Newark area residents will see their parks revived

May 31, 2013 by  

The Licking Park District has a new director at the helm, after two years in which the position was vacant.

Bob Williams came to Licking County from Pennsylvania’s Chester County parks system, and brings drive, ambition, and a huge amount of enthusiasm with him. He was so delighted to start the project, he moved his family into a tent in Newark’s Camp O’Bannon while they went house hunting.

Back in March 2012, residents of Licking County, which includes newark, voted in favor of a quarter-million dollar levy to refurbish and improve the county’s park system. Prior to the levy, the county funded the parks and, with the recession, had to cut its funding by half. The levy, the first to pass in 29 years, restores badly needed monies.

There are three primary parks covered by the district: Infirmary Mound Park; Lobdell Reserve and Taft Reserve. The first is near Granville, the second close to Alexandria, and the third, which comprises 575 acres and the nearby Kramer Nature Center, is close to Newark. Among the features of these parks are a fishing pond that covers five acres; a championship golf course and 25 acres of biking/walking trails, as well as an additional 25 acres of bridle paths.

The park district needs to create enthusiasm now so that people will want to come to the parks as soon as the work has finished. To that end, park district officials could work with brochure printers to create a handout describing each of the parks, promoting their amenities, and including maps and photos to show people how beautiful they are.