Heritage Park upgrade sought

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Groveport Village Councilman Ed Rarey wants to see improvements made to the village’s Heritage Park.

"I’d like to see us broaden our opportunities there and make more use of the park," said Rarey at council’s Feb. 11 meeting. "I’d like to see it become more conducive to family and student use. The park is highly used, especially by kids, and educationally valuable."

Heritage Park, located along Wirt Road next to the Groveport Cemetery, features the 1815 era log house, a nature center, a shelter house, a performing arts stage, green space, and Palm Pond.

Rarey stated the village’s community affairs department has a working relationship with Metro Parks that makes frequent use of  the nature center, located in the log house, as well as the park’s grounds for nature programming.

Rarey suggested the village consider installing sidewalks to make it easier for pedestrians to reach Heritage Park. He would also like to see the village build moderns restrooms at the park, move the benches at Palm Pond back from the water’s edge so they are not submerged during times of high water, and find a way to get parking closer to Palm Pond.

Rarey joked that the portable restrooms in the park are not something he’d want to use because he said he gave up using outhouses years ago.

Public Works Superintendent Dennis Moore said there are sewer lines that could be used for modern restrooms in the former Hamler property to the east, which is now part of the park, as well as across Wirt Road in the former trailer park lot.

Village Administrator Jon Crusey told council Rarey’s ideas, and those of other council members, could be incorporated in a proposed parks master plan. Council heard the first reading of an ordinance to issue requests for qualifications and to contract with the most desirable firm to develop the parks master plan. Crusey noted that $30,000 has been appropriated in the five year capital improvement plan for the development of a parks master plan.

"The purpose of the parks master plan," wrote Crusey in a report to council, "is to identify possible ideas for the long range continued enhancement of the village’s park system."

Groveport is rich in park land as the village has nine parks encompassing approximately 195 acres. The parks include:

•Groveport Park, 7370 Groveport Road, 82 acres, home of the Groveport Recreation Center and Aquatic Center as well as a one mile walking path, ball diamonds, and soccer fields;

•Blacklick Park, the village’s oldest park located at the east end of Blacklick Street, 3 acres, a shady park with playground and picnic facilities as well as a walking path that connects to the preserved Ohio and Erie Canal lock 22.

•Degenhart Park, 355 Lesleh Avenue, 3.5 acres, features lighted tennis courts, playground equipment, restrooms, and picnic shelter;

•Groveport Cemetery, 539 Wirt Road, 5.5 acres, the village’s historic cemetery;

•Heritage Park, 551 Wirt Road, 15 acres, features the historic 1815 log house, picnic shelter, performing arts stage, Palm Pond, a three quarter mile walking path, and Groveport Nature Center;

•Veterans Park, 421 Main St., a memorial park honoring our nation’s military veterans;

•Orchard Park, 5079 Cherry Blossom Drive, 2.33 acres, a neighborhood park with trees and playground equipment;

•Groveport’s Cruiser Park, 4677 Bixby Road, 52 acre athletic park featuring soccer fields; and

•Greenpointe Business Park, 4995 London-Groveport Road, 32 acres, featuring a pond, leisure path, picnic tables, and benches.

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