Founded in 1947, the City of Columbus Parks and Recreation Department provides the highest quality park and recreation services for the citizens of Columbus. The Bartholomew County Parks and Recreation Department seeks to improve the quality of life and the environment; to acquire, conserve and protect natural resources; and to provide leisure opportunities for the benefit of present and future citizens of Bartholomew County. This park is a joint venture with the Bartholomew County School System and the Township Trustees. This twenty-seven-acre park is located on Mt.
Healthy School in Jackson Township, on State Highway 58, just north of County Road 750 S. The park has a playground, an open area for soccer, shelter and basketball courts. Columbus has 18 parks that vary in size, from the 8-acre Richards School Park on the north side to the sprawling 89-acre Clifty Park at the east end of the city. Each park has its own set of services, although most offer children's play areas, picnic tables and basketball hoops.
Some of the larger parks have baseball and softball diamonds, tennis courts, soccer fields, or volleyball nets. Clifty Park has the distinction of being home to Columbus's only skate park. The Landscape Administration recognized this 85-acre riverfront park as one of the 100 best parks in the country in terms of design, reputation and accessibility. Designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh and with structures by Stanley Saitowitz, it includes an 84-foot observation tower, a covered bridge, trails for people, fishing on two lakes, picnic shelters, play equipment for children, horseshoe pits, basketball courts and an amphitheater that hosts concerts and performances.
Academy Park is adjacent to Wolfe Park and a short drive from Franklin Park. This beautiful green space includes the Clowson field. The baseball diamonds found here are leased and are not available for public use. The Cleo Dumaree sports complex is located on the north side of this park and offers covered space for sports programs and rental opportunities.
Designed to enhance the artistic and cultural experiences of the city center, the Bicentennial Park houses a new entertainment hall. The venue hosts free music, dance and theater performances presented by the Recreation and Parks Department, and offers rental opportunities for other community events. It features sculptures called Side by Side, created by Charlotte Lees of Solon, Ohio. The Harrison West Society was instrumental in carrying out this project together with the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department.
This small park is located on the southeast corner of the Third Avenue bridge over the Olentangy River. It has become a key part of the Riverfront Vision Plan and is the location of a public art project, side by side. The Harrison West Society, together with the Columbus Department of Recreation and Parks, played a decisive role in carrying out this project.