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bronze statue - south entrance

If you had driven past the corner of Jefferson Drive and Country Lane in the fall of 2001 and the spring of 2002, you might have seen some of your neighbors working in the small park on the corner watering plants, tending to weeds or picking up litter. You may have seen carpenters erecting a gazebo, or bricklayers laying a path through the park and around the granite fountain.

The park, a thin sliver of land lying along Jefferson Drive between Country Lane and Thompson Drive, is a memorial to former neighborhood resident, Ann Alison Hoover. Many of the volunteers working at the park had known Ann since she was a child, some had met her through her work with outreach centers and fund-raising efforts for arts and nonprofit groups, and a few had not known her at all, yet everyone there felt the need to mourn her death, and more importantly, celebrate her life.

On June 1st, 2002, on what would have been Ann's 50th birthday, the community gathered together to do just that. Politicians, church leaders, the North Hills High School Marching band, and many friends, relatives and neighbors of Ann dedicated the small park at the corner of Jefferson Drive and Country Lane.

The park was created through a public and private cooperative effort. The five acres of land the park sits on was donated by Tom and Marianne Anderson; Ann had once been Marianne's babysitter. Ross Township assumed ownership of and responsibility for the land, its public works crews helped in construction and Ross Township Commissioner Daniel Kinross allocated more than $15,000 for the project. Former State Representative David Mayernik helped secure almost $50,000 in state grants and the NHECA organized two memorial brick sales. Over $30,000 was raised by the sales -- the bricks are inscribed with personal messages and set in place beneath the gazebo.

bronze statue in winter

A large group of volunteers led by North Hills Estates residents Yvonne Brandon, Rob Butorac and Larry Ridenour put in over 2000 hours of work preparing, planting and maintaining the flowers, shrubbery, walking paths and benches that fill the park. The park has become a gathering point for the neighborhood, both for formal events such as Christmas in the Park, and as a place where neighbors just stop to rest, chat with friends and enjoy the beauty of the park.