By Sandi Latimer
The Columbus Recreation and Parks Department hopes to work on the Alkire Road Park this fall.
Justin Loesch, a park specialist with the department, showed the Westland Area Commission the improvements planned for the park that abuts the Mentel Golf Course and Alkire Road. High on the list of improvement Loesch shared at the March commission meeting were more parking spaces and an increased length on the walking trail loop.
Originally, the plans called for 30 parking spaces, but that has been revised to add 46 more. The walking trail had first been drawn in for a quarter mile, but has since been increased to a half mile.
The department hopes to put out to bid soon the work for getting the area cleaned up and graded.
“We’ve got $455,000 to work with,” Loesch said. “We hope to do the work in late summer or early fall.”
A couple of problems have plagued work on this land – a retention pond and a private residence. Loesch said his department has not been able to find the owner of those two properties.
“We’ve worked with the (Prairie Township) trustees about ownership of the retention pond, and neither of us knows who owns it,” he said. “We’re just going to work as though it’s not there.”
As for the private residence, Loesch said he has reached out twice to find the owners, but nothing has come through.
“We’re going to be building the park around this residence,” he said.
Plans call for the park to have playground equipment, soccer fields, a walking trail, picnic facilities, and baseball and football fields.
In other news, commissioner Nancy Day-Achauer outlined plans for a Prairie Township Block Park Health Fair. This will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 22, in the parking lot of Doctors Hospital, 5100 W. Broad St. Besides information about health care and health care providers, there will be a bicycle safety course, an interactive fire safety program, outdoor games and a community walk.