From the desk of Reynoldsburg Mayor Joe Begeny: Walking in our parks is a great way for families, residents to connect
Winter is not the usual time to get out and take a walk.
It can be too cold and snowy, and there are plenty of inside activities, such as watching football or Netflix.
Since the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic began, some of the old rules no longer apply and there are plenty of people walking at all different times of the day – and my family is among them.
We usually walk around the neighborhood, but even that get old so we pack everyone in the car and drive to one of our local parks. Not only is it healthy for the body, it helps the spirit as well.
Our family, including our teenagers, talk about several things while we walk unfamiliar paths. We are lucky to have a great park system to explore, from the size of Civic Park to the new playground equipment at JFK or the trail walk to Huber and the hidden gem of Pine Quarry Park.
Civic Park is our largest park with a mix of trails and sports facilities.
I enjoy walking along the paths by Blacklick Creek, and I get a little nostalgic when passing the soccer fields where my kids used to play.
Next to City Hall is JFK Park and plenty of times I have taken a break to walk around the park or occasionally use some of the new playground equipment – to make sure it works, of course.
Huber Park is connected to our senior center and the home of the 2021 Tomato Festival so some of us from City Hall spend time there as well, just a short walk on our path system. I can hear the music from the festival playing in my mind as we celebrate our community (almost) every year.
Pine Quarry Park is a mystery to even some of our longtime residents, and it is our most natural park with plenty of wildlife. But the “Friends of Quarry Park” make the experience more unique. Concerts, joint dog walks and nighttime lighted walks are a few special experiences.
The only issue that I have with our park system is access could be limited depending on where you live if you don’t have a vehicle.
As we move forward, we need to find ways to connect our community to our parks system with sidewalks and multiuse paths so everyone can have the opportunity to experience our great park system and make memories that will last a lifetime.
I hope to see you in our parks this year!
Joe Begeny is the mayor of Reynoldsburg. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org