The year started with the Friends of Goodale Park Board of Trustees again spending most of a Saturday in early January for the Board’s fourth annual strategic planning retreat. United Way graciously provided the space for the session. It was a great opportunity to orient new board members, review the previous year and identify priorities for the new year. Identified priorities included restoration of the Goodale Gates, installation of the pedestrian entrance at Park and Goodale, the sculpture falls, park plantings, improved volunteer recruitment for park maintenance, and a new organizational structure to support Board operations.
By early February, artist Malcolm Cochran presented a revised design for the sculpture falls to be installed in Goodale Lake. The design included a granite tiered pedestal topped with two bronze elephants. Water would cascade down the pedestal as well as spray from the elephant trunks. The Board adopted the design and a community meeting was scheduled for later that month to provide an opportunity for community review. A subsequent meeting was held with the Short North Foundation and a Fountain Fund Raising Committee was established. By April, the Board approved the contract to cut the granite in India. Subsequently, a number of fund raising events occurred so that by August, the Board approved contracts with: Columbus Art Memorial for construction; Korda/Nemeth Engineering for structural engineering work; CMS Collaborative, Inc. for water engineering; Malcolm Cochran for the clay modeling of elephants; and Casting Arts Technologies for bronze casting of the elephants. The one outstanding item not yet covered was the cost of lighting the fountain. Columbus Recreation and Parks Dept. proceeded to contract for draining the pond beginning in October, following an enthusiastic community “Pull the Plug” event to symbolize the beginning of fountain construction. Although draining was completed by Thanksgiving, the early onset of winter prevented the actual start of construction during December. Fund raising for lighting continues as of the year end, but construction will begin as soon as the weather permits. Completion of this exciting project is projected for mid-2011.
By early March, the Board received word that funding had been approved for streetscape improvements to the Park St./Goodale St. intersection, including a new pedestrian entrance to Goodale Park. This project was the culmination of considerable work between POD Design, Inc. and FGP Board members to achieve a design that was consistent and appropriate with other architectural elements in Goodale Park. The city awarded a construction contract in late March and construction was completed by midsummer. The result is an attractive pedestrian entrance at the southeast corner of the park that incorporates stone columns, wrought iron fencing, brick pavers and landscaping that mitigates the damage incurred by the construction of I-670 and offers a welcoming portal from downtown Columbus.
By spring, the Board received word that the Urban Infrastructure Recovery Funding (UIRF) grant that FGP had received in 2008 but was subsequently rescinded, had, in fact, 2 been restored. This grant had been awarded to cover the cost of restoring and preserving the original 1870 Goodale Gates on the south side of the park. By summer, the city awarded a contract to Quality Masonry, Inc. of Marion, Ohio. The project then entailed removing all of the six stone columns and the iron gates to their Marion headquarters for restoration work. By late November, all of the sandstone columns had been rebuilt with a new structure to support the iron gates and prevent future deterioration of the columns. The finished result is truly outstanding and beautifully preserves what may be Columbus’ oldest remaining city structure. This project was the culmination of years of effort to find the right approach to preserving these gates and counts as one of FGP’s greatest achievements for the park.
As a result of the $3,000 grant from the Oswald Family Foundation in 2009, FGP hired its first Volunteer Coordinator in the spring of 2010 in the person of Julie Hallan. The result has been an unmitigated success as evidenced by the 400-plus volunteers who donated over 1,000 hours to park beautification. This is the largest number of volunteers and greatest amount of donated time in a given year that FGP has ever experienced during its existence. Julie established a close working relationship with several OSU, corporate and community groups. She greatly facilitated park work days by registering volunteers, coordinating work assignments, handing out work tools and arranging for “happy hour” events following work events. The Oswald Foundation renewed the grant during 2010 so we look forward to even greater volunteer participation during 2011.
In large part because of FGP’s strong record of volunteer recruitment and participation, the Columbus Blue Jackets, in celebration of their tenth anniversary, selected Goodale Park as the site for their community appreciation work day. The event occurred in September and resulted in the painting of the Gazebo and mulching of all the planting beds surrounding Goodale Lake – a significant amount of work for one afternoon.
The Beautification Committee of FGP again focused on planting bed designs for 2010 that included native perennials and grasses. FGP received a landscape enhancement grant from the city for $835 to help cover the cost of purchasing and watering plants. In addition, fourteen new trees were planted and numerous other trees were pruned, fertilized, mulched and sprayed. A grant from the Short North Foundation is underwriting a tree identification project. Although work days were scheduled for designated Saturday’s each month, many volunteers worked at other times throughout the year. By year’s end, six new memorial benches had been installed throughout the park.
During June, Board Vice President Pat Lewis organized a community garden tour as a part of the Columbus Recreation and Parks summer garden series. The tour included GoodaleParkgardens and was well attended.
Thanks to the skills and attention of our webmaster and Board member, Chris Gillespie, FGP’s website (friendsofgoodalepark.org) continues to be an important media portal for the organization. This year’s focus has been on expanding social networking functions and photo galleries to feature the many events and activities that occur within the park. 3
On April 25, 2010, FGP’s Stan Sells was awarded the Short North Business Association’s “Unsung Hero Award” for his outstanding dedication and work in helping to make Goodale Park the gem of the Short North and FGP an important community resource. Stan was awarded a check for $700 which he donated to FGP fountain fund.
Throughout the year, FGP Board members attended meetings of Victorian Village Society, The Community Festival, Short North Foundation, Short North Business Association and Italian Village Society to keep them updated on FGP activities and to ask them for their continued support. Board member Jason Kentner took the initiative to contact Giant Eagle regarding the sale of individual cans of malt liquor (which appear frequently as empty cans in the park). To Jason’s credit, he succeeded in obtaining a corporate commitment from Giant Eagle to discontinue the sale of single cans at the Neil Ave. store.
FGP held its Annual Holiday Gala on December 1 at the home of Herb Asher. This year’s Gala again included a silent auction of artistic items. Besides the silent auction, the Gala also included a fantastic array of food and drink donated by area restaurants and merchants (including Basi Italia, Europia, Piece of Cake, Union Station, NorthStar Café, Spinelli’s Deli, Café Corner, Level Dining Lounge, Haiku, J Gumbo’s, Skully’s, Basil, La Fogata, Surly Girl, Betty’s, Deborah Quincy and Anthony Thomas Candy) thanks to the recruitment efforts of Bruce Dooley and his staff. The event was attended by 70 people and raised over $3,700 which will support park projects.
During 2010, the Board of FGP accepted the resignations of Mike Schwarzwalder and Todd Law. New Board members are Garett Heysel and Seth Clark. Other Board members include: Stan Sells, President; Pat Lewis, Vice President; Andy Klein, Treasurer; Jason Kentner, Secretary; Greg Krobot, Chris Gillespie, Ken Salak, Maddy Weisz, Beth Vogt, Matt Wolf, Micki Pike and Rick Frantz. Rick Miller, our representative from the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, deserves special recognition for all he does to follow up on Board decisions and to oversee city contractors working in the park.
FGP sincerely appreciates the great working relationship that has been developed over the years with the Columbus Recreatino and Parks Department. This partnership has resulted in so many major improvements to Columbus’ oldest park, truly making it the gem of the Short North.