Some exciting plans are in the works when it comes to parks in New Albany, including upgrades to neighborhood parks and a brand-new park space at the Taylor Farm site.
It first became apparent in 2019 that upgrading the City of New Albany’s park network was important to the community. City staff received many park-related comments from residents while conducting outreach for Engage New Albany, the City’s five-year strategic plan. That feedback highlighted the need for New Albany’s existing public parks to be examined and studied for potential improvements. Throughout 2020, staff worked with residents and community groups, such as the New Albany Joint Parks District, to create a Parks Framework Plan.
The Parks Framework Plan includes an assessment of the City’s current parks and equipment, analysis of the accessibility of the City’s parks and trail network, and recommendations for improvements for each neighborhood park. The recommended improvements include updated playground equipment, building accessible features so people of all abilities can use the playgrounds, and amenities such as seating and landscaping.
The City expects to begin upgrading the parks in 2021 with a goal to improve two to three parks per year until all of the neighborhood parks are updated. The number of parks updated annually may fluctuate depending on overall budget and the costs necessary to upgrade each park.
Certainly, the impact of the COVID pandemic on the local economy is something staff members are actively monitoring as it could impact the City’s ability to upgrade the parks within this timeframe. However, City Council has prioritized these efforts as they recognize how important these spaces are to residents and their overall quality of life.
You can view the September 2020 version of the Parks Framework Plan below. A revised and final version will be completed in Spring 2021.
Taylor Farm Park
While, there is a lot to look forward with the neighborhood parks, the City of New Albany is also currently working on designs for a larger community park in Taylor Farm Park.
The Taylor Farm site is a nearly 100-acre tract of land bounded by the Rocky Fork Creek, Dublin-Granville Road, Harlem Road and the State Route 161. It has significant historic but also ecologic value to the community. It has been a farm dating back into the 1800s.
City Council approved funding in early January 2021 for design work and improvements. The first phase of the project will include 3.5 miles of multi-purpose trails, seating areas, landscaping and parking.
It is a very scenic piece of ground and is big enough that it will feel like a Metro Park with woodland areas, open areas and wetlands.
The City of New Albany believes Taylor Farm Park will be a destination park for the entire community. It is also going to be very close to Rose Run Park and the Village Center, creating even more recreational opportunities for the community.
The first phase is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021. City staff members have not yet determined how many phases there will be in the project overall. Taylor Farm Park will be a work in progress, with new facilities being added as capital funds allow.