Mayor’s Press Release – Ribbon Cutting for Oak Hill Park Announced

Ribbon Cutting for Oak Hill Park Announced

October 17, 2023–Olean—William J. Aiello, Mayor of the City of Olean, is pleased to announce that the Ribbon Cutting for the enhancements of Oak Hill Park is scheduled for Friday, October 20, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. at the stage in the park near the corner of Laurens and North Sixth Streets. The public is invited to attend.

The 5.5-acre park, which encompasses the highest land and best views of the City, is the foundation of the Oak Hill Park Historic District and is an anchor for Olean’s downtown revitalization efforts. Dating back to 1905 and shaded with a canopy of large oak trees, the historic park had become underutilized and in need of a renewal. The improvements which cost approximately $745,000 will guarantee increased foot traffic as well as a significant increase in outdoor programing.

The project included a number of enhancements:

  • A dog park with fencing and play furniture;
  • Restroom with a small storage area to support programming in the park;
  • An outdoor stage built in partnership with Olean Theater Workshop to support outdoor performances;
  • Recreational court improvements including replacement of fencing, mill and paved blacktop areas, and new fixtures and striping for basketball and tennis courts;
  • A new picnic area with ADA-accessible tables and grills.

The project was funded in part by the Downtown Revitalization Initiative ($500,000) and administered by the New York State Department of State. The City of Olean also contributed to the project.

“Oak Hill Park was at risk and with the help of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative the City was able to make numerous improvements to the park,” Mayor Aiello said. “The City was extremely fortunate to have Marianne and Erick Laine start the process back in 2018 when they had the Laurens Street steps restored to their majestic grandeur. In addition, the Olean High School Class of 1965 has installed benches in the park and numerous neighborhood volunteers continually take care of the gardens and grounds.”

“We are thrilled with the renovations, the dog park has seen constant use since it’s installation as have the basketball, tennis and pickle ball courts. The City’s partnership with the Olean Theater Workshop has created a new venue for outdoor performances, and it has already been used successfully to host the Soap Box Derby last month. It is nice to have another open air venue in downtown Olean that encompasses it all—the arts, athletics and playgrounds for both children and our canine friends.”