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Metro Parks buying 43 acres for $1.1M

By Mark Ferenchik, The Columbus Dispatch

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 5:58 AM

 

Metro Parks plans to buy 43 acres along the Olentangy River that it passed on purchasing in 2005 because of environmental questions.  The land also had been part of an aborted land swap that would have given a wetlands preserve along Sawmill Road to a developer.

 

The park district will spend $1.1 million to buy the land in northern Franklin County from the Keith Urban trust to expand Highbanks Metro Park and develop the Olentangy Greenway Trail northward.

 

MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/02/11/Metro-Parks-Olentangy-River-land-purchase.html

 

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Metro Parks opens Rocky Fork park north of New Albany

By Mark Ferenchik, The Columbus Dispatch

Friday, August 14, 2015 - 9:34 PM

 

The park is huge, like nothing New Albany has ever seen.  In total, it will encompass more than 1,000 grassy and wooded acres north of the city and feature running paths, a dog park and 3 miles of horse trails.  People already have been using the new park, Metro Parks spokeswoman Peg Hanley said, but Friday marked its official opening — or the opening of its first phase.

 

Rocky Fork — Metro Parks’ 17th park — was developed through a partnership formed in 2008 with New Albany, the city of Columbus and Plain Township, where the park is located. ... The first phase that opened Friday is 235 acres that include a family shelter, restrooms, a dog park and trails, including the 3-mile horse trail that will be added this fall.

 

Plans call for a 340-acre wetland to be developed next year with an entrance off Harlem Road, a parking lot, shelter and trails.  Parks officials will monitor how people use the first phase of the park to determine how to proceed from there, said Metro Parks Executive Director Tim Moloney.

 

MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/08/14/Metro-Parks-opens-new-park.html

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Metro Parks asks for input as it creates first-ever strategic plan

By Mark Ferenchik, The Columbus Dispatch

Monday, August 24, 2015 - 7:17 PM

 

As Metro Parks officials plan their first strategic plan, they’re asking the community to rate the system: the parks, programs and facilities.  The park system’s executive director, Tim Moloney, is behind the idea for the strategic plan, which he said will guide the park system as it heads toward a levy campaign in 2019.  Franklin County voters approved the most-recent levy — a 0.75-mill, 10-year tax — in May 2009.

 

The Metro Parks system continues to grow.  Rocky Fork Metro Park — more than 1,000 acres near New Albany — opened recently, and the 620-acre Scioto Grove Metro Park in southern Franklin County is scheduled to open in the fall.  The system has grown from 13,000 acres in 1998 to more than 27,000, and the parks draw more than 7.5 million visitors annually.

 

Metro Parks is completing its sections of the 11-mile Camp Chase Trail in western Franklin County; the trail will be part of the Ohio-to-Erie trail that links Cleveland and Cincinnati through Columbus.  Officials plan a multi-use trail through Highbanks Metro Park and are talking about extending the Heritage Trail farther west toward Plain City.

 

MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/08/24/Metro-Parks-asks-for-user-input.html

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Metro Parks plans $5 million in improvements next year

By Mark Ferenchik, The Columbus Dispatch

Wednesday, November 25, 2015 - 5:38 AM

 

Metro Parks plans to spend more than $5 million on improvements next year, including a new nature center at the Scioto Grove Metro Park in southern Franklin County and parking and river access the for Olentangy Greenway Trail extension near Highbanks Metro Park.

 

Metro Parks commissioners this morning approved a $28.7 million budget, what Commissioner Jeff McNealey called a “status quo” budget coming during the second half of the levy cycle.  The budget is 7 percent less than Metro Parks’ total budget for 2015, but represents a 25 percent increase from what the district is on track to spend in 2015.  That’s because Metro Parks didn’t spend as much on land acquisition this year.  Plans call for $3 million for potential land acquisition in 2016, including $1 million to buy property at Rocky Fork.

 

Metro Parks opened its 17th park this year, Rocky Fork in northeastern Franklin County.  It acquired what is now called Homestead Metro Park in Hilliard, where the system plans to make improvements to playgrounds, picnic tables and shelters.  Metro Parks also broke ground on its 19th park, Scioto Grove.

 

MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/11/24/Metro-Parks-approves-new-budget.html

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The 620-acre Scioto Grove Metro Park opened earlier this year.  Scioto Grove is located south of I-270 and east of Grove City along the west bank of the Scioto River:

 

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2016/05/05/620-acre-scioto-grove-metro-park-set-to-open.html

 

http://www.columbusmonthly.com/content/stories/2016/06/central-ohio-parks-backpacking-at-scioto-grove.html

 

30047713341_6af9ea50c9_b_d.jpg

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Metro Parks' new land called 'Hocking Hills of Franklin County'

 

By Mark Ferenchik The Columbus Dispatch  •  Wednesday September 21, 2016 3:36 PM

 

The newest piece of property in Metro Parks' portfolio has managers there excited.

 

“It’s the most pristine property in Franklin County,” said Thomas Bonasera, the trustee for the Richard H. and Ann Shafer Foundation, which has agreed to sell the 98-acre property to Metro Parks for $4.1 million.

 

The land sits just north of the Little Turtle Golf Club in Blendon Township. There are no paths, and little evidence that anyone sneaks in to explore. The cliffs along the east side of Big Walnut Creek are at least 100 feet tall, said Tim Moloney, Metro Parks executive director.

 

And it’s only a 20-minute drive from Downtown.

 

0922-MT-Walnut-Creek-Park.jpg

 

MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2016/09/21/Metro_Parks_new_land_.html

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The photos and description of the property are awesome. It will be interesting to see how a connection is made between Blendon Woods and this new area. A trail along the river somehow? I don't believe Metro Parks owns property along Big Walnut.

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I've actually walked some of that property because a classmate in grad school grew up in one of the homes that directly abuts to the south. I'm glad to see it will be conserved.

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Metro Parks plans 20th park south of Griggs Reservoir

By Mark Ferenchik, The Columbus Dispatch

Updated: December 7, 2016 - 10:45 AM

 

A 20th Metro Park might be coming to central Ohio.  The question is where.  Negotiations have begun with the owners of quarry property along the Scioto River south of Griggs Reservoir, said Tim Moloney, Metro Parks executive director, during a meeting with park board commissioners on Tuesday.  The board was adopting its 2017 budget.

 

Moloney would not say exactly where the property is.  But he said the park district wants to place a Metro Park within 5 miles of every Franklin County resident.  He pointed to the popularity of Scioto Audubon Metro Park just south of Downtown as an example that people want these parks in the city's core.

 

Most of the system's parks are outside of Interstate 270.  The system opened its newest park, Scioto Grove Metro Park, this year in southern Franklin County, east of Grove City along the Scioto's western bank.

 

MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2016/12/06/Metro_Parks_plans_20th_park.html

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Now we know where that 20th Metro Park will be.  At the northeast corner of Trabue and Dublin roads, west of the Scioto River on existing stone quarry property and west of Upper Arlington.  Here is a google map link:  https://goo.gl/maps/vryHFUTXu2D2

 

http://www.columbusunderground.com/new-metro-park-mixed-use-development-planned-for-huge-tract-of-former-quarry-land-bw1

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^Looks like that could be a really unique park. I'll be curious to see how/if frontage along the Scioto is included/connected to the park.

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New Metro Park and mixed-use development coming to stunning quarry site in west Columbus

 

timthumb.php?src=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.columbusunderground.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2017%2F06%2Fquarry-00.jpg&q=90&w=650&zc=1&

 

A sprawling limestone quarry in west Columbus will be turned into scenic parkland surrounded by mixed-use development under a joint plan by Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks and Wagenbrenner Development.

 

In Project QT, as it's being called, a portion of the 607-acre quarry along the Scioto River will be turned into a regional destination for outdoors enthusiasts: Climbing on dramatic limestone rock features, mountain biking and hiking on rugged terrain, and kayaking in emerald green quarry basins.

 

More below:

http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2017/06/19/new-etro-park-and-mixed-use-development-coming-to.html


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^Looks like that could be a really unique park. I'll be curious to see how/if frontage along the Scioto is included/connected to the park.

 

The Business First article said that 138 additional acres would be added to the first 62, and I imagine most of that would include the wooded area along te Scioto.  Also, they talk about connecting the Heritage Trail in Hilliard to the Scioto Greenway through the park, and a perfect place for that would be the old railroad bridge at the Scioto River.

 

I would love to see this happen eventually at the much more massive quarry sites along South High/23, perhaps as an extension of Scioto Grove.

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^If you enlarge the conceptual plan on Columbus Underground, it looks like there is a strip of land following the Scioto that is connected to the park on the south side. The forested area in between is kind of grayed-out, making me think it will be developed.

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Metro Parks OKs land deal for quarry site along Scioto River

 

Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks has authorized the purchase of 62 acres in west Columbus, setting the stage for the planned redevelopment of an expansive 607-acre limestone quarry along the banks of the Scioto River.

 

The park system's board voted Tuesday to authorize the purchase for $1.86 million in a deal expected to close before the end of the year, Executive Director Tim Moloney told me. The land will be developed as a new public park, in partnership with Wagenbrenner Development, which has its own plans for a mixed-use development on a neighboring section of the site.

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2017/11/15/metro-parks-oks-land-deal-for-quarry-site-along.html


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New Metro Park and Mixed-Use Development Moving Forward

 

The “Project QT” unveiling back in June was certainly one of the largest Central Ohio development announcements of 2017, which aims to turn a former quarry site into the future home of the region’s 20th Metro Park and a new mixed-use development. That project is taking another step forward this month with the official announcement of the land acquisition of the 558-acre property.

 

“We have never been more excited about a project… to find hundreds of acres of undeveloped land, complete with dramatic landscapes and nearly two miles of Scioto riverfront, all within five miles of Broad and High presents a once in a lifetime opportunity,” stated Mark Wagenbrenner, President of  Wagenbrenner Development, the private-sector partner on the project. “Such promise exists because of the immense challenges that have thus far barred it from being re-purposed. We couldn’t even begin to take on this project without the help and commitments of our partners, Metro Parks and the City of Columbus.”

 

More below:

http://www.columbusunderground.com/new-metro-park-and-mixed-use-development-moving-forward

 

quarry-new-03.jpg?resize=1024%2C630


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Naturally Impactful: New Wyandot Lodge Built With Respect For Environment

 

The newly completed Wyandot Lodge at the McKnight Nature Center is poised to be the central hub of Columbus Recreation and Parks’ Outdoor Education Program. The lodge will be a new home for programs aimed at teaching local youth about human impacts on nature. But in the case of the Wyandot Lodge, the building itself is an educational tool.

 

Drawing energy from solar panels and from geothermal wells, the lodge was constructed for minimal impact on climate and ecosystem. The floors are concrete to eliminate the need for corrosive carpet cleaners. In the summer, the skylights can open and allow air to cycle through and cool the interior without air conditioning. Lights inside the lodge are motion activated and turn off automatically when a room is unoccupied.

 

More below:

http://www.columbusunderground.com/naturally-impactful-new-wyandot-lodge-built-with-respect-for-environment-jb1

 

Wyandot-Lodge-outside.jpg?resize=620%2C382


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40098331894_13bae8e69c_o_d.jpg

 

Metro Parks secures pristine land in northeastern Franklin County

 

Metro Parks plans to open 150 acres of parkland in northeastern Franklin County, with few improvements.  The district bought the wooded, rolling land, which has been likened to Hocking Hills, for $5.3 million.  The land is in Blendon Township, just north of the Little Turtle Golf Club.  To the west is Big Walnut Creek, with cliffs at least 100 feet tall.  Deep ravines slice through the property.

 

Columbus-Franklin County Metro Parks Executive Director Tim Moloney said there’s no target date to open the property, which will be managed by the team from nearby Blendon Woods Metro Park.

 

The park has no name as yet and will offer few amenities: no decks or picnic tables. “It will be very primitive,” Moloney said.  The park system will mark property lines but officials are still deciding whether it will have marked, but unpaved, trails.  “The park staff is working on the best way of introducing that space to the public,” he said.

 

MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/news/20180223/metro-parks-secures-pristine-land-in-northeastern-franklin-county

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Photo spread of the soon-to-be new 150-acre metro park north of Blendon Woods from Columbus Navigator:

 

https://www.columbusnavigator.com/new-metro-park-westerville/

 

39930979945_4565eccb04_b_d.jpg

 

It would be cool if they could eventually grow this north of Central College and connect the southeast area of Hoover Reservoir.  There's not significant development in that area- mostly widely-spaced, single-family homes- so it would come down to buying land piece by piece. 

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http://www.thisweeknews.com/news/20180609/metro-parks-plans-to-ask-voters-to-replace-expiring-levy-with-larger-one

 

-- Metro Parks plans to put a 10-year, 0.95-mill levy on the Nov. 6 ballot that would raise $6 million more a year than its current, expiring levy to pay for and maintain new and existing park land.

 

-- If voters approve the levy, the tax revenue would increase from $22.6 million a year to $28.6 million — the amount that officials believe will be needed to operate the district, said Tim Moloney, Metro Parks’ executive director.  The annual cost to the owner of a $100,000 house would rise $5, from $28.25 to $33.25 a year, and collection would begin in 2020.

 

-- The additional money is needed to meet the increasing demands of Central Ohio, which is expected to grow by up to 1 million people by 2050.  Moloney said the park district needs to stay ahead of the curve.  Metro Parks also plans to add up to 100 miles to the greenways system, connecting more neighborhoods, and it will continue to develop a new park at a 230-acre quarry site just west of Upper Arlington.

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Marble Cliff Quarry taking shape as Metro Parks buys final 118 acres

 

Another step in the redevelopment of the 600-acre Marble Cliff Quarry site has been completed.

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2018/06/25/marble-cliff-quarry-taking-shape-as-metro-parks.html

 

quarry-walker-02.jpg


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First tiny slice of Quarry Trails Metro Park opens next summer 

 

dsc1868*1200xx7478-4206-0-391.jpg&key=48

 

An observation deck overlooking a waterfall and a flight of steps down to the creek for wading in the knee-high water are to open next summer at Quarry Trails Park, the first sliver of what will be a 180-acre recreation area just 5 miles from downtown.

 

Columbus & Franklin County Metro Parks is still in the early stages of designing what will be its 20th park, said spokeswoman Peg Hanley. It's also the first of three new parks the agency pledges to open if a proposed levy passes in November.

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2018/10/11/first-tiny-slice-of-quarry-trails-metro-park-opens.html

 


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What's next at Marble Cliff Quarry: 'Look and feel like no other Metro Park'

 

dsc2008*750xx7886-4436-0-412.jpg

 

A long-abandoned landfill is nearing the next phase of transformation into a mixed-use development bordering one-of-a-kind Quarry Trails Metro Park, 5 miles from downtown Columbus.

 

Wagenbrenner Development Inc. expects to start building roads and sewers in the spring for the public-private partnership, after completing a thick clay cap over compacted solid waste, said Joe Reidy, general counsel and project lead on the quarry development.

 

“We view this project as transformational,” Reidy said. “As an (urban) infill developer, to find an infill site that can be co-developed as a park and mixed-use development is just a tremendous opportunity.”

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2018/12/03/whats-next-at-marble-cliff-quarry-ook-and-feel.html


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With the announcement of that Rapid5 project to connect all Central Ohio waterways for long distance kayaking(that I posted in the Ohio navigable waterways thread), I remembered about the quarry metro park project and how pumped I am for it.  I know those articles were posted here about it, but the video gets me really hyped for it:

 

 

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^^^^^ I honestly did not know this was a thing! That was indeed awesome.

 

But, I hadn't heard of the Rapid5 thing until I Googled it just now (if it's in another thread, I think I missed it). So...man....the video for THAT is what got me hyped. I'm so happy right now. It's the kind of dream-big projects I want Columbus to have more of. As emotional as I got with this, I couldn't imagine how I'd feel if a similar initiative happened involved mass transit, haha. I think I'd lose my mind!

 

Here's the new Rapid5 video:

 

 

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40 minutes ago, Zyrokai said:

^^^^^ I honestly did not know this was a thing! That was indeed awesome.

 

But, I hadn't heard of the Rapid5 thing until I Googled it just now (if it's in another thread, I think I missed it). So...man....the video for THAT is what got me hyped. I'm so happy right now. It's the kind of dream-big projects I want Columbus to have more of. As emotional as I got with this, I couldn't imagine how I'd feel if a similar initiative happened involved mass transit, haha. I think I'd lose my mind!

 

Here's the new Rapid5 video:

 

 

 

I assume by "connections", they mean more multi-use trails?  The video makes it sound like something a lot more substantial is in the works than that, though.  

Edited by jonoh81

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2 hours ago, Zyrokai said:

But, I hadn't heard of the Rapid5 thing until I Googled it just now (if it's in another thread, I think I missed it)

Today was the first I've heard about the Rapid5 project.  I don't think it was public yet.  The article popped up on Columbus Underground today and I posted it over on the "Ohio Navigable Waterways" thread.  Maybe that post should just be moved to this thread?

 

Here:

 

Edited by TH3BUDDHA
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1 hour ago, jonoh81 said:

 

I assume by "connections", they mean more multi-use trails?  The video makes it sound like something a lot more substantial is in the works than that, though.  

I'm not really sure.  I don't think too much is known about it yet.  Article says that the official announcement is coming in 2020.

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3 hours ago, TH3BUDDHA said:

I'm not really sure.  I don't think too much is known about it yet.  Article says that the official announcement is coming in 2020.

 

Connecting and building news paths between rivers is relatively simple, but I have no idea what could be in the works beyond that, if anything. I don't think they could possibly be talking about something like building water connections.  That would be massively expensive and I don't know where they could even be built in most cases, so maybe just a significant upgrade in the number and quality of multi-use connections is my guess.  They mentioned the Highline and the Beltline, but seemed to suggest that this would be much larger in scope.  So maybe something alone those lines, but around the entire city?  

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In the video they so mention 'kayaking to work' as well. I wonder if it's going to include a renewed effort to remove more low head dams... otherwise mentioning that seems kind if moot. 

 

I hope it's not a hype campaign for modest changes and actually transformative. 

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2 hours ago, DTCL11 said:

In the video they so mention 'kayaking to work' as well. I wonder if it's going to include a renewed effort to remove more low head dams... otherwise mentioning that seems kind if moot. 

 

I hope it's not a hype campaign for modest changes and actually transformative. 

 

Yeah, I thought about the low-head dams also.  There are still several along the Scioto and Olentangy that would make it all but impossible to do kayaking for any significant distance, let alone commute to work along them.  So the dams would have to be removed entirely and many new boat launches would have to be constructed along all the waterways.  There would have to be significant improvements to east-west trail connections also, as there really aren't any except the Camp Chase Trail that hooks up to the Scioto Greenways system Downtown.  I would imagine that a more ambitious project would try to eliminate on-street sections altogether.     

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19 hours ago, DTCL11 said:

In the video they so mention 'kayaking to work' as well. I wonder if it's going to include a renewed effort to remove more low head dams... otherwise mentioning that seems kind if moot. 

 

I hope it's not a hype campaign for modest changes and actually transformative. 

 

This is the worst case scenario. It's SUCH a much larger area than--using the example they used--Atlanta's Beltline that I struggle see how they can make it a 240 (or whatever) mile version of that.

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On 12/14/2019 at 5:18 PM, jonoh81 said:

 

I assume by "connections", they mean more multi-use trails?  The video makes it sound like something a lot more substantial is in the works than that, though.  

 

It seems like that's the main intent -- an expansion of the existing greenways as well as additional east-west connections. The map on the Rapid Project website shows existing and future planned greenway trails, which seems similar to the other greenway trail plans I've seen.

 

There's actually a list of trail projects the city plans to build in the next 5 years on their website, but I can't find it right now as it looks like the city's website is down.

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51 minutes ago, .justin said:

 

It seems like that's the main intent -- an expansion of the existing greenways as well as additional east-west connections. The map on the Rapid Project website shows existing and future planned greenway trails, which seems similar to the other greenway trail plans I've seen.

 

There's actually a list of trail projects the city plans to build in the next 5 years on their website, but I can't find it right now as it looks like the city's website is down.

The map shows Hudson Street as being a Greenway Trail. It's just a road with sharrows. That is not an acceptable East-West connector. Hopefully this new plan will include legit off-street, minimal crossing multi-use paths.

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1 hour ago, .justin said:

 

It seems like that's the main intent -- an expansion of the existing greenways as well as additional east-west connections. The map on the Rapid Project website shows existing and future planned greenway trails, which seems similar to the other greenway trail plans I've seen.

 

There's actually a list of trail projects the city plans to build in the next 5 years on their website, but I can't find it right now as it looks like the city's website is down.

 

Yeah, that map doesn't look any different than what has been around and planned for years.  MORPC has had similar maps each time it updates its regional plan.  If that's all it is, then yeah, it's just hype and calling an old trail plan a new name.  If that's the case... lame.  

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AR-200129719.jpg

 

Metro Parks adding mountain bike trails

 

Tim Moloney, Metro Parks executive director, said there will be three to five mountain bicycling trails at the new Quarry Trails Metro Park, each three-quarters of a mile to a mile long and in varying degrees of difficulty.

 

Metro Parks is spending $400,000 to build mountain bicycling trails at the new Quarry Trails Metro Park, complete with viewing areas for people who want to watch.

 

MORE:  https://www.thisweeknews.com/news/20200121/metro-parks-adding-mountain-bike-trails?fbclid=IwAR2IzcTMJB7fB_FsFc_5b54eJRhq3jxT0I5i3dDbBku6qWQmIE9Wtixn3aI

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I think we're fully underestimating the impact of this project.  It is so unique to have an opportunity like this so close to the urban core.  I'm not expecting the Whitewater Center in Charlotte, but at the end of the day it could be very close(minus the multi-million whitewater channel).

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25 minutes ago, wpcc88 said:

I think we're fully underestimating the impact of this project.  It is so unique to have an opportunity like this so close to the urban core.  I'm not expecting the Whitewater Center in Charlotte, but at the end of the day it could be very close(minus the multi-million whitewater channel).

 

And this would be much closer to the core than whitewater center. My impression there was that it was more of the suburban folks than a city asset. 

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28 minutes ago, DTCL11 said:

 

And this would be much closer to the core than whitewater center. My impression there was that it was more of the suburban folks than a city asset. 

 

100%, hell its even far out for some of their suburbs.

 

This development is a bike ride(for some) from downtown.

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Mountain Bike Facility Planned for Quarry Trails

 

Work is scheduled to start this summer on the first trails at the new Quarry Trails Metro Park. Designed specifically for mountain biking, the facility will take advantage of the unique topography of the former quarry site to offer a variety of challenging downhill runs.

 

Steve Studenmund, Metro Park’s Strategic Planning/Land Acquisition Manager, said that the mountain bike area will be the first part of the park to be developed – the plan is for it to open to the public in the fall.

 

More below:

https://www.columbusunderground.com/mountain-bike-facility-planned-for-quarry-trails-bw1

 

quarry-map-small-1150x550.jpg


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