LAKESIDE, Ohio — The Chautauqua community of Lakeside will be 10 acres larger when it opens for its summer season this weekend.
Lakeside officials were to unveil land-use plans for its fourth park, called Chautauqua Park, during the opening ceremony Saturday evening. Tours of the new park along Harsh Road on the eastern end of the gated Lake Erie community were planned for the public Sunday and Monday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Tom Derby, Lakeside's chief financial officer, said the association bought some of the land in the 1960s and acquired several more acres recently.
"We wrapped the fence around the property and opened it up," he said. "Our plan is to put a memorial garden in the middle."
The garden would be a quiet, landscaped green space where the cremated remains of people who want Lakeside to be their final resting place would be buried. Mr. Derby said Lakeside representatives visited a memorial garden at the Chautauqua community of Bay View, Mich., last year.
"We were impressed at the beauty of the garden. It has a tranquil, peaceful feeling," he said.
"We felt that aesthetically a nice garden is really a nicer, prettier setting than a traditional graveyard. We're excited, and the response in the community has been positive and upbeat."
The park land consists of both woods and open space. Mr. Derby said one house is on the property and Lakeside intends to convert it eventually into an education center.
On a related note, Mr. Derby said repairs are nearly complete at Lakeside's pavilion, which sustained nearly $300,000 in damage in a fire in February. The pavilion is the entrance to the pier and swimming beach. Church services are held there on Sunday mornings.
"Our hope is that the guests who didn't know [about the fire] will just have a feeling of business as usual," he said. "It looks just like it did. The pavilion is one of our prime locations. We're looking forward to another good season here."
The cause of the blaze was not determined.