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The original item was published from 5/5/2023 3:49:00 PM to 6/6/2023 12:00:02 AM.

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Columbus News

Posted on: May 5, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Open house for Gerrard Pawnee parks brings crowd


Many Columbus residents recently voiced their opinions on the future of Gerrard and Pawnee parks.

Dozens of members from the public on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023, showed up to a community open house in the Columbus City Council Chambers to meet with staff from creative firm Confluence and the City Parks and Recreation Department to provide input into potential upgrades to both parks.

Upgrading sports fields, such as Memorial Stadium, a destination playground, concerts and theater, a dog park, an arboretum and water activities are all topics that could be evaluated.

During the two-hour open house that afternoon, attendees were asked to review maps of the parks and put colored dots on them to indicate what features they would like to see and their potential location.

“This is our opportunity to let people know that there is a plan being generated for both Pawnee Park and Gerrard Park,” Confluence Principal Dolores Silkworth said, as dozens of residents made their way through the maps on display. “We’re here today mostly to listen, as well as to hear about the new kinds of park facilities they would like and also which of the park facilities that are existing need some attention and investment.”

Silkworth and City Public Property Director Doug Moore both said they were pleased with the turnout from the public.

Those who weren’t able to attend the open house can still share their opinions. An online community survey is available until May 17th and the public is encouraged to fill it out:

“Your opinion matters,” Moore said. “We want you to give your honest opinion of what you think the parks should be before we move forward.”

Silkworth, who is based out of the company’s Omaha office, said all of the data will be reviewed and considered before Confluence returns to Columbus to discuss priorities with Parks and Rec members as they move forward.

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