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Coming attractions: dog park, pickle ball, disc golf

It has been wonderful to see all the walkers enjoying Mirror Lake. It is essentially completed with just a few tweaks. We added algae control service when it became evident it was needed. The terra cotta umbrellas for the terraces at Pavilion 4 arrived recently and will soon be installed. We plan an additional fern bed this fall to be planted in the shady area on the east side of the lake.

With the completion of Mirror Lake, the Restoration and Beautification Committee of Columbiana is ready to move on to adding new and/or re-habilitated recreational activities and facilities for visitors to Firestone Park.

Three projects are in the developmental stages with completion dates expected in 2020 — or as soon as money is raised!

The first new sport will probably be the disc golf course proposed by a group of advocates who came to the R&B committee, as well as park board, with their idea and the needed equipment. Steve Montgomery of Lamppost Farm and the owners of Birdfish Brewery–Josh and John Dunn, Greg Snyder, and Jared Channell — presented the essentials of the sport, popular across the country, to trustees in June.

Working with our engineering company, HRG, and our landscaping company, Terra Design Studios, the trustees agreed to the game installation. disc golf courses need 9-18 holes, discs or Frisbees for players to launch, elevated baskets to receive them. As in regular golf, the least number of throws (hits) determines a player’s score. The game may be played with singles or doubles teams.

The course will be erected along the periphery of the park so as not to interfere with upcoming landscaping features.

Our fundraising goal for 2019 is $250,000 and will be used to rehabilitate the sports courts next to pavilion 4. Two basketball courts, two tennis courts, and two or three pickle ball courts are planned. It was decided to lessen the number of tennis courts, and add a new sport — now popular with seniors: pickle ball. There is adequate space for 2-3 or these new courts.

The main focus for fundraising is local businesses, corporations, and organizations. To date we have received generous contributions from Humtown Products, D’Lux Motors, Dutch Haus Restaurant, Warrick-Kummer-Rettig Funeral Home, and Farmer’s Bank. Our solicitation campaign continues through 2019.

The addition of pickleball is the result of a recommendation in the HRG Master Plan, as well as local support from seniors groups. The game itself has been popular in Florida for some time, and our neighboring towns, Salem and East Palestine, have courts.

It originated in 1965, developed by a group in Bainbridge Island, as a modification of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. It is played on a modified sized court and net, using paddles and a plastic ball with holes. With the modifications it is less strenuous than tennis, and, therefore has been embraced by seniors. The original HRG plan called for two courts, but it may be possible to have three in the space provided by eliminating some of the tennis courts.

Finally, the dog park recommendation, also a part of the original HRG Master Plan, now has a rendering to specify its size, location, and features. Please come to the R&B tent at Street Fair this Thursday, Friday and Saturday to view the proposed details. We know the community is interested because of the number of citizens we see who walk their dogs daily on the streets in town, and now around Mirror Lake. The time has come for a dog park!

There are two possible locations in Firestone Park, one southeast of the pool parking lot and the other below the lakes in the walking trail area. The latter location seems more likely because it is an open area and could easily accommodate the acre size.

Divided into small and large dog areas, it would be fenced and double-gated. There would be a potable water fountain and an agility course, and it would retain the existing shade trees in the area. What would we name it? Fun to think of an appropriate name! Maybe Firestone for Fido Park?

We will be taking donations for it at Street Fair … please support!

With regard to recreational additions, we have a “Dream List” to work toward. It would be wonderful to provide more for senior citizens….shuffleboard, horseshoes, and the like. Current trends tell us bocce ball is popular and would be a great addition, as would sand volleyball.

We continue to seek grants and donations from local businesses, organizations, and the citizens of Columbiana. Please visit our website, restorecolumbiana.com for ways to contribute. Restoration of our park is an important key to the town’s vitality and growth. We rely on public support.

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