Friends of Schiller Park is looking for help in what is shaping up to a very busy year.
The group is calling on volunteers and benefactors to attend its annual organizational meeting, slated for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 22 in the Meeting Haus, 588 S. Third St.
"You can come for a one-time project or you can be committed for the whole season," said Katharine Moore, chairwoman of Friends of Schiller.
"We try to find a niche for everybody involved."
The committee needs help planning a community celebration this spring when renovations are done to the Schiller statue and a new sign is placed in front of the statue.
And, as with every year, volunteers are needed to help design and plant the four welcome gardens and the circle garden at the entrance of the park.
Also, Friends of Schiller is collaborating with the German Village Garten Club on the Haus und Garten Tour marketplatz in the park, where upscale and stylish home accessories will be sold.
In addition, the two groups again will be raising money for the Blooming Fund, which will help pay for the decorative flower boxes along Third Street, maintenance of Frank Fetch Park and the welcome gardens at Schiller.
"We need to work on what the materials look like and organize a mailing team to get it out," Moore said.
Several picnic tables, benches and decorative trash cans have deteriorated to the point of much-needed repair, Moore said.
A small committee will help find vendors who can complete the work, find the best price and help break the project into multiple phases, she said.
Also, Friends of Schiller will ask members to take a look at a crumbling sandstone area near the Umbrella Girl statue. The committee wants to replace it with granite, estimated to cost $11,000, Moore said.
"Schiller Park is a Columbus city park, but it's maintained and enhanced in ways the city simply couldn't manage without volunteers, sweat equity and funding support from the community," Moore said.
"And it takes some organization and some thoughtfulness and some very dedicated park users and lovers," she said. "And we're just super fortunate that year after year they step up and say, 'How can I help?'"