Picture a passive park between Catherine, William and Winter streets with paths, art installations and arched entryways.
Plans for the proposed Boardman Art Garden were presented to the city’s Shade Tree Commission on Wednesday. Two drawings were shown — one with a bridge going over the Delaware Run; and one without. Members of the commission who commented said they preferred the park without the bridge.
The 2.2-acre green space is currently owned by Delaware City Schools, but it will be available for development next summer. Residents in the Northwest Neighborhood Association say the next evolution of the space is as a passive park.
“A passive park is one that does not have facilities for exercise or organized play, rather a green space with nature trails and benches,” states a project concept overview sheet. “The goal is to infuse the park with various rotating art installations, as well as diverse horticulture, for added beauty and ongoing points of interest.”
The park could include trees and hedges to avoid fences; renderings of historic residents; winding paths and natural gardens.
The former Ruth Boardman School (1905-78) was located on the site, along the perimeter of the neighborhood and Ohio Wesleyan University. Removing asbestos and lead would be too costly to allow conventional development on the site.
“Funding for this development project will be through donations, grants, fund-raisers and other means collected by the Northwest Neighborhood Association,” states the project sheet. “Ongoing maintenance will be performed by the city of Delaware. Ownership of the property will be worked out between the Delaware city school board and the city of Delaware.”
Council member George Hellinger said the city may consider partnering with another entity, but currently doesn’t have the money to buy the park.
Roxanne Amidon, president of the Northwest Neighborhood Association, made a similar presentation at a recent Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting.
In response to a public question, it was said the association will next try to raise some money and come up with more detailed plans.
“They’re dreaming big, going for a big piece of art,” said one of the board members. “They’ll be paying for it. “
In other business, city arborist Doug Richmond said the city’s pruning program was going well; the Columbus Zoo picked up some freshly pruned tree limbs and leaves to feed its animals; and gypsy moth aerial spraying recently took place.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @ GaryBudzak.