The land between the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts and the Phelps House, which houses offices for the McCoy center, could eventually become a natural habitat and connect the two buildings with pedestrian access.

The land between the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts and the Phelps House, which houses offices for the McCoy center, could eventually become a natural habitat and connect the two buildings with pedestrian access.

"Our primary focus is to create a physical connection between the two buildings," said Kathryn Meyer, deputy community development director.

The village began to return Rose Run, the stream that runs through the area, to a more natural path when the McCoy center was under construction from April 2006 to early 2008. At that time, the village used grant money to remove a culvert that inhibited the stream's path near Dublin-Granville Road.

"It allows the stream to have a more natural flow," Meyer said. "It's more environmentally sensitive and provides a natural habitat for plants and animals."

The area is to be called Ryan's Grove in honor of the Ryan family: longtime New Albany residents David and Ellen and their son, Mark, and his wife, Sarah. The two families have been supporters of the arts center through funds held by the New Albany Community Foundation.

The naming of Ryan's Grove was announced Nov. 17 during the foundation's annual fundraiser, "A Remarkable Evening." During the event, Carl English, chair of the foundation's board, said the Ryans' leadership was helpful during restoration of the Phelps House.

Meyer said the grove already has been planted and it may take some time before it completely matures.

The village has considered including a pedestrian bridge over Rose Run that would allow pedestrian traffic between the two buildings. But no funding currently has been identified for that project, Meyer said.

A small, flat area on the west side of the Phelps House also could be used as a garden, Meyer said, and could display art and host small events. No funding has been identified for that project, either.

"It could be a really neat amenity for the village center," Meyer said.

lwince@thisweeknews.com

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