2006 reflected another year full of park related projects for the Friends of Goodale Park. A top priority was maintenance of the flower beds throughout Goodale Park. Two spring clean up events occurred during March and April. Planting of annual flowers in seven flower beds occurred in May with subsequent weeding and maintenance events held the following four months. A fall clean-up of the flower beds occurred in early November. All of this was accomplished with a small but devoted group of volunteers. Noteworthy, in addition to the FGP trustees, were the following volunteers: Greg Krobot, Joel Knepp and Linda McClannahan, George and Sue Schnellenbarger, Kent Mills and Lawrence Sandor, and Barbara Hansford-Huppman. However, Captains are still needed for a couple of the beds so that there is one person who accepts responsibility for oversight of that particular bed.
FGP was responsible for planting the island bed in Park St. just north of Goodale Blvd. with ComFest paying for the plants and Greg Krobot providing the layout design. FGP also hired Davey Tree to treat a number of trees in the park that had a serious bag worm infestation and paid to have three cherry trees relocated from the grotto (where they were at risk of dying) to the Buttles Ave. entrance. FGP joined forces with Victorian Village Society, Doo-dah and ComFest to underwrite the cost of special duty policy to protect the park during Red, White and Boom. As a result there were no cars parked on the grass during this year’s event.
FGP was able to join forces with the PRIDE group of Chase Bank which not only brought additional volunteers to help with bed maintenance but permitted the JP Morgan Chase Foundation Volunteer Program to provide financial support for each event that the PRIDE group participated in. As a result, Foundation support underwrote the cost of flowers for the park as well as over $5,000 in painting costs for painting the Gazebo and the iron fencing north of the shelter house and surrounding the Lincoln Goodale statue. The painting projects occurred during this fall.
A major accomplishment this year was the completion of a comprehensive tree inventory for all of the 650 trees in Goodale Park. The inventory was conducted by FGP Board member Rick Frantz who was able to utilize GPS equipment to develop an extremely detailed data base and to load it into Google Earth software. The result is a very sophisticated inventory with considerable information on each tree (species, cultivar, location, age, height, condition, etc.) but one that is easily accessed. Goodale Park is no doubt the only park in Franklin County (and possibly the state and nation) with such a comprehensive tree inventory.
During 2006, FGP learned that the City of Columbus, Department of Recreation and Parks, was accepting new applications for Urban Infrastructure Funding (UIRF). Consequently, thanks to the work of Vice President Pat Lewis, an application was submitted that included proposals to complete the shelter house terraces with iron fencing and brick columns, an upgrade of the large playground, repair of the original entrance columns on Park St. and Goodale Blvd. and design work on the pedestrian entrance at Park and Goodale. FGP learned by December that it had been allocated $275,000 for the requested projects. Work on these should occur during 2007.
A priority project that had carried over from 2005 was the replacement of the two deteriorating wooden CR&P signs that designate the park as Goodale Park. Board members met with representatives from Victorian Village Society to coordinate signage design with the signs that the Society will install on the perimeter of Victorian Village. Following review by the Victorian Village Commission, the park signs were commissioned and will include wrought iron frames that are more appropriate to the community than the old wood signs. The Victorian Village Society will underwrite the cost of the wrought iron frames. The new signs should be installed by the end of 2006.
A major focus of 2006 has been the Tete-a-TeteFalls. Extensive time was spent during the first half of the year developing a professional marketing brochure that could be used for grant applications and fund raising. Upon completion of the brochure in early August, several grant applications to potential corporate sponsors were submitted. At the same time a grant application was submitted to the Ohio Arts Council with an award of $10,000 by mid summer. This grant was in addition to those previously awarded by the Greater Columbus Arts Council and the Columbus Foundation. Thanks to an in-kind donation from Orange Barrel Media, a large 4’x 8’ banner depicting a computer generated graphic of the Falls as it would look in the pond was erected next to the pond during ComFest. The banner was also used at subsequent events, one being a community awareness event at the Spice Bar and Lounge held in September and at a fund raising event at the Mahan Gallery in October. The Mahan Gallery event raised over $13,000 and coincided with a prominent article in the Dispatch written by Barbara Zuck. Additional grant applications have been prepared during the fall with the hope of raising or obtaining commitments of sufficient funds by early in 2007 so that engineering design contracts can be let.
FGP held its Annual Holiday Gala on December 6 at Grayson’s Living Ideas thanks to Ralph Rosenfield offering the site. Although the location was not a Victorian Village home, Grayson’s provided five model homes to peruse and an opportunity to demonstrate the tree inventory in the Grayson theater. Food and drink for the event was donated by area restaurants and businesses thanks to the recruitment efforts of Bruce Dooley and his staff. The event was attended by 100 people and raised over $3,000. Thanks to the work of Don Damron, a beautiful 2007 calendar of Goodale Park was prepared and on sale during the event. Don has also been instrumental in helping the Board set priorities regarding the park’s Master Plan.
Lastly, the Board experienced a major loss with the death of Board member Paul Cianelli in June. Paul had served for many years on the Board and was a strong advocate for Goodale Park. He had been one of the judges on the panel that selected Malcolm Cochran’s Tete-a-Tete design and felt keenly the need to add this water feature to the park. A group of Paul’s friends have undertaken an initiative to assist with Tete-a-Tete fund raising and dedicate the Falls as a memorial to Paul. As a replacement for Paul, Ellen Stein was invited to join the Board and graciously consented. In addition, Bradley Weatherford joined the Board in early 2006 and Doug Swartz re-joined the Board in August after temporarily leaving the Board in 2005. The Board now stands at full membership. Other Board members include: Stan Sells, President; Pat Lewis, Vice President; Andy Klein, Treasurer; Greg Maynard, Don Damron, Steve Covert, Todd Law, and Rick Frantz .