Adopt a Bed

Have you ever walked through Harrison West Park and thought, “Gosh! These flower beds need weeding!” Have you cycled through Side by Side Park and noticed that the borders are overgrown? It might surprise you to know that the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department oversees more than 215 parks in the city, four of which are in Harrison West. That’s a lot of ground to cover—more than 10,000 acres, in fact. With limited budgets and staffing, it’s simply not possible for them to keep every park in tip-top shape. Instead, they rely on volunteers to help out. That’s where the Harrison West Society Parks Committee—and you—come in.

For the last few years, the parks committee has been focused heavily on getting Harrison Park up and running. In the meantime, a lack of volunteers has led to decline at Wheeler, Harrison West and, most dramatically, Side by Side Park. Now that Harrison Park is largely complete, we’re turning our attention back to the other green spaces that make our neighborhood a great place to live, work and play. We can’t do it alone, though. To get some help, we’re starting the Adopt a Bed program.

In its four parks, Harrison West has 13 flower beds with another one planned this year. Scattered around the neighborhood are three green spaces, and another three are scheduled for construction this year. That means that by the end of this year, we will have 20 areas in need of maintenance that the city is unable to provide on a regular basis. Some of the areas are large enough that they’ll need two people pulling weeds, trimming and deadheading plants and picking up litter.

Do you think you can spare an hour or two each month to help keep Harrison West looking spiffy? We’re looking for a couple dozen neighbors willing to adopt beds and maintain them through the spring, summer, and fall. Adopting a bed will mean visiting for an hour or two each month to do light weeding, to trim and deadhead when necessary and to clean up trash. If your bed has special needs or if some heavy-duty work needs to be done, the parks committee will arrange to help you. You won’t be expected to trim trees, climb up and down the river bank or do any other particularly strenuous or risky work. (Other people have signed on for those duties, but if that kind of work sounds like something you’d like to do, they can certainly use the help.)

The beds that require regular volunteer maintenance are (orange indicates that the bed has been adopted):

Harrison Park

  • south entrance
  • turtle bed
  • gazebo, south wing
  • gazebo, west semicircle
  • gazebo, north wing
  • welcome sign bed
  • Community sculpture bed
  • Funk-ee-Town entrance
  • Funk-ee-Town interior
  • Harrison Park Place triangle
  • north entrance

Side by Side Park

  • west bed, south half
  • west bed, north half
  • east bed, south half
  • east bed, north half

Harrison West Park

  • raised bed
  • central bed

Green Spaces

  • bed at the northwest corner of the Olentangy Recreation Trail and West Third Avenue
  • bed at the northeast corner of Olentangy River Road and West Third Avenue
  • bed at the southeast corner of Olentangy River Road and West Third Avenue
  • traffic island on West Third Avenue at the Olentangy Recreation Trail (future)
  • traffic island on West Fifth Avenue at Perry Street (future)
  • traffic island on West Fifth Avenue at the Olentangy Recreation Trail (future)
Spring is right around the corner, so adopt a bed today. Contact Bob Mangia, parks committee chair, to adopt your favorite Harrison West bed. He’ll be able to answer any questions you might have and sign you up.
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