Each spring, summer and fall, the Wallace Community Gardens and the Wyman Woods Park shelter serve as popular recreational resources for Grandview Heights and Marble Cliff residents.
The city of Grandview Heights is considering ways it could make those resources even more valuable for residents.
"With Sean (Robey) retiring (last year) and me becoming director, we thought it might be a good time to look at our community-garden program, review it and consider whether there are any adjustments that may or not be needed," parks and recreation Director Mike Patterson said.
The city has conducted an online survey of residents with plots at the community garden.
The survey deadline was March 20, but results are still coming in, Patterson said.
"We want to make sure we get as much feedback as we can," he said.
The 10 survey questions asked residents about their participation in the community gardens, whether they are familiar with the rules and expectations for gardening, whether the city should stringently enforce the regulations and if they are satisfied and comfortable with their plot size.
Those who use the gardens at the southwest corner of Goodale Boulevard and Grandview Avenue also were asked about specific issues including the use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides and/or fertilizers; tilling; whether the city should provide organic soil amendment; and the amount of additional fees the respondent would be willing to pay to have soil amendments added to their plots.
"The thing with those issues is that you'll hear a mix of opinions," Patterson said. "Some people are dead set against using herbicides or pesticides and others think it's a great idea."
In years past, the city tilled the gardens in the spring and fall. More recently, tilling has been completed just once a year.
"We want to find out if people would be in favor of tilling just once a year or doing it more often," Patterson said.
Patterson and the city's parks advisory board will review the survey results, he said.
As gardening season approaches this year, the city has 28 open plots at the gardens with 16 people on the waiting list, Patterson said.
"We'll be able to provide plots to anyone on the waiting list," he said. "Any plots left over will be quarter-plots. The one thing that won't change is that these are community gardens for residents of our community. If there aren't enough requests for plots from our residents, they will just remain unused."
The city offers 25 full plots, 36 half-plots and 38 quarter-plots at Wallace Gardens, with a full plot measuring 30 by 40 feet. Residents are charged a fee of $80 for full plots, $50 for half-plots and $35 for quarter-plots.
Residents interested in a plot at Wallace Gardens may call the parks department office at 614-488-3111.
The parks department receives a large number of calls to reserve the W.W. Williams shelter at Wyman Woods, cater-cornered from Wallace Gardens.
Since the shelter was renovated in 2014, the facility has been in use about 75 percent of the available days, Patterson said.
The renovations included the addition of a kitchenette and accessible restrooms and the installation of glass sliding doors and LED lighting.
Rentals totaled 150 in 2015, 114 in 2016 and 137 in 2017, Patterson said.
"People love it," he said.
The shelter is available for rent from April 1 through Oct. 31, but the city will evaluate whether that time could be extended.
"We get a lot of requests from people who would like to reserve the shelter beyond our regular season," Patterson said. "They may have a wedding or family reunion they want to hold there or a banquet for a sports season that's ending.
"We have some money available where we might be able to add some insulation and other things to make it usable year-round, or at least make it available for a longer period of time," he said.
The cost of those enhancements will have to be determined and evaluated, Patterson said.
"We also don't want to do anything that would alter the aesthetic nature of the building in any way," he said.
It would be next year at the earliest before the shelter's season could be extended, Patterson said.
The McKinley Field shelter is available year-round.
The rental rate for reserving the Wyman Woods shelter is $120 for residents, $200 for nonresidents, Sunday through Thursday. The rates for Friday and Saturday are $240 for residents, $400 for nonresidents.
An alcohol-use permit is available for an additional $250 fee.
Nonprofit groups with a Grandview or Marble Cliff address can reserve the shelter at a 15 percent discount.
The shelter has seating for 144 people.