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Volume 1 Issue 1 February 24, 2012

Welcome to the inaugural edition of our electronic Columbus Recreation and Parks newsletter. Our intent is to inform you of our upcoming programs, events and activities as well as to highlight some of our accomplishments. We hope you find this information useful if you want to explore the recreational resources that we offer, or if you are a community partner that chooses to help us enhance the many quality of life opportunities we provide for our citizens.

The Columbus Recreation and Parks Department is comprised of more than 240 parks, 55 miles of multi-purpose trails, 30 recreation centers, a creative arts facility, an outdoor education program, activities for those with special needs, 10 rental facilities, five athletic complexes, seven golf courses, one indoor and several outdoor swimming pools, special events throughout the year, numerous sports leagues, planters and maintainers of trees along city streets and in our parks, the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging that provides health and social services to senior adults, the largest outdoor fountain in the state, and much, much more. All together, what we do is essential to the overall well-being of our residents. In addition to just being fun, our parks, programs, and services give all of us a chance to improve our physical and mental health, to develop our youth, to focus on our environment, and to make a positive economic impact on our city.

The staff of the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department stands ready to enrich the lives of everyone we serve. So, just give us a call; it’s the natural thing to do. We look forward to everyone having a happy and healthy 2012.

Alan D. McKnight


Director McKnight


Scioto Mile

On July 7, 2011, Mayor Michael Coleman and AEP Chairman Michael Morris turned the valve to start up the Scioto Mile Fountain as hundreds watched the first fountain show and children splashed in the interactive and architectural gem of Bicentennial Park.

We've got APPS for that!

Your teenagers can't get it on their iPhone but it can help connect them with a positive life path. First year Applications for Purpose, Pride and Success (APPS) made a positive impact on youth in 2011 and will continue to grow this year.

CERP fights against invasive species

Newly-founded Columbus Ecological Restoration Program (CERP) has helped to eradicate invasive plant species such as honeysuckle. Thanks to the help of volunteers, we cleared over 15 acres of green space and created 204 cubic yards of mulch. That totals over 1000 wheelbarrows!

Capital Kids

After turning 11, this after school program is taking it's health seriously. Four of our community gardens sprouted over a ton of produce. We kicked it into high gear by participating the Capital City Marathon and we even have a Mascot for this year's race.

Learn more

Trail Improvements

We have been connecting the dots from trail to trail with beautiful art deco bridges while using recycled materials. Our goal is to continue paving the greater Columbus area with a means of travel and recreation on two wheels.

After School Meals

Community Recreation will begin feeding children after school at 23 different community recreation centers this month. The program is designed to feed children, ages 5-18, a daily hot meal to fill the gap between school lunches and the next day when children return to school and may have not had a hot meal or any type of food in the evening. It will also allow us to provide more information to children about eating healthy and exercising after school, and is an ideal addition to any recreation center program. Beatty Recreation Center was the first center to have this program that is sponsored by Children’s Hunger Alliance and the State of Ohio.

We thank everyone involved with this project and look forward to the beginning and the future of this after school program and a continuing partnership with the Children’s Hunger Alliance and the State of Ohio.

Summer Camps


Columbus Recreation and Parks is gearing up for summer with lots of exciting, affordable camps and activities for children to enjoy. We are positive that there are camps that your child will want to attend.

Camp Expo

A Camp Expo will be held Thurs., Mar 1 at Franklin Park Adventure Center, 1747 E. Broad St. from 5:30-7:30 pm. Each camp will have a table where individuals can obtain more information and talk to a camp representative.

Camp Registration

Camp registration will begin on Sat., Mar 10 at 10am. Registration will be continuous online. In person registration will be held at any Columbus Recreation and Parks community center from 10am - 4pm that day.

Learn more

Look what we are improving

Far East and Woodward Get New Climate

The old heating systems at Far East and Woodward Park Recreation Centers are currently being replaced. In addition to the new heat, air conditioning will also be added. The project, which started last summer, will be completed this month. The new air conditioning system is a long-awaited addition.

McDonald Renovation

This spring, the McDonald Athletic Complex will close for renovations. When the facility opens later this year for the fall leagues, the participants will see several improvements. These include new lighting, wood flooring, exterior siding, an improved ventilation system, and a fresh coat of paint.

Milo Grogan Transformation Realized

Milo Grogan Recreation Center is going to get a facelift. Currently in design, renovations are scheduled to start this spring. Even though the center will be closed until late spring 2013, once open it will look like a new facility. Improvements are to include the addition of a new gymnasium, new parking lot and reconfiguring the existing building layout to include a new art room, larger weight room, larger kitchen, dance room, offices, restrooms, and a new stage for the multi-purpose room.

2011 More Pools, 2012 Better Pools

Last year the City Council passed emergency legislation to fund opening two previously dormant pools, Maryland and Glenwood. This year Dodge Pool and its bathhouse will be completely renovated in time for swimming season in June, and Marion Franklin and Windsor pools will also see some bathhouse improvements. In total, the department will operate seven pools this summer - Dodge, Glenwood, Lincoln, Marion Franklin, Maryland, Tuttle, and Windsor.


We Thank Our Partner Organizations

The Recreation and Parks Department would like to acknowledge and thank the following organizations who stepped in to fill a void in our service to the community by keeping our sites open and opportunities available over the past couple of years due to extremely challenging budget issues.

So, thanks to the Golden Hobby Shop Board of Trustees who helped keep the consignment shop in German Village open for shoppers and senior consigners. CATCO Phoenix Theatre and Steven Anderson who increased their role at the Davis Performing Arts Center on Franklin Ave to offer programs for all age groups with a continued emphasis on our children's programs. Allen Huff and The Neighborhood House who stepped up and increased their program space to include the Sawyer Community Center on Atcheson St., the Camp Fire Association who operated Tuttle Recreation Center, and Rachael Muha of the Brian Muha Memorial Foundation and Run the Race Club who helped keep the Holton Community Center open for programs which benefited the Hilltop area.

In February of 2009, these groups entered into management agreements with our department to help keep some of our closed sites open for programs and use by the communities. We believed going into the process that there would be a light at the end of the tunnel that would provide us with new partners and new ways of operating when we emerged from our difficult times.

That has come true and we are extremely grateful. While some of these partnerships still remain in place, we wanted to take the time to recognize all of these group's efforts in continuing to make Columbus a great place for families and friends to live and play.

Text CcolsRecPark to 40404 for updates



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