Three new features at Glacier Ridge Metro Park are expected to be open to the public in mid to late June, according to Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks Executive Director Tim Moloney.

The additions, which Moloney said represent about a $300,000 investment in the park, include a dog park, an exercise course and an open-ended play area.

This is the first major set of additions since the park opened in 2002, said Bryan Knowles, the park manager.

The three-acre dog park has almost two acres of open fields for dogs and hard-surface trails. There are drinking fountains for dogs and humans, Moloney said.

The fenced-in area also includes space in the woods for dogs to explore.

The exercise course includes more than 3 acres of land with 12 elements of varying degrees of physical fitness, Moloney said. The entire space is surrounded by a half-mile paved trail.

"It's really a one-stop shop for all things physical fitness," he said.

The open-ended play area was designed and built by students from the Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture, Moloney said.

The elements are constructed from cedar and designed to help kids become engaged and active outside in a non-traditional way, he said.

Michael Baumberger, shop and digital fabrication coordinator with the Knowlton School of Architecture said Metro Parks officials reached out to him about building the play area.

About 14 students in his design studio worked on the project, he said.

It was the first time his students designed something of such a scale, he said. Features in the play area include ramps, towers, platforms, ladders and a zipline.

The parks system provided supplies for the project, Moloney said.

Although staff had originally considered a bike park and a drone-flying area for this project, they ultimately decided to move forward with the fitness area and dog park based on community feedback, Maloney said. The bike park and drone area could be a possibility for a later addition, he said.

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