In keeping with Columbus’ Bicentennial celebration, 2012 was a benchmark year for Goodale Park and the Friends of Goodale Park (FGP). The Friends completed several long-term projects and acknowledged other milestones.
One project that received considerable community attention was the fountain sculpture for Goodale Lake. Although construction of the fountain was completed in the fall of 2011, it was clear that the pond was still leaking. Pond sealer had been applied around the base of the fountain, but Columbus Recreation and Parks Department (CRPD) decided to apply sealer to the entire pond bottom. While this slowed pond leakage, it did not stop it. As a result, FGP underwrote the cost of a watertight membrane to seal the foundation of the fountain. The completion of the membrane installation by early summer was then followed by an extended period of hot, dry weather. Consequently, the well supplying water to the pond could not keep up with the rate of evaporation. The solution was a larger well pump to increase the water volume to the pond. CRPD installed a new well pump by early September and thereby solved the evaporation problem. At last, the fountain was turned on as of September 14, 2012, in time for the 2012 Short North Tour of Homes, thereby concluding a project initiated by the FGP Board in 2002. Dedication of the fountain is scheduled for Sunday, May 19, 2013.
A second long-term project completed was the restoration of the original 1870 Goodale Park South Gateway. In early 2009, with funding from a Neighborhood Partnership Grant, FGP hired Rogers Krajnak Architects to plan the restoration. The stone columns and wrought iron gates were removed, repaired and re-assembled in the fall of 2010 by Quality Masonry with funding from an Urban Infrastructure Recovery Fund grant awarded to FGP by CR&PD. This year saw the fabrication by local artist Steven Bush of two wrought metal lanterns, near replicas of the those originally installed on the vehicular columns. Installation and lighting of these crowning elements of the gateway coincided with the fountain activation in September.
Earlier in 2012, the Pizzuti Company worked closely with FGP to arrange for the relocation of the “Flagg memorial” monument back into Goodale Park. United Commercial Travelers (UCT) erected the stately, three column granite structure in Goodale Park in 1903 in memory of its founder, but moved it to the UCT headquarters across Park Street over 50 years ago. With the monument’s location conflicting with current UCT site development and with the original foundation for the monument still existing in the park near the Russell Street entrance, FGP was delighted to receive the monument back into the park in early April. FGP especially appreciates that the Pizzuti Company underwrote the entire cost of the relocation.
A fourth project was the initial restoration phase of the 1899 Wm. Fish gate at the northwest corner of the park. Restoration included installation of a new clay tile roof consistent with the original roof, stripping and repair of all wood elements of the gate, and repainting of the wood consistent with its original color. A re-dedication of the gate occurred on October 7, 2012 with a special commemoration provided by Ms. Kay McGough’s fourth grade class from the Fifth Avenue International School (now housed at the former Everett Middle School). Grants from the Greater Columbus Arts Council (200 Columbus Chase Foundation Grant), the Columbus Foundation Neighborhood Partnership, the Short North Civic Association, the Short North Foundation and FGP underwrote the cost of this phase.
On June 10, 2012, FGP sponsored a tour of nine home gardens in the Short North, plus four parks including Goodale. The tour reflected a wide diversity of garden designs as well as providing lectures on Edible Landscaping and Composting, and a guided tour of tree diversity in Goodale Park.
Throughout 2012, FGP sponsored 36 volunteer events (compared to 24 in 2011) involving 614 volunteers (compared to 437 in 2011) who contributed over 1,450 volunteer hours (compared to 1,059 in 2011). These volunteer events provided support to plant and maintain 14 planting beds throughout the park, to keep the park looking beautiful and to provide the backup for other FGP events. Recruitment of volunteers and publicity of FGP events was the responsibility of FGP’s Volunteer Coordinator, Julie Hallan, who continues to provide exceptional value to the work and mission of the Friends. FGP is especially grateful for the grant from the Oswald Family Foundation of Minnesota in support of the Volunteer Coordinator position.
On December 5, 2012, FGP concluded the year with its annual Holiday Gala. This year the event was held at the home of Michael Cash and Kyongson Pae at 743 Dennison Ave. The Gala again included a silent auction of artistic items as well as a fantastic array of food and drink donated by area restaurants and merchants (including Basi Italia, EuropiaWine and Spirits, Piece of Cake, Spinelli’s Deli, Level Dining Lounge, Basil, La Fogata Grill, Union + Axis, Skully’s Music-Diner, Northstar Café, Rigsby’s Kitchen, Tasi Café, Giant Eagle, and Anthony Thomas Candy). Sponsors for the event included: Edelman Financial Services and Dooley & Co. Team – Keller Williams. We extend a special thanks to Bruce Dooley and his staff for their support. The event drew close to 100 people and raised over $10,000 in support of park projects.
Members of the FGP Board include: Jason Kentner, President; Maddy Weisz, Vice President; Andy Klein, Treasurer; Stan Sells, Secretary; Greg Krobot, Garett Heysel, Pat Lewis, Beth Vogt, Matt Wolf, Rick Frantz, Bryant Fried, Eric Anderson, Melissa Ricksecker and Dave Snow. 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 Recreation and Parks Department. This partnership has resulted in so many major improvements to Columbus’ oldest park, continuing to make it the gem of the Short North.