Bexley News

Session puts residents' ideas into play

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Bexley residents will have another opportunity to weigh in on the future of Alum Creek Park during a public meeting at 7 p.m. today, Jan. 16, in the auditorium at the Bexley Library, 2411 E. Main St.

During the meeting, city officials and representatives with design firm MKSK will present a draft plan for the currently undeveloped site, which is about three-quarters of a mile along Alum Creek from East Main Street to East Livingston Avenue. The draft plan was compiled from residents' suggestions that the city gathered through an online survey in October and at a Nov. 22 public meeting.

At tonight's meeting, residents will have an opportunity to provide feedback that the city will use to finalize the park plan. The city plans to pursue grants and other private funds to develop the park.

"If we can build something that everyone's proud of and excited about, we're going to be more apt to market it and encourage people to go there," Recreation Director Michael Price said during a Jan. 9 meeting of the Alum Creek Corridor Committee at Jeffrey Mansion.

The committee consists of city officials, MKSK representatives and residents with planning and design experience.

One of the issues to be discussed at tonight's meeting will be safety, which also was a topic at the Nov. 22 meeting.

"The people (at the November meeting) kind of realized that this corridor kind of represents the 'chicken and the egg' in the sense that the more people know about it and utilize it, the safer it gets," MKSK representative Kerry Reeds said.

Residents also will be asked to weigh in on what would be the best location for a shelter house within the park.

"We could design it to be moved," said Mayor Ben Kessler.

The public also will have the opportunity to give suggestions on play areas for children.

"One thing that natural play areas have that most traditional areas don't have is that kids love to be able to manipulate their environment," Reeds said. "They can actually build something and tear it down."

Other discussion topics include amenities such as a food cart that could serve park visitors and be integrated into the annual farmers market on East Main Street, as well as a public art installation that could serve as a gateway to the park.

For more information, visit Bexley.org/alumcreekpark or call the Recreation and Parks Department at 614-559-4300.

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