Clintonville Area Commission members voted unanimously March 1 to ask Columbus Recreation and Parks Department officials for assistance in locating a grove of trees as a memorial to a police officer killed in the neighborhood nearly two years ago.
Another unanimous vote designated April 12 as First Responders Appreciation Day.
Columbus police officer Steven M. Smith died April 12, 2016, two days after being shot during a SWAT operation on West California Avenue.
Jason Meek, the District 7 representative and chairman of the safety and crime committee, sponsored the resolution, introduced a year ago, setting aside April 12 as a day for residents -- and especially students -- to let firefighters and police officers know their efforts are appreciated.
"It's always good to give a wave, a nod, pull up next to them and say, 'Thank you,' " Meek said.
He said he would reach out to neighborhood school officials to encourage student awareness of the appreciation day.
The location for the memorial trees was discussed, but no decisions were made during the monthly session.
Planning and development committee Chairman Andrew Overbeck reported that members of his panel have been scouting potential sites since October.
Possible sites include Fire Station 19 on North High Street at Northmoor Place; the Olentangy Trail in the vicinity of West Weber Road; and the lawn of the Whetstone branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, 3909 N. High St.
Overbeck said Brad Westall, planning manager for the parks department, suggested other possible locations and held out the possibility that the city's nursery could provide the trees for the memorial.
Westall asked for the request from the CAC, Overbeck said. Once the request is received, he said, parks officials could move forward with considering the location for the trees.
District 1 representative David Vottero proposed that residents and students be invited to help plant the trees.
"I think that's a great idea," Overbeck said.
Vottero also raised the possibility of getting the site ready and the planting planned for the April 12 First Responders Appreciation Day -- a timeline that was met with groans from others on the panel.
"We'll give it a go," Overbeck said.