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Park of Roses fountain on track for June 8 debut

Restoration has begun; about half the project's $94K cost has been raised

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Work has begun to restore and repair the fountain at the Park of Roses while fundraising efforts continue to complete the project.

"Usually, during the winter months, the Park of Roses maintains a peaceful dormant atmosphere," said Nancy Walsh, development officer for the Park or Roses Foundation. "That's when the roses, perennials, herbs and trees take a much-needed rest, following a spectacular display of beauty during the previous year.

"To the delight of the Park of Roses Foundation and the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, that quietness in the garden is being interrupted by the sounds of jackhammers, bulldozers and verbal instructions by Phil Patterson of Patterson Pools. The firm has been contracted to renovate and update the fountain in the center of the park."

The foundation began a fundraising campaign six months ago to repair the fountain, built in 1957.

"It has deteriorated over the last 56 years, but it still is a much-loved feature in the garden," Walsh said in a statement.

A total of $43,000 has been donated to date -- nearly half of the $94,000 needed to complete the job.

In the first phase of construction, Patterson Pools employees removed the decaying concrete cap surrounding the fountain. The fountain bowl will be relined, the top cap replaced and the exterior stone wall tuckpointed and sandblasted. A new system of jets around the perimeter will create a sparkling crown of water.

The Park of Roses Foundation continues to seek additional donations.

The goal is to complete the project and turn it on for public display June 8 during Stop and Smell the Roses, Walsh said. This one-day event will feature local artists and musicians and 12,000 roses in peak bloom.

"What a dazzling event this will be, with a sparkling new fountain, 100 artists in the garden and acoustic music floating through the air," Walsh said. "We anticipate thousands of visitors will come to enjoy the natural beauty of Columbus Park of Roses on that day, but we still need the support and donations from the public to make the fountain a reality."

For information on donating, visit the foundation's website, parkofroses.org, or call 614-645-3391.

It's pruning time

Spring is just around the corner, and that means it's almost pruning time at the Park of Roses.

The annual call for volunteers to help with pruning the thousands of rose bushes in the park was sent out recently by Aniko R. Williams of Columbus Recreation and Parks.

The event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to noon March 16 in preparation for the upcoming season.

Volunteers should meet in the volunteer office at the south side of the park's enclosed shelterhouse and should bring their own gloves and pruners, Williams said.

For more information, call Williams at 614-645-6640.

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