GroveCity2050, which City Council recently adopted, is a community-driven plan to proactively shape where and how the community should grow through 2050.

Central Ohio is expected to add 300,000 businesses and 1 million people.

One of the plan's five guiding principles states, "Places will be connected to improve the function of the street network and create safe opportunities to walk, bike and access public transportation throughout the community."

Years of listening and responding to our community already resulted in more than 26 miles of trails connecting our community and traversing our 21 parks, encompassing more than 360 acres.

This year, connectivity will continue as a planning and physical expansion priority. The strategy uses the Town Center as a hub to the entire Grove City community with an objective of efficiently connecting all Grove City neighborhoods.

This year, major projects include:

* Beulah Park Trail Corridor -- Early this spring, the community will be invited to a ribbon-cutting of its new winding Beulah Park Trail Corridor through the center of Beulah Park.

The trail will connect the Town Center, Beulah Community Park, Breck Park and Central Crossing High School. The corridor will be accessible from Demorest Road, Elm Street, Curtis Avenue and Cleveland Avenue.

* Pinnacle Club Drive/state Route 104 -- A second strategic-expansion project enhances connectivity on the east side of the community with a new trail from Pinnacle Club Drive at Route 104 south to the entrance of Scioto Grove Metro Park with its 620 scenic acres bordered by four miles of the Scioto River and central Ohio's only overnight backpacking trail.

* Windsor Park/U.S. Route 62/Demorest Drive/YMCA/Fryer Park Connectivity -- As the Holton Run subdivision continues to develop, the connection of Demorest Drive from Route 62 to Haughn Road will be completed this year. This project will connect the Windsor Park/Broadway Trail through the subdivision, completing the long-planned connectivity between Fryer and Windsor parks. Final planning is underway to complete trail connectivity from the Holton Run subdivision to Mayfair Drive.

* Borror Road -- In conjunction with the joint road improvement project between Jackson Township, Grove City, private developers and Franklin County, an extension of the city's trail network along Borror Road from the vicinity of Quail Creek Boulevard to Route 104 will be included.

The current plan is to integrate this project with the expected improvements along Route 104 to provide safe connectivity to the Scioto Grove Metro Park from the southeast area of our community. This project will be engineered in 2018 with construction beginning in spring 2019.

Grove City remains the only community twice voted best hometown by Ohio Magazine in central Ohio and our goal is to add a title as the best safely connected community.

Spring will soon arrive and I encourage you to walk, run or cycle our existing and always-improving trail system.

Mayor Richard L. "Ike" Stage is serving his fifth term as mayor.