Northland residents with a passion for cricket may be getting their field.
"That is something we're looking at," Tony Collins, Columbus Recreation and Parks Department director, said at the June 6 meeting of the Northland Community Council. "We're looking at cricket around the city."
His cricket comments were prompted by a question from NCC Vice President Alicia Ward, who noted that many immigrants and refugees in the neighborhood love cricket but have no place to play.
The city has two cricket fields at Tuttle Park, Collins said, but locations for others are being explored.
Collins provided council members an overview of his department, which has 353 parks, 29 community shelters, six golf courses, seven swimming pools, more than 14 nature preserves, five dog parks and one skate park. The property overseen by Recreation and Parks is in excess of 8,000 acres, he said.
Collins, who spent part of his childhood in Northland, said his goal is to one day have a neighborhood park within a half mile of every resident.
"We're a long way from that ... but this is the kind of planning we do," Collins said.
He said he knows Northland residents feel they are lacking in all those areas.
"We are cognizant of that," Collins said, noting that he hears the same when speaking to groups in other areas of Columbus.
Collins said he has talked with NCC President Emmanuel V. Remy about addressing the perceived shortage of park space in the neighborhood.
"It's definitely on our radar," Collins said. "We have a plan for growth where it's sustainable. We are looking at growth in areas where it's smart to grow and where we can sustain in."
In particular, Collins said he hopes to eventually oversee expansion of the Woodward Park Recreation Center.