Pocket Parks

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.

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Third Sunday At Frank Fetch

IMG_6234Last night, between thunderstorms, Kish and Kasey and I walked over to Frank Fetch Park.  The third Sunday of every month the German Village Garten Club puts on a free concert at the little park that is located in the heart of German Village, and we wanted to check out the festivities.

IMG_6228We found that the 3rd Sunday Concerts are a great, very relaxed atmosphere.  People bring lawn chairs and dogs and food and drinks and — in one case, at least — a parrot that appeared to be molting, and the park is a beautiful, intimate setting.  The music was pretty darned good, too.  Last night it was the Shaun Booker Band, which had a great vocalist, guitarist, and saxophonist and played some funky jazz, including a pretty soulful version of The Beatles’ Come Together.

The 3rd Sunday Concerts are a nice way to get the last little bit of fun out of the weekend before the work day begins.  Kasey liked it, too.  For that matter, so did the parrot.

Bees, Please

IMG_5611There have been a lot of stories about bee shortages in the news lately.  Who would have thought, when we were kids and suffered through our first painful bee sting and had our Moms pull the stinger out with a pair of tweezers, that we would worry that there aren’t enough bees in the world?

Ever since I read my first article about bee colony collapse disorder I’ve been paying more attention to the presence of our buzzing, striped, pollinating friends.  Heck, they’ve even installed a beehive on the grounds of the Ohio Statehouse.  So when I saw this bee hive and accompanying sign at Frank Fetch Park in German Village, I paid attention — and approached carefully.  No bees were visible, however.