2012-02-04 / Editorials & Letters

Guest Column: Licking Park District at a ‘fork in the path’

By Steve Holloway, Chair of the Licking Park District Commissioners

Did you know that your Licking Park District has over 1600 acres of recreational area and preserves, 25 miles of recreational trails, and manages over 24 miles of paved bike paths? Did you know that your Licking Park District offers picnicking, fishing, Frisbee disc golf, horseback riding, hiking, exploring, canoeing, biking, and walking paths to everyone in Licking County?

Well if you didn’t know, please allow me to tell you a little about your Licking Park District. The Park District has 13 facilities all across Licking County providing economic and cultural benefits to many communities such as Newark, Pataskala, Alexandria, Johnstown, Hebron, Hanover, Granville, Heath, and many more. They strengthen communities through healthy and fun outdoor activities, teach respect for our local habitat, and protect our natural areas and wildlife. How do they do this? By offering cultural and nature outreach programs for adults and children, student field trips and in-school visits. They manage a bike path that runs from Hanover to Johnstown and large parks for all to enjoy. Some popular events include a civil war reenactment, pioneer days, the haunted Halloween tour, and the annual Easter egg hunt.

Unfortunately the Licking Park District’s funding was cut by almost 70% in the last two years resulting in the cancellation of all programs and the closure of some facilities. Equipment and the bike path are falling into severe disrepair raising safety concerns. Closure of all parks and the possibility of having to sell off precious open green space may happen if something isn’t done.

The Licking Park District is asking the citizens of Licking County to help save the Parks, Paths and Trails by supporting a .25 mill levy. The investment is only $7.65 per year for a $100,000 home. This small amount will restore the programs and repair paths, shelters, playground equipment, and bridges. It will save a true asset to our community and a source of pride for all to enjoy.

I ask for your vote in support of the Parks, Paths, and Trails and to spread the word to your friends and neighbors that we need everyone’s help to make sure we don’t lose something so important to our everyday lives.

More information can be found online at www.lickingparkdistrict.com

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