COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – With recreation ramping up during quarantine at the city’s oldest park, the Friends of Goodale Park is planning a special treat for neighbors.
“We want to make sure it’s a big and beautiful effort this year,” said Jason Kentner, the group’s president.
Cooler weather and large gathering restrictions forced the nonprofit to delay spring planting from its normal Mother’s Day weekend. Nevertheless, a smaller group of volunteers spent Saturday trimming back overgrowth, turning soil and hauling new mulch. They’re bracing to double the park’s typical spring flower display.
“I think there are lots of ways people are doing extra little things to show support, whether that be for local businesses or things like that. And we just thought this is a way we can brighten up everyone’s time when they’re in the park,” Kentner said.
Jay McKirmen and his dog have been walking several blocks to safely socialize with other dog owners and get some exercise. He’s noticed the increase in stir-crazy neighbors looking for a similar break at the park.
“Working from home, I feel like we’re constantly coming up here,” McKirmen explained. “It’s really nice, especially when it’s something like a gorgeous day like today, we’ll probably be coming out here a few times.”
Kentner praised park goers’ efforts to practice social distancing and keep the park clean, especially with fewer maintenance workers available to make their regular rounds. Many spring and summer events have already been cancelled at Goodale park, but he encourages neighbors to continue using the space responsibly and hopes they’ll enjoy even more elaborate scenery.
“This year without having a normal events season, I think we’ll have a slightly different use of the park. But we want it to be beautiful while people are here,” said Kentner.
The Friends of Goodale Park estimates spring planting costs to run close to $3,500 this year. You can contribute to its fund here.