Proposed Preservation Parks logo tabled

By Gary Budzak - [email protected]

A proposed new logo for Preservation Parks of Delaware County was tabled during a board meeting Tuesday in Sunbury.

If it had been approved, the fox and leaf design would have replaced the trees and birds logo currently in use; and it would be rolled out gradually during 2020. However, members of the public voiced their opposition to the logo.

Longtime Delaware resident Steve Berry initially voiced concerns about the logo in a letter to The Gazette.

“When Delaware County voters approved a Preservation Parks levy in November 2017, I doubt that a new parks logo was high on their list of priorities,” Berry wrote. “In fact, a 10-year strategic plan prepared by a national consulting firm found that the current logo is widely recognizable. This is why it is puzzling that the parks administration and board of commissioners have proceeded to spend thousands of dollars on staff time and consulting and design fees on a new logo. It seems we have a case of a solution looking for a problem.”

At the meeting, Berry said he had heard from a dozen people who agreed with him.

“There’s a lot of good things going on here,” Berry said, referring to such programs as folk music. “I don’t think a logo makes a bit of difference in terms of visitation.”

Berry went on to show the board similar logo designs that used a curled fox, most notably the web browser Mozilla Firefox.

“You’re not getting something unique. You’re getting something derivative,” Berry said of the proposed logo.

Two other long-time volunteers also objected to the design. One person said she wished the volunteers and public had a say in the design, and that the chances of seeing a red fox in the parks was rare. The other volunteer said the animal has derogatory connotations (such as a sly fox), and that it looked cartoonish, instead of discreet.

Executive Director Tom Curtin said, “The new logo is very striking and people are going to notice it. We want it to get attention right away. We knew going into it that there would be some pushback. We’re trying to stand out from the crowd and appeal to a younger crowd.”

Curtin said Preservation Parks is trying to attract visitors that it hasn’t had in the past by putting on events such as a recent Adventure Run and an Outdoor Exploration Expo taking place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Camp Lazarus.

Board Commissioner Bruce Ruhl said of the proposed logo, “The digital age is upon us. This sets us apart from other parks, and help make the parks more memorable.”

Commissioner John Bader said he was disappointed with the approach taken in the selection process.

Commissioner Glenn Marzluf said he was in support of the new logo a week ago, but now wished to table the motion.

In response to The Gazette’s request for a copy of the new logo being considered, Preservation Parks Marketing & Communications Manager Beth McCollam stated, “In regards to the logo, our legal counsel is reviewing the contract we have with our designer. The contract is not yet paid in full, so we do not own the license to the design.”

In other news, the board approved purchasing $22,465 of property in Sunbury to be used for the Ohio to Erie Trail; as well as 11 acres in Liberty Township at $297,000 that will be added to River Run Park.

By Gary Budzak

[email protected]

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.