Erie MetroParks officials always strive to obtain grant money for enhancing trails, play areas and green spaces.
But park officials, ironically enough, also seek funds for parking lots.
Case in point: The Ohio Parks and Recreation Association recently reserved about $46,000 for Erie MetroParks to repave a parking lot in Osborn MetroPark off East Perkins Avenue. The resurfacing work at Osborn MetroPark should occur by this spring.
Every two years, Ohio law requires state officials to provide money for local park districts strictly for roadway upgrades.
“Keeping facilities in good condition is a part of the mission of the park district,” Erie MetroParks executive director Amy Bowman-Moore said. “It is our responsibility to be sure the investments of the taxpayers be kept in good order”
Better roadways could lead to an attendance surge collectively throughout Erie MetroParks properties.
About 95,000 people visited one of 10 reserve-based park properties in 2012, according to the most recent district data.
The figure almost doubles how many people visited those same parks in 2011.
An attendance spike in 2012 largely occurred thanks to the district’s Roller Coaster Rumble at Osborn MetroPark. The lacrosse tournament brought in more than 20,000 visitors, including players, their families and fans. The tournament also injected $1.6 million to the local economy.
Osborn MetroPark also hosts many popular, family-friendly district events, such as Harvest Happenings and Earth Day Extravaganza.
Other amenities and special events — including soccer matches, lacrosse games, playground equipment and a new disc golf course — also entice people to visit Osborn MetroPark.