Dublin opened its 55th park this week.

Dublin opened its 55th park this week.

The Amberleigh Community Park dedication was held June 19 along with a neighborhood block party for the surrounding Amberleigh neighborhood.

The dedication opened the 23-acre park that sits on the bank of the Scioto River.

"This space has a pavilion that has within it restrooms, a small kitchenette and fireplace," said Fred Hahn, Dublin's director of parks and open space.

"It's large enough for family reunions," he said

The park also boasts a playground different from those in Dublin's 54 other parks.

"It's designed to inspire imagination and play," Hahn said.

"It has some traditional components, like swings, but there are little play houses and a hill to roll down the grass on. There are cool musical instruments like a xylophone."

Because the park has a sizable parking lot and is so close to the Scioto River, Hahn said, landscaping was installed to diminish contaminants in storm-water runoff.

"One of the things we did at the park -- because it has a fair amount of asphalt -- is intercepting storm-water runoff into wetlands to get contaminants before they go into the river," he said.

The wetland area at the park will act as a barrier between storm-water runoff from the parking lot and the Scioto River.

Water will eventually drain into the river, but plants could lessen the amount of chemicals in the water, Hahn said.

"It's a fact that plants help break down contaminants we don't want in our drinking water," he said.

The work completed so far is only the first phase for Dublin's newest park. River access is planned in the second phase.

"It's difficult to get to the river because of the topography," Hahn said. "The next phase will make the Scioto River more accessible. It's going to be a major feature."

In fact, getting more access to the Scioto River has been a goal of Dublin City Council members, Hahn said.

"The goal is to get access to the Scioto (River)," he said. "It's an important natural resource.

"It's a standing goal to provide public access to the river. We continue to work on that goal... This land was chosen because of the beauty of the land and the river frontage."

The second phase of the park could come within the next few years.

"We're working on phase two to make theo river more accessible," Hahn said.

"It's a beautiful section of the Scioto River. We're proposing design next year and construction in 2014," he said. "We're hoping this isn't a 'some day.' "

For more information about the new Amberleigh Park or any of Dublin's 55 parks, look online at Dublin.oh.us/recrea-tion/parks.