Felson Park will be seeing the first bit of a big plan to develop the park thanks to a recent grant award, Greenfield City Manager Todd Wilkin said at Tuesday’s village council meeting.
Wilkin said the village received word this week of a grant award amounting to just more than $20,000, which will be used to build a shelter house with restroom facilities at the park “to accommodate and promote bike trail usage. This is a positive step in the right direction for the development of Felson Park.”
As previously reported, the village’s plans to develop the park also include expansion along the creek going north under the bridge and connecting to the Greenfield Historical Society’s Grain and Hay area; a natural playground — something able to stand up to the occasional flooding of the park; and an amphitheater in the hillside.
Part of the plan, too, has been development of the quarry on the east side of Paint Creek. Earlier in the fall, the village was able to utilize a group of Ohio State University students to take on a capstone project surrounding the quarry and any potential development there. The students will be presenting their project on Thursday and Wilkin said he is planning to be there in Columbus to see it.
The village has also received preliminary designs and a budget from community advancement firm OHM Advisors for the development of Felson Park and the quarry. The cost would be a couple million dollars, the city manager said.
“The good news is, there are grants to help us on this process,” Wilkin said. “We are looking to apply for several of those grants to help see the park developed.”
In other news from the meeting, naming a street after Greenfield’s C.R. Patterson had more discussion by council on Tuesday.
Council member Chris Borreson previously suggested that once Mill Street is extended to accommodate the school’s new bus garage, that the street be named after Patterson, a longtime Greenfield resident who has the distinction of being the only African American to own and operate an automobile manufacturer in the United States.
The company was based in Greenfield.
Tuesday’s brief discussion centered on whether the whole of Mill Street should be renamed Patterson Drive, or just the new road created to the school’s bus garage. Council members were in agreement that any proposed legislation on the matter should have the full three readings so anyone in the area that could be affected can have a say.
On the matter of destination tourism, a parking lot has been approved for an area near the bridge just before Centerfield on Centerfield Road, according to council chair Phil Clyburn.
The area is federal land and is already used by hunters and fishermen, Clyburbn said, but with a parking lot there, the area and Rattlesnake Creek will be more accessible, not only to the hunters and fishermen, but also to kayakers and the like. The parking lot has not, and will not, cost Greenfield or the township anything, Clyburn said.
Paint and Rattlesnake creeks are to be declared scenic waterways in the coming weeks, according to Clyburn.
In other business, Mark Branham, Greenfield resident and recently elected to serve on council beginning in January, addressed council during the meeting regarding a recent experience with police and emergency personnel.
He said there was a car accident in front of his house, and he went out to help until police and medical personnel arrived on the scene. He commended both departments’ personnel for their handling of the situation with the utmost professionalism.
“I appreciate that as a citizen,” he said.
Borreson agreed, saying that Greenfield is “blessed” with its police personnel and coverage on fire/EMS services.
“We’ve got big city services in a small town,” Borreson said.
Wilkin reported that the Eagles Christmas Parade is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Dec. 7. In previous years, hot chocolate and cookies, as well as a visit with Santa, have been offered in the fire house following the parade. This year, Santa will be in the City Building.
Additionally, the village is working with G3 to do a lighting event for a Christmas tree the group has purchased and placed in the City Building’s courtyard. Carolers have also been invited to be a part of the event.
“I want to thank G3 for helping with this event,” Wilkin said. “I also want to thank Homeland Credit Union and the Greenfield Lions Club for donating money to help decorate the tree. This just shows the support our community has for each other and the love that brings everyone to Greenfield to celebrate Christmas.”
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the Village of Greenfield.