The Great Lakes Park Training Institute (GLPTI) recognized the Centerville-Washington Park District (CWPD) for innovative park design at the Institute’s awards ceremony on February 25, 2020. The Institute presents the annual award in recognition of park facilities and programs completed within the last five years that represent the cutting edge of parks and recreation throughout the United States.
Forest Field Park, the park recognized by GLPTI, began redevelopment in 2016. At that time, CWPD invited park users and neighbors to participate in a design meeting to discuss park improvements. From citizen input, a draft design emerged. Citizens were then invited to give additional comments and suggestions. The final park design reflects the valuable input of neighbors and visitors.
The revived park, completed in August 2018, features flushable restrooms; a new playground and nature play area; an all-accessible play surface; connections to Bill Yeck Park; an all-accessible paved path loop; and, another 3/4 mile of soft-surface trails. A picnic-grade backstop was added for family softball, kickball or whiffle ball. Entering the park is easier with a walkway extending from Centerville Station Road.
Park users’ feedback aligned with the Park District’s mission of delivering fun, healthy and outstanding park experiences that connect the community with the outdoors. Children and adults can connect with nature, moving gradually from paved paths and playground space to hiking trails, forests and meadows in the adjacent 194-acre nature park.
“Public feedback was instrumental in creating Forest Field Park’s design. We have been inundated with positive feedback since the park’s completion,” said Arnie Biondo, Centerville-Washington Park District Director. “We appreciate the recognition from The Great Lakes Park Training Institute and feel it is as a direct result of the community members who took the time to share their ideas with us. We are fortunate to serve a community that is so engaged with their park system.”
Forest Field Park is located at 2100 E. Centerville Station Road. The park is open daylight hours. The majority of the funding for the park redevelopment was provided by an Ohio Department of Natural Resources NatureWorks Grant and a generous donation from the Centerville Noon Optimist Club.