Marble Cliff putting finishing touches on Studebaker Grove memorial area at Tarpy Woods

Alan Froman
ThisWeek group
Marble Cliff Mayor Matt Cincione leans against a tree at Tarpy Woods. The park is undergoing some improvements, including the creation of Studebaker Grove, where residents could pay to plant a tree with a plaque in honor or memory of a loved one. The grove is named after former mayor Kent Studebaker.

The village of Marble Cliff is completing a project at Tarpy Woods to enhance visitors' experience at the park and give residents a way to remember and recognize loved ones.

The village has worked with arborist Chris Ahlum, president of Ahlum & Arbor Tree Preservation, to create a grove where residents could have a tree planted with a plaque honoring a family member.

The grove is being named Studebaker Grove in honor of former mayor Kent Studebaker and his years of service, Mayor Matt Cincione said.

Kent Studebaker

The village will place a plaque on one of the trees that will be planted in the grove in honor of the former mayor, fiscal officer Cindy McKay said.

The concept for creating a grove at Tarpy Woods began to be discussed in 2019 as Studebaker was preparing to retire, Cincione said. Tarpy Woods is at the south end of Cambridge Boulevard.

The grove's location has changed from the original idea, he said. The initial plan was to install a pathway, along which trees would be planted about 100 feet south and southwest of the entryway to the 10-acre park, Cincione said.

Instead, the grove's location has been moved to the entryway itself, he said.

"We wanted to make it more accessible for people who may be older or have mobility issues and might have had difficulty making their way to visit and see a tree they planted in memory of someone," Cincione said.

The grove also will be a way "to reboot" the front portion of the park and make it a more engaging entryway for visitors, he said.

Another area toward the east as one walks into the park is being cleared of bramble and honeysuckle and other invasive plants, with wildflowers planted in their place, Cincione said. That area of the park will be known as Voelker Meadow, in honor of the Voelker family, who, along with the Tarpy family, owned the land that now comprises Tarpy Woods, he said.

"The Tarpy Woods were designed to be a passive park, where we wouldn't have tennis courts or soccer fields," McKay said. "These enhancements are an opportunity to make the park a more pleasant place for people to visit and enjoy the setting."

The cost of removing the invasive plants in the park was about $12,000, and another $6,000 was spent for the new plantings, she said.

The village worked with the arborist to create a list of trees residents could select to have planted in the grove, McKay said.

"We wanted to make sure we weren't having people plant trees that wouldn't be able to survive in Ohio," she said.

Residents are charged a $400 fee for the tree and plaque that is inscribed with their tribute to a loved one, McKay said.

The village is planning to hold a dedication ceremony for the grove, affording residents who have paid for a tree planting an opportunity to help complete the planting, she said.

"Most of the work will have been done, but this would give them a chance to have a hand in the planting," McKay said.

A date for the event is still to be determined, she said. It might be held over Memorial Day weekend but possibly could be pushed back into June, McKay said.

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