City Notes: Improvements on the way for Taylor Farm and other New Albany parks

Scott McAfee
Guest columnist

As This Week New Albany News reported earlier this year, the Taylor Farm Park improvements are scheduled to begin this summer.

This 100-acre park, which will be on East Dublin-Granville Road between the Target store in Hamilton Quarter and Harlem Road, is a win for the community in many different ways.

Scott McAfee is chief communications and marketing officer for New Albany.

First, completion of the first phase of Taylor Farm Park this year ensures even more parkland near the town center for New Albany and surrounding residents.

This park will take advantage of the area’s natural beauty, with approximately 3 miles of leisure trails allowing people to enjoy the area’s woods, wetlands, prairies and natural stream corridors.

Other improvements this year include parking, landscaping and seating areas.

Future park improvements are yet to be finalized and ultimately will depend on overall budget, but new phases of construction could include climbing structures, a playground, more formal shaded areas for relaxation, water play areas, an event barn and possible restoration of the homestead dating back to the 1800s. These improvements are part of a larger overall picture to create special gathering spaces here in New Albany that are similar to what families can enjoy in other central Ohio communities.

Second, between Taylor Farm Park, our neighborhood pocket parks, Rose Run Park, the Rocky Fork Metro Park and the three community parks managed by New Albany Parks & Recreation, more than 20% of New Albany’s land use for city and abutting property is now designated for green space.

Put another way, this equates to 1 acre of parkland or greenspace for every 4 acres of all other land use, tying in nicely with our commitment to environmental sustainability.

Third, this acreage not only provides a recreation benefit for New Albany and surrounding residents, it negates the potential of more than 100 homes being built in the New Albany-Plain Local School District. Balancing future growth will help the district remain on one centralized campus.

In addition to Taylor Farm Park, New Albany City Council made a commitment to budget an additional $500,000 annually to improve pocket parks throughout New Albany until they have all been updated. Up first: Sumption, Byington and James River pocket parks, followed by Planters Grove, Lambton and North of Woods.

Another important aspect of our ability to enjoy green space is leisure trails. New Albany now has more than 55 miles of trails, and the city budgets hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to maintain trails and build new ones.

Sustainability and health are two of our community pillars, and these recreation investments help support them.

Scott McAfee is chief communications and marketing officer for New Albany.