Several successful projects helped make 2010 a good one for the Reynoldsburg Parks and Recreation Department, according to director Jason Shamblin.

Several successful projects helped make 2010 a good one for the Reynoldsburg Parks and Recreation Department, according to director Jason Shamblin.

Shamblin said highlights of the year included completing a new multi-use trail in Civic Park, establishing the city's first community garden and expanding the number of family nights in Huber Park from two to four.

The trail, finished in September, was the biggest project he has been involved with since being hired as parks and recreation director in June 2008, Shamblin said. It was made possible with help from an Ohio Department of Transportation grant, part of $18-million worth of federal economic stimulus money dedicated to infrastructure projects throughout central Ohio.

The trail is 10 feet wide, a little more than a mile long and is available for walking, jogging, biking, skateboarding and rollerblading.

Both Shamblin and Mayor Brad McCloud cited Reynoldsburg's first community garden as a highlight of 2010.

Collaborative efforts by Truro Township and the Reynoldsburg Parks and Recreation Department helped establish the Livingston Community Garden on about a quarter of an acre on a 5.5-acre plot owned by Truro Township behind Fire Station 162 at 6305 E. Livingston Ave.

That collaboration proved key to winning a first-place award from the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association in its environmental programming category. The township donated the land and the city was responsible for promoting and maintaining the garden.

Because the Livingston Community Garden was so successful, another garden will open in Civic Park sometime in April 2011, Shamblin said.

"We also added some new programs in 2010, such as jump-start sports, which offered different camps and different programs and we had our second Kids Expo event, plus saw a huge increase in the adult volleyball program," he said. "We added the Skyhawk Football Camp and an adult geocaching class - even with a decrease in our budget."

One thing he would like to be able to offer in 2011 is a summer day camp. It was looked at initially in 2010 but budget restraints made it unfeasible.

Shamblin said the idea is to hold the camp in one of the city's parks where parents could drop off their school-age children in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon. It would run for 10 weeks with a weekly fee of around $125 for residents, $145 for non-residents, with registration on a week-to-week basis.

Counselors would be on hand to lead activities such as a variety of sports, crafts and games.

"It gives parents who have school-agers an opportunity to send their kids somewhere other than an all-day day care," Shamblin said. "We've had quite a bit of input from the community that there is a need for that.

"We proposed that in the initial planning process of the budget in 2010 but because of the cost of the additional staffing, we took it out, but our goal would be to bring that back and evaluate that," he said. "We've had similar summer-type programs, but not a full day camp."

Another project slated to be completed in early 2011 is replacing the roof on the Reynoldsburg Senior Center, 1520 Davidson Drive. Shamblin said $20,000 was placed in the city's 2008 budget for the project, but the bids that came in were not completed correctly and the project was shelved for a later time.

He said the senior center was constructed in 1987 and still has its original roof, which has been deteriorating.

Shamblin said the parks and recreation department's program offerings for January through July will be mailed out in early January to all residents who receive a water bill.