In the first Parks and Recreation Committee meeting of 2024, held on January 3, plans for significant community improvements were discussed. The committee’s agenda included a discussion on the National Fitness Campaign effort and updates on the Ohio Fall Heroes Memorial and various park initiatives.
National Fitness Campaign Initiative
Alyssa Graziano, City Planner, presented a comprehensive report on the National Fitness Campaign. After contacting five municipalities, she shared positive feedback about the fitness courts in their communities. The discussion highlighted minor vandalism concerns and the usage of these courts as playgrounds by children. The committee considered these insights while discussing suitable locations for the fitness courts, emphasizing the need for adult-centric areas and the importance of shade for the equipment.
Addressing Vandalism and Safety Concerns
Graziano’s research revealed that some municipalities had installed surveillance cameras to deter vandalism and inappropriate use of the fitness equipment. This proactive approach was noted as a potential solution for Sunbury’s fitness court.
Ohio Fall Heroes Memorial Update
The committee discussed a budget request for the Ohio Fall Heroes Memorial, aiming to improve its infrastructure. Graziano outlined the proposed changes, including stabilizing the memorial area with a concrete pad, enhancing the drainage, and creating a cohesive look with matching pavers and sidewalks. The committee also discussed repairing the handrail on the walking bridge, with an estimated cost of $70,000 for the entire project. The grant, combined with a city match, is expected to cover this cost.
The grant decision is expected by June 30. This project is seen as a proactive measure to maintain the memorial’s condition and honor the commitment to the fallen heroes.
Park Initiatives: JR Smith Reservoir and Old Orchard Park
The committee reviewed updates on the JR Smith Reservoir and Old Orchard Park projects. While the JR Smith Park plan is still in the early stages, the Reservoir Park project is underway with necessary modifications in progress. For Old Orchard Park, discussions focused on rejuvenating the orchard by planting new apple trees and clearing overgrown vegetation. The idea of reviving the orchard received enthusiastic support, with plans to consult experts and explore grant opportunities.
The revitalization of Old Orchard Park presents an opportunity for community involvement and historical connection, aligning with Sunbury’s commitment to preserving and enhancing local green spaces.