NORTHFIELD VILLAGE -- For the first time in nearly two years, the village has a full recreation board, which met for the first time March 2.

Former Council members Beatrice Greenlee and Linda Bowen have been holding down the fort for the rec board since their appointments by Mayor Jesse Nehez last fall. Now they are joined by Gretchen Apana, Tracy Ware and Kevin Lewis to make the rec board full. Nehez and Councilor Renell Noack also attended the meeting.

Under the village charter, the recreation board is to consist of five registered voters who hold no other municipal office. Members are appointed by the mayor and confirmed by Council.

Apana, a 25-year resident of the village, said she has always cared about how the village ran.

Tracy Ware, who has lived in the village for six years and has a daughter in a local school, said she has gotten to know a number of people in the community who have discussed ideas for community improvement.

"I just thought this would be the best way to communicate the ideas instead of just going to the mayor," she said. "I'm also a social butterfly and I love my neighbors."

Lewis said while he has not been a resident as long as others, he spent a lot of time imagining getting back to a tight-knit community.

"I'd like to improve how we act as a community," he said.

"I joined to make the best, better," Apana said.

Bowen said she and Greenlee wanted to be on the rec board "because we just can't give up our village."

Greenlee added "We love the village."

Nehez said the two-member rec board had been involved with the Santa program and the Easter Bunny program and were looking for new ways of bringing the community together.

Ideas were bounced around for future activities, including revamping the ball fields and seeking sponsorships to help offset the cost of upkeep in exchange for banners on the fence. The board wants to do some more research and viewed this as more of a long-term goal.

Other ideas included movies in the park, block parties, kickball tournaments, golf outings, moving the community garage sale up, fundraisers for Christmas decorations and possibly reviving the Home Days or Founder's Day gathering.

"We don't want to overwhelm ourselves and put too much on our plate," Nehez said. "These are all great ideas. We need to focus on Easter then decide on the next event."

An Easter Egg hunt will be held at Smith Park April 8 from 5 to 7 p.m. Nehez said the Akron Zoo will be bringing animals to the event and snacks will be available as well. The Easter Bunny will also visit area children on a fire truck with the west side of village streets from 10 a.m. to noon and the east side of village from 1 to 3 p.m.

The village is seeking donations of plastic eggs which can be dropped off at the service department building on Ledge Road.

After some discussion, the board agreed the next two projects could be holding the garage sale in June to coincide with Eaton Estates community sale and organizing block parties throughout the summer.

Briana Barker: 330-541-9432