstate,” Beamish said.
Beamish noted the Great Adventures on the Miami watercraft business already made a splash at the park. The water recreation business will be housed at the marina, its second location. The marina will also feature Smith’s Boathouse Restaurant, which is expected to open later this summer.
Sylvia Smith, 11, and Paige Thompson, 14, both of Troy, kayaked around the park’s harbor before pulling their vessels ashore on the boat ramp on the sunny Sunday afternoon.
“It just feels good to feel when the water comes off the paddle because it’s hot outside,” Smith said.
“It’s really fun. The park is really cool,” Thompson said.
Public service and safety director Patrick Titterington said the park is nearly 99 percent complete with final touches being added to the park’s landscape. Exterior work at the marina building also is being wrapped up before the restaurant officially opens for business.
In his closing comments, Mayor Beamish encouraged the public to take in the view from the lighthouse.
“Take a look at what it looks like from a view from here and imagine as this park grows in its activities, how many opportunities there will be for each and everyone of us to enjoy,” Beamish said. “It is a new and different amenity and I hope you see this as valuable as I do as part of the legacy the Hobarts have left to us here in Troy, Ohio U.S.A.”