In 1962, a plot of land that was going to be developed into an apartment building was acquired, instead, by the City of Columbus. Covering about half of a city block on Beck Street, the city named the spot Beck Square Park. To the locals who watched the parade of pooches in and out of the park — often without sufficient owner attention to their societal obligations as canine consorts — it was colloquially known as “Dogshit Park.”
Then the City of Columbus teamed up with the volunteers from the German Village Garten Club, and “Dogshit Park” was transformed. Renamed Frank Fetch Park in 1985, after a former president of the German Village Society who had promoted the creation of the park, it is now a beautiful garden and neighborhood gathering spot that is enjoyed by German Village residents — and their dogs, who are more respectful of the grounds than they apparently used to be.
“Pocket parks” like Frank Fetch Park may have a small footprint, but they can have a big impact on the nearby community. I wish the City of Columbus would resurrect its 1962 approach, buy one of the surface lots downtown, and convert it into a small park. The increasing number of people living downtown would surely appreciate a Frank Fetch Park in their midst.